Walls that dry / Guides

Urban farming

Urban Farming turns beautiful gardens into a grocery store!

...that can spread out long distances. Urban farming: Any food we produce at our homes is food that isn't part of the agricultural industry , which is a huge consumer of natural resources. If you have a bit of space, urban farming is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and your food costs. Not only that, it'...

Problem areas of air leakage in a home and blower door test being cond
Air and vapour barriers

Airtight Construction of Homes is Essential: "Your house sucks." "Oh yeah? your house blows!"

...that is burning fuel in your home such as gas stoves and fireplaces (that aren't vented directly to the outside) will remove oxygen and require makeup air. Houses that are fairly air tight and that have negative air pressure may cause flue gases to backdraft into your house, which can be of major concern. Poorly bala...

Siding Choices - Board and batten siding
Exterior cladding

Choosing the right exterior siding for fitting, cost comparisons & appearance

...that the exterior wall surface of your home needs to be able to be able to dry. That means allowing any water that gets in to drain out, and letting humid air escape - in modern energy efficient green homes using sustainable home design , the siding's principle role is to protect the air and weather barriers from deter...

Prefab LEED Passive House Kit Homes the Future of House Building?
Passive House

Prefab Passive House & LEED ready kit homes - the future of home building?

...dryer that does not exhaust heat to the outside and avoids the need for a dryer vent Gray water heat recovery unit : Waste water from the upstairs shower preheats cold water destined for the water heater and recovers approximately 50% of energy with passive operation that requires no maintenance and has no moving par...

Painting with zero VOC paint from Benjamin Moore
Paints, finishes and natural coatings

Choosing safe paints

...That’s a ‘ healthy alternative’ the same way that low-tar cigarettes are. So yes, they are 'healthier', but still dangerous. Zero VOC paints are commonly available now and come in all colours. Keep in mind that the pigments added to colour your paint will often contain VOCs so ask about that as well. You will likely ...

Step by step guide for slab-on-grade home construction
Slab on Grade

Slab-on-grade construction: the ecoHOME A to Z Slab building guide

...that will sit on top of it, as well as the soil conditions where the slab will be poured. Always consult an engineer before beginning construction as it's almost certain that you'll need one to stamp your drawings to get your foundations through Code. Frost Protected Shallow Foundation or FPSF insulation design det...

White pine floors finished with Rubio Monocoat, a zero VOC durable oil
Flooring and stairs

Sanding your own wood floors

...that you've got all the scratches from the pass before . Once you've done a 120 grit pass, for a really smooth surface you can wet it (that brings up all the fibers) then wait for it to dry and do a quick pass with a 120 screen. The golden rule is that if you can see marks, swirls and scratches, keep going, move a grad...

Building a Passive House that's LEED Certified too - an Owner's Tale
Passive House

An owner/builder's account of building a Passive House

...that met the performance targets we needed were triple-glazed units made in Ireland (R-7 to R-9). Installation proved a bit more challenging than usual, as they’re so soundproof that carpenters on opposite sides of the window had to literally shout to hear one another. Building a passive house that's also LEED cert...

Real estate

Evaluating a home before purchase: how to recognize value and potential problems

...walls. Sometimes walls in mechanical areas aren't finished so see if there is any place you can get a look at what might be going on behind the drywall. Learn about durable basement construction here. Potential for flooding: There are a few factors that will affect risk here - soil type, topography, landscape design,...

How to Choose between an HRV and ERV system

Choosing between an HRV and an ERV

...that sufficient cold dry air seeped in to meet the needs of occupants, and ensure homes had no moisture damage. These houses were said to 'breathe', but that would be like breathing through your skin instead of through your nose. In a cold climate zone, it meant that cold, dry winter air would need to be warmed as we...

Moving to the Countryside - How to make it Work
Lifestyle, location and commuting

Moving to the countryside? Here's how that can work...

...that could put a significant burden on greenbelts and small towns surrounding large urban centers, and that is from people looking for homes outside of the city as they persue a dream to move to the country. A recent BOXpoll™ study conducted by Pitney Bowes revealed that one third of Americans are considering moving ...