Solar power / Guides

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

Creating a farm and building a resilient lifestyle

...power is lost—is a key tenet of resilient design, and I was very pleased that our house did so well. Though we hope the house to be net-zero-energy in its operation—with space 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 s...

Electric Heaters - is heating with electric an eco-friendly option?
Heating with electricity

Heating with electricity

...power generation is only around 30-60% efficient. There is also significant loss from transmission lines, so the overall energy efficiency of electric heat varies significantly by location and the local source of electric production. Heating with electricity from renewable resources like wind, solar or hydroelectric ...

Net Zero Energy Home ZNE in Edmonton Alberta
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Award winning Net Zero Energy house in Edmonton Alberta Leads the Way

...solar design , increased insulation, airtight construction techniques , highly efficient mechanical systems and photovoltaic power generation . These systems and design features work together to achieve an EnerGuide rating of 100. The home also boasts a Walk Score of 56 and a transit score of 58. ...

Shipping Container Homes in a Warm Climate might be a good option
Tiny house

Beautiful shipping container homes - Tiny Houses in warm climates

...solar in the day time, and there's a backup generator for night time power, located in the main house. They are deep in nature with lots of birds & kangaroos, interconnected to each other by a 70 metre solar lit path. The water supply is pumped from a nearby underground spring, which is filtered at the main residence a...

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

Do Earthships work in cold climates?

...power, then there is no need to install your own system to reduce your personal emissions. Again, go ahead and set up a solar array and battery backup for your own security of power, but if going 'off-grid' means you need to burn fossil fuels instead of tapping into clean energy from the grid, you are increasing your c...

Why Electric Heating Systems are Best for Sustainable Homes
Heating with electricity

Heating with Electricity - The Best Choice for High Efficiency & Zero Energy Homes?

...powered heat pumps save money Heat pumps powered with electricity can heat a house on average about three times more efficiently than other heat sources. And pairing an air source heat pump with a heat pump water heater can further save energy and money. Air source heat pumps are the most cost-effective type of hea...

The Top Twelve Green Building Trends for 2020
Planning and Design

Find out what's trending in 2020 for Green Home Construction

...solar panel installations, and Tesla solar roof financing starting in 2019 makes generating renewable energy more affordable, and in some cases even profitable. Tesla solar roof tiles are now in V3 and are set for 1000 installs a week by the end of 2020 9. Non-toxic building materials and healthy homes. Build...

Mobile tiny house
Tiny house

Is Tiny House living in a cold climate good or bad for the planet?

...solar panels or super-thick walls, but they easily rank as one of the lower impact home choices. Along with shared heat, they use existing infrastructure (water/sewage/power) and are usually near bus routes and services, making even the worst of them greener than a lot of the 'green' homes that lie outside of urban cen...

Air-heated radiant concrete floor
Delivery: radiant, forced-air and decentralized

Air-heated radiant floors

...solar air heaters, which are less risky (and less expensive) than thermal-solar hydronic heaters. Insulating air tubes near the heater box output to better distribute heat © Ecohome Can radiant floor heating provide all the necessary heat for a home? In theory, yes, but it will not...

Efficient green home design choices
Concept and design

Efficient home design, or how to design a home to use less energy

...power and solar panels, but these are not the defining features of green living. They come in second, and some you can even do without. A green home starts with being well-designed, well-insulated, and if possible, has glazing oriented to the south for passive heat gain . Energy efficiency, insulation and orientation...

Building a Passive House that's LEED Certified too - an Owner's Tale
Passive House

An owner/builder's account of building a Passive House

...power plants struggle to keep up. North American buildings account for more than 40% of all the energy we use and a third of our C02 emissions. Surprisingly, they are far more damaging to our environment than our vehicles. Perhaps the question ought to be why NOT build a Passive House? For the uninitiated, a Passiv...