Urban / Guides

Green homes climate change
Lifestyle and environment

Green buildings are better situated to handle climate extremes

...Urban Planning released a landmark report Feb. 29 that describes how green buildings advance resiliency in disasters. “Green Building and Climate Resilience: Understanding Impacts and Preparing for Changing Conditions” describes potential adaptive strategies available to green building practitioners. These strategies a...

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

...urban core and to provide high quality student accommodation, we incorporated a secondary suite on top of the garage. Site ecology: Existing trees were kept on the property wherever possible. Bushes, plants and flowers were salvaged, planted temporarily off site and were brought back after con...

Passive House design Vancouver
Passive House

The city of Vancouver is actively promoting Passive House construction

...urban density and requiring all new civic buildings to be zero emissions. The city has also imposed upon itself a more rigorous building code than the national norm, and it is encouraging builders to take it even a step further by removing as many obstacles as they can to make pursuing high performance building certi...

Keyhole Garden
Landscaping

The Keyhole Garden: An Introduction

...urban gardens! Here are your basic considerations for building a keyhole garden, broken down to four fairly simple steps. 1.) Site: Once you have chosen an area large enough to house an 8 - 10 foot diameter circle that has sufficient sun exposure for the plants you intend on growing, you're ready to begin. Given th...

Ontario climate change action plan
Grants and incentives

Ontario announces ambitious climate change action plan to reduce emissions

...urban sprawl Provide financial incentives to replace old wood stoves (northern Ontario in particular) BUSINESS AND TRADE Provide funding and create programs for small businesses so they can improve their energy efficiency and lower overhead costs Provide greater access for rural residents to benefit from programs inten...

Mobile tiny house
Tiny house

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

...urban centers. Downtown urban living isn't for everyone, so by all means live the way you want. But there is no denying the fact that the housing density and shared resources of urban centers will be the best way to reduce your personal carbon footprint if that's your thing. The economics of tiny houses: They wil...

“The perfect lawn” comes with a very heavy environmental cost!
Landscaping

Which are the best bee-friendly & Eco-friendly alternatives to grass lawns in backyards?

...urban water infrastructure, especially when we consider that one of the results of climate change is a greater frequency and intensity of summer droughts . The addition of chemical fertilizers . It pollutes the water table, the rivers, the air and the soil. With regular use, the soil is damaged and kills the microbes...

Hawaii Preparatory Academy Energy Laboratory
Living Building Challenge

What is the Living Building Challenge?

...Urban agriculture: The project must integrate opportunities for agriculture appropriate to its scale and density using the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) as a basis for calculation. 3) Habitat exchange: For each hectare of development, an equal amount of land away from the project site must be set aside in perpetuity as ...

Permeable interlock pavers & paving stones
Permeable laneways and patios

Water-permeable landscaping surfaces

...urban areas can be several degrees higher than nearby green spaces due largely to heat being absorbed and released by concrete and asphalt. We all know a black car will be hotter than a white car on a sunny day, the hard surfaces of your property will react in much the same way. Light coloured stones are more reflectiv...

Slab-on-grade construction technical guide
Slab on Grade

Slab-on-grade technical guide

...urban infill lot, leaving you two options: a smaller house or a basement. Despite their disadvantages, basements are often very practical since they provide a significant amount of storage space. Without a basement, everything that would have been down there must fit into the rest of the house or in the garage or she...

The Pros & Cons of Lasagna Gardening for Growing Food
Food production

Lasagna Gardening: the pros & cons of a lasagna garden

...urban farming. Gathering enough food safe paper and cardboard for layering would require a concerted effort for larger areas of food production. Our Conclusion: Lasagna Gardening Drawbacks vs. Benefits Growing lettuce and greens in a lasagna garden There is some work and time involved in successful lasagne ga...