What is an R value / Guides

R values and insulation performance
Efficient home design

Understanding thermal performance

...r and higher temperatures the performance decreases dramatically. Importantly, it is at these more extreme temperatures [i.e. farther away from interior tempera...

Energy modeling simulation of heat loss through thermal bridging
Efficient home design

What is a thermal bridge and why is it so important to break it?

...r an engineer to identify a thermal bridge in a home, run your hand along your walls on a really cold day and they will find you. This isn't only an issue of ...

Off grid, passively heated and cooled house in the Gatineau Hills, Que
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off grid living blog, part 2: passively heated, this house in Quebec aims for LEED certification

...ree kilometers from the nearest paved road and hydro pole, so truly off-grid, Craig Anderson and France-Pascale Ménard had no option but to go for extreme effic...

Choosing a building envelope
Wall assemblies - new construction

Choosing a building envelope - starting with the perfect wall

...r control layer, or vapor barrier : Although commonly known as a 'vapour barrier' a better term to use would be a vapour retarder. A moisture control barrier ...

Roxul mineral wool batt insulation in LEED Homes
Insulation and soundproofing

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

...r barrier and air barrier. Blowing agents are 1430 times worse than carbon dioxide, exponentially worse than EPS. For ecological reasons rather than performan...

How to Choose between an HRV and ERV system

Choosing between an HRV and an ERV

...an HRV and an ERV? How much fresh air is required in homes and the best way to provide it are important issues. Energy recovery from exhaust air is becomi...

heat pumps in tandem with heat pump hot water tanks
Hot water

Increased efficiency with heat pumps working in tandem

...ratio of the first heat pump is transferred to the water heater. And the more 'free' heat you have in winter (solar gains and general occupancy) the more effi...

Wood frame Triple-glazed, argon-filled windows in the Ecohome Demo House
Windows and doors

Choosing windows - which window frame? wood v aluminum v vinyl

...rable and sturdy windows, we are referring to products and construction that are more resistant to pressure and warping due to temperature changes, which ultima...

How to choose Triple pane, high performance windows
Windows and doors

The best tips for buying windows

...rotected from the sun, which is a simple exercise in geometry in designing roof overhangs and the like. As a general rule, cold winters warrant triple-pane wind...

Ice dams on roofs & how to fix them
Roof assemblies - renovation

What causes ice dams and how to fix them

...rticularly at junctions where the roof and walls meet. This problem is most notable with low-sloped roofs and short overhangs. As heat is transferred through fr...

Better Basement Design on basement walls prevents mold and midlew
Healthy indoor air quality

Basement renovations: How to prevent mold when finishing basements

...rious structural problems or plan to excavate for other reasons, that can be an enormous extra cost for an interior renovation project. It is much more affordab...