Urban / Guides

The LEED rating system
LEED Homes

The LEED rating system

...urban sprawl. Sustainable Sites (22 points) Any new construction will have an ecological impact. This category seeks to limit that impact on the building site, as well as the surrounding environment and waterways. Points are awarded for responsible site stewardship during both construction and the lifecycle of th...

Edible Perennials

A guide to growing edible perennials.

...urban farming , growing food in small spaces , hydroponic bottle gardens and all about sustainable landscaping in the Ecohome green building guide pages .

Comparing ground source and air source heat pumps
Heating and cooling

Heat Pumps: Ground source geothermal GSHP or air source ASHP, which one is best for heating a home?

...urban context, ASHPs reject heat to the outside air during the cooling season, potentially worsening the urban heat island, while GSHPs reject heat to the ground to be stored for the next heating season. The shared social good of a GSHP in this context is without a doubt real, but would be difficult to monetize. The ...

Concept and design

How to stay on budget when building a home

...urban development. This early conditioning to environmental issues guided my professional orientation and led me to study administration at the University of Sherbrooke. At the beginning of my career in 2005, when I met my equally-passionate associates, we founded a consulting company named Synairgis, to apply soluti...

Keyhole Garden

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...

Green building certifications

Powerhouse: the new standard for positive energy design

...urban areas as they may not have sufficient space to implement some key elements of the design. Canada: Powerhouse or CaGBC Zero Carbon? Just over a year ago, the Canadian Green Building Council officially launched the new standard on Zero Carbon buildings . Not only is that certification awarded by third party, th...

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...

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...

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

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

...urban cores. Hydroelectricity is without a doubt renewable, but the ecological impact of setting up a system can be quite heavy, certainly if you intend to extract enough power to have a noticeable impact on your consumption. So we don't strongly advocate it for personal projects, as the ecological damage often outwe...

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

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...

Geothermal Heating Systems
Heat pumps, geothermal and AC

Geothermal heating for Homes in North America - Does it work & will it save money?

...urban areas, as they require an abundant source of ground water. Will geothermal heating save me money? That truly depends on the size of a project. No geothermal system is cheap to install, and because it offers only a reduction in consumption, the return on investment is really only viable for larger buildings. F...