Safe building materials / Guides

Stairs made from reclaimed barn beams
Wood and organic materials

All about wood

...building materials from demolition projects, then offer them for resale in varying conditions. Shipping pallets: Pallets are pretty easy to come by, in fact many commercial buildings and retailers are happy to get rid of them. They can be used either in their current form or taken apart and reused as small pieces - b...

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

Are laminate countertops good for a sustainable green home?

...building materials can lead to unsafe indoor air quality that, according to the EPA, can be 5 times more polluted than outdoor air due to toxic airborne particles that originate in building materials and surface finishes. Especially when you consider the fact that modern high-efficiency and airtight buildings keep all ...

Hawaii Preparatory Academy Energy Laboratory
Living Building Challenge

What is the Living Building Challenge?

...building challenge? The Living Building Challenge is the most rigorous and comprehensive of all building rating systems. Performance requirements include net zero energy, water and waste, measured after a full year of operation only. LBC is broken down into 7 performance areas, which are then subdivided into a total ...

Green cleaning products
Healthy indoor air quality

6 easy steps to detoxify your home

...safe indoor air quality such as choosing safe paints , how to make your own natural paint , non-toxic and natural wood finishing oil , living green walls in the Ecohome Green Building Guide pages

Roxul mineral wool batt insulation in LEED Homes
Insulation and soundproofing

Choosing the right insulation: the pros, cons and applications for walls, slabs & basements

...materials are the same, and they are not always interchangeable A basic understanding of how walls work is needed to help you understand what you can reasonably expect insulation and building materials to do for you when they are part of a wall assembly. If you have a working knowledge of building science then forge ...

Drywall and construction dust
Cleaning and maintenance

Tips for keeping air clean during renovations

...materials that have less or even no VOCs and formaldehyde. Some building materials will off-gas for many years after construction has been completed. Using solid wood materials rather than composites like MDF (medium density fibreboard) for finishing trim will mean less dust during construction and it will eliminate ...

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

Maintaining healthy indoor air quality

...safer alternatives on the market now than the toxic paints we used to apply to our walls. For more information see our pages on safer paints , or you could even make your own DIY safe no VOC natural paint with our guide here . Formaldehyde Formaldehyde is one of the more commonly found contaminants in homes, and is...

HEPA filters & SMART Air Filters catch airborne dust, pollen, allergens, virus
Healthy indoor air quality

Buying guide for home air filters in furnaces - HEPA, SMART or Regular?

...building materials in the first place. To compare true HEPA rated air purifiers and filters online, see here About the author: Emmanuel Cosgrove built the first LEED Platinum home in Canada, he is a co-founder of Ecohome, a LEED for Homes Provider, LEED Green Rater, recipient of the 2016 Green Building Champion A...

Earthship in Taos, New Mexico, shame they don't work in cold climates
Concept and design

Do Earthships work in cold climates?

...building ,” he said. “A building that does everything for itself, totally off of every grid and they’re warm. It gets very cold (in Alberta) and the building has no backup heating whatsoever, it doesn’t need it.” How does a wood stove not qualify as backup heat? And when did propane stop being a fossil fuel? You don'...

Alex and Jerelyn Wilson's Vermont farm
Lifestyle, location and commuting

Creating a farm and building a resilient lifestyle

...building for more than 35 years, there were countless ideas, materials, and innovative products I wanted to try out. This would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a model of sustainability, accessible design (where we can age in place), and resilience. Renovating (really rebuilding) the house cost a lot mo...

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

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

...materials that are the perfect breeding ground for fungus and mold. Does this sound like a good idea to you? What Building Science Corporation has to say about this type of basement wall assembly - "The experience by the Building Science Consortium with these two approaches has been bad. The Building Science Consor...