Solar thermal / Guides

Building Climate Zones USA & Canada Maps Help with Specification of Homes
Planning and Design

Climate Zones in USA & Canada for Building Homes

...solar gain a home can hope for . Climate zones in USA & Canada are important when building homes But the principles of building science remain the same in all climate zones ; in relation to moisture movement though walls, and thermal dynamics (meaning how heat moves from one place to another). To better understand ...

How to Vent Roofs - the Methods, Vent Types, Fans
Walls and Roofs

Why Roofs need to be ventilated and how to ventilate a roof properly

...thermal, air and vapor barriers. See here how to install siding so walls can dry. Warm air rises, so there is always more air pressure at the higher points of any house or building, as in the top floor ceiling. And air will find any hole no matter how small it is. Wind pressure as well as interior mechanical ventilat...

The Methane Midden compost water heater that surpassed its goal on kic
Plumbing and water heaters

Compost pile hot tub water heater

...solar energy. These are homesteads, farms and schools fit for a challenging future of peak oil, climate change and economic transition." By running water through a giant compost pile, it was brought from 7 °C to a blistering 62 °C. Not much more needs to be said that the video doesn't say. We love seeing stuff like t...

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...

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?

...thermal bridges in its insulated envelope, it points to problems in humidity levels in the home – possibly coming from hidden problems in basements, crawlspaces, walls or ventilation systems – and some things are certain when a home has condensation running down the windows: Condensation won't disappear on its own ...

Product of the month: Aquion’s Aqueous Hybrid Ion saltwater home batte
Renewable energy

Aquion’s saltwater home battery

...solar power The latest technologies in Lithium-ion home batteries All about solar panels: how they work Ten questions to ask a solar contractor before singing a contract Off-grid living blog: a homeowner reflects on the design and building process Tesla Solar Roof shingles review Aquion Energy

Efficient home design

Phase change building materials - natural heat storage in buildings

...Thermal Core, a drywall product said to contain microscopic acrylic capsules of a substance called Micronal, a high-purity paraffin wax that melts at 23°C (73°F). In order to make the change from solid to liquid, these beads need to absorb energy from the air. It doesn't appear they are available in North America unfor...

Slab-on-grade for Ecohome's upcoming video building guide
Slab on Grade

how to build a slab-on-grade on standard soil

...thermal bridging and heat loss. This technique also requires a second trip with a concrete pump truck, which depending on your region can run anywhere from $700 to $1000. Instead, what we have done here is known as a 'monopour', where the footing and slab are poured at the same time. Here are the basic steps for slab...