Renovations / Guides

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 ...

Naugler House: the most energy efficient Passive House design in New Brunswick
Efficient home design

New Brunswick's most energy efficient home is Passive House designed

...renovations can be adapted to one-level living should that be needed in the future. Garth, a certified Passive House Consultant, was an important part of the team that made the Naugler House a success. His design and energy-modelling skills aided to blend homeowner needs with the Passive House certification sta...

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, ...

Lifestyle and environment

Resources and getting started

Choosing between buying, building or renting 1. Building a new home. Building a sustainable and energy efficient house is not necessarily more expensive than building a house simply to meet provincial building codes. Many new home starts have achieved far superior performance while still coming in the same or lowe...

Non-toxic building materials can improve home air quality
Healthy indoor air quality

Maintaining healthy indoor air quality

Mold in homes is a bad sign so how to get rid of it or prevent mold in drywall? Mold and mildew in homes develops in conditions of high humidity , most often in bathrooms, kitchens and basements, unless caused by roof leaks and other building envelope failures. Along with affecting the durability of your home, mold ...

Non-toxic food safe wood finishing oil for counters, floors, decks and toys
Healthy indoor air quality

Naturally made non-toxic wood finishing oil

Livos is a Quebec manufacturer of natural wood finishing oils, and they are very transparent about the composition of their products which are mainly plants and some other natural materials. There are also no heavy metals used in the colouring pigments, so it is a completely sustainably-made and healthy product. "In...

Frost in Attics: What causes Attic Ice? How to Fix it?
Roof assemblies - renovation

Why is there frost in my attic? Is ice in roofs a problem & How do I stop it?

Frost in Attics: why is there Ice in my roof? When a warm sunny day arrives after a long cold stretch and it seems like you have a roof leak when there isn't a cloud in the sky, it's probably Attic Icing , otherwise known as Ice Dams or Ice Damming, and the surprising thing is that it's very unlikely that the roof c...

Real estate

Real estate

For most of us, purchasing or building a home will be the biggest investment of our lives. This section is about knowing what to look for in new homes to get the best value for your dollar, or what to look for in a building lot for the same reasons. What to look for in a location: Being close to where you work a...

HERD Home energy rating disclosure
Grants and incentives

Ontario's Home Energy Rating and Disclosure plan (HERD) is great news for home buyers

As part of its shift to a low-carbon economy, the Ontario government just released its Five Year Climate Change Action Plan to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. What this means for homeowners and buyers, is that before a house can be put on the market it will require an energy audit and rating, ...

custom kitchen renovation by River Woodworks
Kitchens

Formaldehyde-Free Green Kitchen cabinetry for a Non-toxic Home - Price Comparisons

Green kitchen cabinets - why does it matter? To improve the air quality of your home , that's why! “Indoor air quality” refers to the quality of the air in any home environment. The potential impact of indoor air quality on human health nationally is important for many reasons, including: Americans spend on aver...