Solar heating / Guides

The Affordable Architect-Designed Modern Green prefab 2 Bed kit home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Le Refuge - An Architect-Designed modern Green prefab 2 bed kit home

...heating costs when oriented for passive solar heat gain . Some kit houses we feature are Passive House ready , and some, like Le Refuge, are built ready to meet the LEED for Homes rating system requirements in terms of energy-efficiency, healthy indoor air quality and the use of sustainable building materials, which ...

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

Creating a farm and building a resilient lifestyle

...heating, water heating, cooking, and almost everything else, powered by a 12 kW solar-electric system—we can heat the place just fine with our small wood stove if we need to. Moving our focus outdoors As the cold of winter gradually ceded control to the sunshine of spring, I was only too ready to turn my attention ...

The LEED Platinum infill house in Toronto
Real estate

Farnham Avenue House

...solar shading, and super insulation. Other features have been around for a long time, but are not that common on a confined city lot, such as geothermal heating and cooling. There are major elements that are reclaimed such as the exterior brick and structural timbers. Numerous locally sourced materials are incorporat...

heat pumps in tandem with heat pump hot water tanks
Hot water

Increased efficiency with heat pumps working in tandem

...heating requirement to about the Passive House standard of 15 kWh per square meter. Windows are a part of that but they are also part of our energy performance strategy. The house is laid out south facing to maximize passive solar heat gain, so we have designed and chosen windows to take best advantage of that. Win...

Zero Carbon Homes - The S1600 Prefab Eco Home is affordably Close
Planning and Design

Zero Carbon Homes - The S1600 Prefab Eco Home gets affordably Close

...heating, cooling and ventilation – become the next big design component that affects the total carbon footprint. Heating systems for this house are the choice of the buyer; in this case we chose to use an electric radiant floor (which is partly solar-heated, see more below) and a mini-split heat pump for heating and ...

Crawl Spaces or Slab on Grade Foundations?
Foundations and Basements

Slab on grade or crawlspaces, which is better?

...solar air heated slab floor here . What’s cheaper to build – a slab on grade or a crawlspace? A slab is cheaper . A crawl space is like building a mini (and dysfunctional) basement, so you get most of the cost, all the durability issues and potential hassles of a basement, PLUS a sore back and bruises on your head ...

Correctly installed Triple pane south facing windows on Ecohome's Demo House
Windows and doors

Installing doors & windows for the best performance in high efficiency homes, LEED & Passive House

...heating bill, not because of the windows you purchased but simply because of where you placed them. So for fun, keep multiplying - if you can find 10 more places in your design where a slight modification can eliminate a seemingly insignificant thermal bridge, you just trimmed hundreds off of your annual heating bill...

Passive home designer Harold Orr, one of the original high performance homes
Passive solar home design

The principal designer of the house that inspired the global Passivhaus movement reflects on the project that started it all.

...solar energy". The solar people on the committee then designed a solar furnace consisting of about 17.9 m2 or 193 sq. ft. of vacuum tube solar collectors and a 12,700 litre or 3,355 US gallon storage tank insulated to about R100, with appropriate pumps and heat exchangers to supply heat to the house and provide domesti...

Slab on grade or a foundation and basement?
Foundation choices

Choosing between a slab-on-grade or a foundation and basement

...solar slab-on-grade construction Slab-on-Grade Construction is best if: Slab on grade polished concrete floor © Bala Structures A slab floor is a fantastic way to start a passive solar home , as your entire floor surface consists of several inches of thermal mass to absorb heat. A slab is a great place to bur...

Le Refuge - An Architect-Designed Modern Green prefab tiny house kit home
Tiny house

Le Refuge - An Architect-Designed modern Green prefab tiny house kit home

...heating costs when oriented for passive solar heat gain . Some kit houses we feature are Passive House ready , and some like Le Refuge, are built ready to meet the LEED for Homes rating system requirements in terms of energy efficiency, healthy indoor air quality and the use of sustainable building materials - which ...

Greenhouse Construction for Cold Climates
Greenhouses and Sunrooms / Solariums

How to build a greenhouse in a cold climate

...solar panels is planned for the future. Growing season: At present, it is used for a little over three seasons; there are about 2-3 months where it is not currently in use. Pierre plans to add a rocket stove and geothermal heating system in the future to extend the growing period to a full four seasons. Type of cro...