What is an ERV / 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

...ishes and clothes. This system currently provides 100% of our domestic hot water needs, and this is without skimping on usage." Regarding winter, Alain anticipates that "the lower angle of the winter sun will increase the efficiency of the solar panels on cold, sunny days, and when the heat pump is installed this ass...

HEPA filters & SMART Air Filters catch airborne dust, pollen, allergens, viruses
Healthy indoor air quality

Buying guide for home air filters in furnaces - HEPA, SMART or Regular?

...ange of permanent and washable furnace filters? See here for details and cost. We also found this US manufactured washable filter that's had full testing and seems good quality - watch out for our video review coming soon! What is a MERV rating on air filters? MERV is an air filter rating system that stands for Max...

BC Energy Step Code - Builder Design Guide &  Requirements explained
Building codes

The new BC energy step code: builder design guide & requirements explained - Vancouver

...and therefore lower maintenance and repair costs). Quality of life will be improved as buildings will have greater thermal comfort for occupants , have less sound transmission and cleaner air quality. This also means properties with greater rental or resale value . So that gives you an understanding of what the n...

Are Laminate Countertops Good for Sustainable Green Counters in Homes?
Interiors

Are laminate countertops good for a sustainable green home?

...an be manufactured from dicyandiamide, hydrogen cyanide, or urea . Modern commercial production of melamine usually employs urea as a starting material. Urea is broken down to cyanuric acid, which then can be reacted to form melamine. Traditionally (and this is where individual manufacturer's processes can make things ...

Healthy Home Offices - Natural Biophilic Design Ideas
Interior design and furnishing

How do you create a healthy home office? With Biophilic Interior Design

...is a common misconception that plants can act as indoor air filters, that simply isn’t the case as you would need a veritable jungle in your living room to have such an effect. So, keep plants for the aesthetic and mood enhancing aspects, but don’t count on it to clean air. Read more here to find out if plants clean in...

Poly vapour barriers in air conditioned houses can cause mold and rot
Healthy indoor air quality

Why you should Never Install Air-Con in a Home with a Vapor Barrier

...is the answer to not insulate? No, there isn't enough energy for that. Is the answer to not use composite wood materials? No, there aren't enough trees for that. What we need to do is acknowledge these changes, and design walls to handle moisture effectively. As most new North American homes are now e...

Air-heated radiant concrete floor
Delivery: radiant, forced-air and decentralized

Air-heated radiant floors

...and it is not an expensive upgrade. Can air-heated radiant floors deliver enough heat? Yes, they can. While it is true that much more heat can be transported by water than air, that doesn’t mean there isn’t enough. More power can be delivered by a Boeing jet engine than a 4-cylinder Toyota engine, but if you were p...

Preventing radon gas in homes starts with testing for radon - the only sure way
Radon in Homes - Mitigation

Radon Gas Awareness - Up to 10% of North American homes tested have unsafe radon levels

...any unresolved issues which could result in severe and immediate health problems, and even death" Radon, where does it come from & what is safe? Radon gas is a by-product of decomposing uranium in rocks and soil , and homes in all regions across North America are at risk because there is always some amount in the r...

Earthship in Taos, New Mexico, shame they don't work in cold climates
Concept and design

Do Earthships work in cold climates?

...and. You can still harvest rainwater that falls on your roof, all that takes is a rain barrel, and an outdoor garden to make great use of it. 5. House Dimension: The shape of an Earthship is typically very narrow and very long. This is by no means an optimal shape for material conservation or energy conserv...

Correctly installed Triple pane south facing windows on Ecohome's Demo House
Windows and doors

Installing doors & windows for the best performance in high efficiency homes, LEED & Passive House

...is certain, water only runs downhill - unless that is it has a reason to do otherwise. When installing windows and doors the first basic rule is to "think like water" - ensure that all openings are flashed and taped appropriately and to code so that water that wants to run downhill can do so rather than accumulate and ...

Passive House certification - PHI or PHIUS? The Spring House Passive House
Passive House

Everything you need to know about Passive House certification

...and PHIUS (Passive House Institute US) and for Canada there is Passive House Canada and the Canadian Passive House Institute . This guide aims to describe the origins of Passive House certification , which can be accredited to a very futuristic Passive Solar heating design home built in the 1970's in Saskatchewan by a ...