Rénovations / Guides

Which House Plants are Best to Clean Air & Remove Toxins?
Healthy indoor air quality

Which house plants are best for purifying air? Ecohome investigates

Do house plants clean indoor air? The idea that house plants filter and clean indoor air is at best a mini-truth, and at worst a total myth, and like any pseudo-science health trend, it can have a negative impact as well. Providing false solutions to human health issues gives people a false sense of security. Having...

Leed platinum plaque
Green building certifications

All about green home certification programs & rating systems for USA & Canada

Why Green Home certification? As more people pursue high efficiency Green home rating certifications, they become increasingly well known and trusted . Consequently, more people seek them out. Developers build smarter homes when consumers demand them, and the existence of certification programs raises the bar on the...

Reflective window film to reduce overheating
Windows and doors

Product feature: window film treatment to reflect heat and lower air conditioning bills

After a difficult first half to 2020, heat waves then took hold across North America, from Canada down into the Southern and Central USA. These extreme summer temperatures pose a very real health risk to the most vulnerable members of society. There are some tips to help keep a home cool during a heat wave, but face...

Are Laminate Countertops Good for Sustainable Green Counters in Homes?
Interiors

Are laminate countertops good for a sustainable green home?

Are laminate counters good? Laminate countertops were a long-time staple of residential kitchen & bathroom construction , but they started to fall off in popularity around the time rockstars stopped wearing spandex, which was somewhere in the 80s. A trend started at that time towards alternatives to laminate counter...

Cambrian Black Granite
Kitchens

Granite counter tops

There are substantial environmental impacts that come with shipping building materials around the globe, particularly something as weighty as granite. It is for this reason that the credit MR5 in the Materials and Resources category of LEED for Homes certification exists. To get a point for buying local, LEED has a ...

Slab on grade for a Passive Solar LEED Home insulated by Rockwool © Ecohome
Insulation and soundproofing

Insulating below slab-on-grade floors

Insulating below slab-on-grade foundations Why insulate under a slab on grade foundation? For comfort, and to save money, that's why! In many areas Building Code has fallen behind common sense on what specification of insulation to use under a slab , It is common to install as little as R5 insulation below slab floo...

Why Building Affordable Eco Homes is Important
Efficient home design

Why building an affordable family home today means choosing to build a Green Home

As the effects of climate change become more pronounced every year, it is becoming virtually impossible for the most ardent climate change deniers to dismiss it , despite their valiant efforts. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): "Rising global average temperature is associated with widespread chan...

Condensation on windows in our homes - why is it there? - how to stop it?
Walls and Roofs

Condensation on windows is a pain but is it a problem & how to stop it?

Condensation on Windows – Is it Bad? It’s that time of year when condensation on windows becomes a pain, we wake up in the morning, can’t see out, curtains are wet, there’s water on the window bottoms, and even worse it can affect the walls below windows causing mold and mildew in drywall and furniture. Condensa...

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

Vapor Barrier + Air-Con = Damp Moldy Walls So here's a little known fact that most HVAC installers won't tell a potential new client for central air; Polyethylene vapor barriers in combination with air conditioning in homes can rot walls because of the condensation they may cause. This is why if you have a newer hom...

Laminate Kitchen countertops can be beautiful & green too - Counter by Formica
Kitchens

Choosing green kitchen countertops for sustainable homes Including LEED v4 & Passive House PHIUS+ certified

The most common kitchen counters you will find in homes are traditional laminate countertops. And they certainly live up to the adage ‘you get what you pay for’, as most of them still contain a lot of formaldehyde and they aren’t very durable. Maybe the latest generation of laminate countertops for kitchens & bathroom...

Ecohome's passively heated Edelweiss House
Efficient home design

Are better insulated homes worth the money?

There are probably only two general desires we share when imagining a dream house - we all want the nicest one possible for the least amount of money. And we want both of those things right away, rather than waiting a lifetime to see the 'payback' for noble design choices we might have made to save polar bears, bees, ...