Used building materials / Guides

How solar panels work
Solar photovoltaic

All about solar panels - the different options and how they work

...used throughout the home in a variety of ways. Types of solar panels There are a variety of types of solar panels on the market today. While the vast majority of solar panels are made from silicon, a non-metallic semiconductor that is used to make electric currents, there are several significant differences between...

Celsius Solar Igloo
Solar thermal collectors

Celsius: The solar heated igloo!

...materials not only influences building performance, but brings comfort and well-being as well. © L. McComber – architecture vivante Us: What is Celsius insulated with? L. McC : The igloo is insulated from the noise and cold by 10,000 pounds of recovered clothing loaned to us for the event. The key to its performance is...

Thermal batteries for passive solar design
Efficient home design

Thermal batteries: how to passively store heat

...building materials with thermal mass benefits is concrete. In contrast to paraffin, 1 kg of concrete (Cp = 0.88 kJ/kg·K) would need 15.8 kJ to do the same. For water (Cp = 4.18 kJ/kg·K), the amount of energy required would be 75.2 kJ. The amount of energy put in is the amount of energy stored in a material, as this e...

Exterior damp proofing and drainage mat to protect basements from wate
Insulation and soundproofing

Best practices for basement insulation in new home construction

...building, along with allowing the original moisture contained in building materials to escape without causing damage. Different types of insulation are included at different points in wall assemblies. For details and characteristics of different materials, see our page on choosing insulation. CLICK IM...

Roxul mineral wool batt insulation in LEED Homes
Insulation and soundproofing

Choosing the right insulation: the pros, cons and applications for walls, slabs & basements

...materials are the same, and they are not always interchangeable A basic understanding of how walls work is needed to help you understand what you can reasonably expect insulation and building materials to do for you when they are part of a wall assembly. If you have a working knowledge of building science then forge ...

Hydraloop gray water recovery and treatment systems
Greywater Recycling

At last, a compact & easy to maintain solution for gray water recycling & treatment - the Hydraloop

...materials. He’s not too put off by that, but one downside he speaks of is that the system (not the delivered water) doesn’t smell that great on occasion. But still, he doesn’t regret installing it. “Toilets account for about 30% of the water used in a home, and in this day and age I think it’s utterly foolish that we...

Solar Electricity Generation & Storage with no Batteries, Azelio
Renewable energy

Azelio Solar solutions combine electricity generation & storage without Batteries

...building materials A ‘phase change’ refers to the action of a material changing from liquid to solid to gas, or in the reverse order. Even greater heat storage capacity can come from employing Phase Change Materials (PCMs) . A significant amount of energy is absorbed or released when a material changes phase, which...

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.

...building they asked people involved in building research, and building construction to sit on a committee to fulfill this request of the Government. A committee was formed from knowledgeable people and this committee proceeded to design the "Solar House Appropriate for Saskatchewan". The committee consisted of: Mr ...

4th generation blowing agents for spray foam
Insulation and soundproofing

New HFO blowing agents for spray foam will make it over 1,000 times less harmful to the climate

New blowing agents for spray foam coming by the end of 2017 Foam insulation is a petroleum-based product and nothing will change that. But that was never the biggest problem the 'eco' building community had with foam insulation; the main issue was the inclusion of chemicals with a global warming potential (GWP) that...

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

Aquion’s saltwater home battery

...building circles, but all across the globe. The need is urgent, the products are improving and the prices are dropping. So what used to be a niche market is now somewhat mainstream, and a greater market share always leads to competition and innovation. Advances in the industry and high prices for grid-fed power have ...

How Much do Sustainable Green Kitchen Countertops Cost?
Kitchens

Pricing green kitchen countertops - there's never been a bigger choice of sustainable kitchen counters

...materials can have a very detrimental effect on indoor air quality because they continue to off-gas chemicals for years after installation, greater demand for healthier building materials is making them far more competitive than even just a year ago when I first posted a piece on building a formaldehyde-free non-toxic ...