What is building envelope / Guides

Built to ENDURE: the Net Zero Heat Kenogami House
Efficient home design

The Kenogami House: designed to ENDURE

...building, how energy efficient a building is largely depends on the building envelope. It controls heat loss, air leakage and the movement of moisture. What is often omitted from the equation that determines the overall efficiency of a building is the embodied energy of the materials that make up its components. The ...

Leed platinum plaque
Green building certifications

All about green home certification programs & rating systems for USA & Canada

...building envelope (windows, doors, insulation) as well as appliances and energy systems. With this information and a blower door test to determine how airtight your building envelope is, information is fed into energy analysis software called HOT2000 which compares your home with a reference home of similar size in a s...

Slab on grade for a Passive Solar LEED Home insulated by Rockwool © Ecohome
Insulation and soundproofing

Insulating below slab-on-grade floors

...what specification of insulation to use under a slab , It is common to install as little as R5 insulation below slab floors, making that about the weakest point in a building envelope, as walls are generally at least R20 and ceilings R40. There is a misconception that heat rises (hot air rises, but heat travels evenly ...

The high performance almost ZNE Warburg house by bioi - built for under $100,00
Efficient home design

A High Performance Home on a Shoe String Budget (Almost ZNE!)

...is essentially divided into two halves, a public side a private side. With a well-insulated building envelope, high performance mechanical systems and radiant heat in the polished concrete floor, this modest-sized one bedroom house earned the highest EnerGuide rating possible for a home that is not net-zero, a consid...

Why Electric Heating Systems are Best for Sustainable Homes
Heating with electricity

Heating with Electricity - The Best Choice for High Efficiency & Zero Energy Homes?

...is a clean(ish) energy source, but for how long? There is no way to determine the cost of heating with fossil fuels in to the future, or how reliable they will be. So, beyond reducing the carbon footprint of homes to mitigate the effects of climate change, there is still the issue of what is the most affordable heati...

Concrete, wood and steel structures compared - Timber Frame wins!
Materials and resources

How wood structures compare to steel and concrete for Carbon Footprint

...is legitimate. Indeed, a cut tree will no longer produce oxygen. This is where sustainable forest management is very important. Wood is an abundant and renewable resource, especially here in Canada, but it is important to know how to use it intelligently. The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) standard is there to iden...

Bike lanes in Vancouver
Lifestyle, location and commuting

Vancouver's goal of becoming the Greenest City by 2020

...is depressurized. This allows builders to measure, find and repair any air leaks before construction is completed. While they are a prerequisite for programs like LEED, unfortunately blower door tests are not something required by provincial building codes. When there is a minimum performance requirement in place, ...

Air barriers are essential to a properly functioning wall system
Air and vapour barriers

What is an air barrier?

...envelope should only ever have one vapour barrier, and it goes on the warm side of the insulation. Air barriers on the other hand, can be anywhere in the wall assembly and as plentiful as you like. It is highly unlikely that your air barrier will be flawless, so by all means have a second and a third. This is what is r...

Passive solar heating & cooling in Homes has a long history in USA
Passive solar home design

Passive house and passive solar - free heat for homes

...is great as it draws attention to advanced home building techniques, this is not an elite club you that you should either commit to or feel excluded from. Passive heating and cooling in homes is simply a matter of determining where the sun exposure is, and trying to capture and keep as much of that heat as you can in...

Students at New Frontiers School Board to build LEED home to be donate
LEED Homes

Quebec carpentry students to build LEED house for Habitat for Humanity

...building project, and so far it looks like they will do very well. The design is by no means completed; it is still in the very early stages. The teachers are taking advantage of this opportunity to come up with any and all green features they can think of, all while ensuring this house fits in with its future neighb...

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

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

...is is an incremental improvement in BC provincial building standards designed to lead us towards Net Zero Energy buildings far into the future, but at a pace that won’t freak you out. At least not freak you out too much anyway. What is Energy modelling? This isn’t something that will be done with a tool from your p...