Paint as insulation / Guides

An attic with 'insulating paint' which doesn't insulate
Insulation and soundproofing

Does 'insulating paint' work?

...insulation problems. Dealers of insulating paint are very quick to name-drop NASA and talk about heat-reflection during space shuttle re-entry, but don't be dazzled by this nonsense. Yes, the technology originated there but its value ended there as well and NASA was not involved in any way with paint products in the ...

Exterior damp proofing and drainage mat to protect basements from wate
Insulation and soundproofing

Best practices for basement insulation in new home construction

...asing that, particularly with the inclusion of radiant in-floor heat. Thermal image of basement insulation and heat loss © Ecohome Exterior basement insulation is less common, probably due to the fact that it can be more expensive. And there are certainly less cases where insulation is install...

Better Basement Design on basement walls prevents mold and midlew
Healthy indoor air quality

Basement renovations: How to prevent mold when finishing basements

...asements were finished for the last few decades is about as logical as jogging in a raincoat. Above grade, walls are designed to dry to the exterior. That is impossible below grade, but for some reason we still build as if it were. Despite the fact that interior vapour barriers in below grade wall assemblies are comm...

Natural Building Insulation Made of Grass - Eco-friendly, Green
Insulation and soundproofing

Non-toxic natural building insulation made of grass

...as well. So, we were interested to find that Gramitherm®, a patented technology that enables the production of natural insulation batts made from meadow grass fibers, has many of the same properties as our other favorite natural insulation products, which we will discuss below. Gramitherm Natural Grass Insulation...

Finished basements can lead to mold and mildew
Healthy indoor air quality

Why are basements moldy? How to fix or Prevent a Moldy Basement

...astic. We also have to realize that building below grade is a different beast that building above grade, and to start respecting the laws of physics when we design, build and choose materials for basements especially in relation to the best insulation types to choose for basements. Better basement insulation techniqu...

Interior solid pine door
Doors and trim

Interior finishing

...paint removal. Be sure to use a proper mask because older painted doors will almost certainly contain lead paint. You can often find them on used material websites, as well as at reclaimed material building supply stores. Jointed pine doors Jointed wood refers to smaller pieces that are machine grooved and gl...

Is EPS foam eco-friendly? Exterior home insulation rigid foam panels
Insulation and soundproofing

Does plastic foam or Styrofoam insulation have a place in green building?

...insulation or ‘Styrofoam insulationas it is often mistakenly called, which it isn’t. It may seem like splitting hairs, but Styrofoam is a brand name of XPS insulation, it is not EPS insulation, and environmentally speaking they're very different - read more here. A good part of the reason why EPS foam insulation ge...

Poly vapour barriers in air conditioned houses can cause mold and rot
Healthy indoor air quality

Why you should Never Install Air-Con in a Home with a Vapor Barrier

...as available in the past, drawing in endless fresh air and removing moisture. We just kept pumping in energy to replace the heat that was escaping in every direction and all was well in the world - or so we thought, before we knew better. Also, a home's interior walls were finished with real plaster in the past, usua...

Vapor retarder latex primer instead of polyethylene sheet
Air and vapour barriers

Replacing polyethylene vapour barriers with latex paint vapor control

...insulation. In hot climates like the southern U.S. for example, it should be installed on the outside of the insulation. In both cases, the vapour barrier is tasked with preventing warm, humid air from shedding its moisture as it meets a cool surface, no matter which direction it is travelling. The most important t...

Installing Siding Correctly
Exterior cladding

How to install siding

...asons, not just winter, which is how we most often build them now. Moisture will always flow from areas of high concentration to low, and the side of the wall those different conditions are on will reverse between seasons due to insulation and/or air conditioning. In winter it is cold and dry outside, in summer it is...

Off grid, passively heated and cooled house in the Gatineau Hills, Que
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off grid living blog, part 2: passively heated, this house in Quebec aims for LEED certification

...assively-heated home. See post 1 of the off-grid homes blog here . or post 3 in the off-grid homes blog here . This off-grid home design began with the basic principles of passive heating and cooling - invest in really good windows, face as many of them south as you can to gain heat, and install heavy duty insulation...