Thermal solar / Guides

Solar panels power the Kenogami House in Saguenay, Quebec
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

The Kenogami House: Energy systems in Net Zero Energy Home Design

...Thermal solar systems do not lend themselves well to solar trackers (panels that follow the sun to maximize efficiency) which is not uncommon to see with PV solar systems. On average, a photovoltaic system has a much longer service life than a solar thermal system. For a solar thermal system, the less the temperatu...

Photovoltaic solar panels
Renewable energy

Solar heating and energy generation

...Solar thermal heating and solar water heaters This refers to using solar panels to absorb heat in a liquid (mix of glycol and water) and redistribute it throughout the house, through radiators or radiant floor heat. A system can work to heat your home, as well as pre-heating your domestic hot water. It can ea...

Celsius Solar Igloo
Solar thermal collectors

Celsius: The solar heated igloo! igloo at first sounds counterintuitive, but contrast is at the heart of this design concept created by the L. McComber architectural team for Montreal's Igloofest. The solar igloo known as 'Celsius' can be visited free of charge until February 19th at the now famous Igloofest in the Old Port of Montreal. We were ...

R values and insulation performance
Efficient home design

Understanding thermal performance

...thermal resistance. While R-value is useful, it doesn’t tell the whole story about heat flow through building enclosures such as walls and roofs. Recently, a study by RDH Building Engineering Ltd . h as shown that real world thermal performance depends on a large range of factors including temperature, age, thermal m...


Case Study: Kenogami House, Saguenay, Quebec

...thermal storage. Windows are triple pane, fibreglass framed, argon filled with an average R value of 4.5. Window glazing is 91% south facing to avoid heat loss and maximise solar heat gain. Exterior durability measures include a metal roof and fascia, electrically controlled exterior shutters, stone and red spruce si...

Water efficiency
Plumbing and water heaters

How to save money on your hot water bills!

...Solar water heaters solar hot water heater diagram image via If you’ve ever sat in a car with black leather seats in the summer, you already understand solar heat collection. The amount of heat that can be generated by the most rudimentary solar collection system is astounding. Check out our DIY so...

7 Principles of a super abundant, solar, year round greenhouse
Greenhouses and Sunrooms / Solariums

7 key principles for an abundant greenhouse

...Thermal Mass An extremely important part of solar greenhouse design is planning enough thermal mass , either via water, masonry or soil underground. This can be as simple as adding water barrels or you can upgrade by incorporating a Ground to Air Heat Transfer ( GAHT) system . Even a small greenhouse collects as much...

How to choose Triple pane, high performance windows
Windows and doors

Our top tips for buying high-performance windows

...Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, a value between 0 and 1 that indicates how much sun energy passes through the glazing at a 90° angle to the sun rays; a lower SHGC means less solar radiation passing through the glazing and heating the home interior. The Solar Heat Gain coefficient based on orientation in th...

Decentralized Energy Generation for LEED, Passive House & Green Homes
Renewable energy

Which is the Best Type of Home Energy Generation for Green Homes?

...Solar thermal systems in particular can be a great heat source if you have a hydronic heating system . Rather than generating power that in turn runs electric heaters, solar thermal systems pump liquid through solar panels to absorb heat directly from the sun and transfer it into your home. Heated liquid (usually glyco...

How to Fasten Cement Board Facing to slab on grade insulation
Slab on Grade

Finishing the exterior of an insulated slab-on-grade floor

...thermal bridging. What we decided on was plastic straps that passed through the cement board and that were anchored in the concrete. It did hold as planned, though there is more play in it than we ideally would have liked and if we were to do it again we would increase the amount of fasteners. Like many things, this ...

Midori Uchi
Efficient home design

A new contender for the title of Canada's Greenest Home

...Solar thermal Solar PV In-home energy monitoring and tracking Concrete made from recycled building waste Reclaimed lumber and building materials Naikoon Contracting Ltd. is an award winning design-build company specializing in green residential projects. Founded 32 years ago, Naikoon Contracting Ltd. has bu...