Plumbing / Guides

BC Energy Step Codes - Builder Design Guide &  Requirements explained
Building codes

The new BC energy step code: builder design guide & requirements explained - Vancouver, electrical and ventilation openings, and how to ensure windows and doors are properly sealed . New BC Energy Step Codes - A Step in the Right Direction How the BC energy step code works: The BC Building Code puts buildings into two basic categories – Part 9 and Part 3 . BC step code part 9 – Thi...

Recycled barn beams and a refinished clawfoot bathtub
Recycled and Reclaimed Materials

Recycled & reclaimed materials fixtures. Not a lot of thought went into water conservation with older toilets and taps, so those are probably best purchased new to ensure high efficiency . Decor: The possibilities here are as endless as your imagination. From wine racks, to light fixtures to coffee tables, if it can be made from upcycled ...

Passively-heated off-grid LEED house in Low, Quebec
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog: a firsthand account of building and living in a remote area, and data cabling. This wall is also insulated with Roxul batts. Finally, a standard layer of sheetrock covers the interior walls. A big advantage of the utility wall is that all of the openings that need to be cut for outlets, fixtures, etc., don't puncture the air barrier. Outside of the 2x8 wall there is ...

Prefab & Modular Construction is Booming for Sustainable Homes
Planning and Design

Prefab & Modular Construction poised for dramatic growth in 2020 assemblies behind the wall in hospital rooms) is widely practiced, with 62% of respondents using prefabricated single-trade assemblies in the last three years. 48% of those doing modular are using panelized modular components (such as wall or floor panels). Use of each of these methods is also expected to ...

Carpenter ants are a common pest and nuisance to get rid of in homes
Pest control

Removing insects and rodents from your home, safely & humanely (by preference) leaks and keep humidity levels low in basements, crawlspaces and attics. The solutions at the disposal of homeowners to deal with termites are really limited to prevention; if you have an established colony, there is really no option beyond hiring a professional exterminator. If you live in a termite prone r...

Choosing a building envelope
Wall assemblies - new construction

Choosing a building envelope - starting with the perfect wall and wiring through those existing openings is a lot quicker than drilling hundreds of holes, so even just financially speaking it makes sense. That gives you a variety of building envelopes for you to choose from; to learn more about Choosing the Best Insulation , Choosing Between a Slab on Grade or Foundati...

Crawlspace radon barrier installation for radon mitigation
Radon in Homes - Mitigation

Removing radon gas from basements and crawlspaces stack. The intention of that design is to keep it far enough from open windows to prevent the radon gas from re-entering the home, but that is unnecessary and can work against you. The air below your slab is potentially very humid, and in cold weather it's warmer than the outside air. As a radon mitigation s...

The Methane Midden compost water heater that surpassed its goal on kic
Plumbing and water heaters

Compost pile hot tub water heater

We found this video at Whole Systems Design , a New England based company who identify, design, and develop human habitats. In their own words from their website : "We design and implement regenerative food, fuel, and shelter systems that operate on current solar energy. These are homesteads, farms and schools fit for...

Slate tile installation in bathrooom
Flooring and stairs

Slate Tile installation - video

We have finished the bathroom counter, floors and shower stalls with a dark slate tile from Glendyne. Slate is a natural stone, so its surfaces have more character and inconsistencies in texture - and at times in thickness - than manufactured tiles. This can mean a bit more effort on the part of installers, but a more...

Mobile tiny house
Tiny house

Is Tiny House living in a cold climate good or bad for the planet? from the equation, you'll usually have better luck getting a permit to build (or have delivered) an additional structure on a property. I have a home office that is 48 square feet and twenty feet from my house; it's close enough for power, wireless internet and a cordless phone. I just go to the house when I'm...

Exterior compresssor heat pump water heater
Plumbing and water heaters

Heat pump water heater with exterior compressor

There are many manufacturers of heat pump water heaters on the market, which, rather than heating water with an electric coil as a normal electric hot water tank does, employ an evaporator to extract heat from the air (either interior or exterior) and use it to make hot water. The byproduct of an air-to-water heat p...