What is the most durable wall / Guides

Choosing a building envelope
Wall assemblies - new construction

Choosing a building envelope - starting with the perfect wall

...the safest way, the most scenic way or which route has the most gas stations or least amount of hills. So what is the best wall system? That also depends on what you are looking for. What is the most durable wall? What is the most energy efficient wall? What is the most soundproof wall? What is the most afforda...

Alternative wall coverings to drywall
Walls and Roofs

The best alternatives to drywall for finishing interior walls

...wall finish from around the 1940's. Drywall is so common because it is cheap and easy to build with, not to mention that it’s also a durable, fire-resistant and fairly moisture-resistant product that also offers an excellent thermal mass for balancing temperatures in homes. On the downside, as drywall is covered in p...

How to Insulate Exterior Walls from the Outside US Canada Ecohome
Walls and Roofs

The easiest way to insulate walls from the exterior in older homes

...ishing what climate zone you are building in and how the existing wall is built to make sure you are not creating a condensation point at a dangerous place within the wall assembly, or preventing internal moisture from the occasional leak in the exterior skin from running away, so the wall structure can dry out. Wall...

How to Build With Less Wood for Best Performance
Wood and organic materials

How to build high performance homes with less lumber

...the thermal requirements using a bit of foam, but there are durability concerns. Exterior sheathing insulated with foam can trap moisture in walls. Foam is at least a vapor ‘retarder’ (which slows the migration or moisture) or sometimes a vapor ‘barrier’, which stops moisture altogether. That’s why the habit of...

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...

Installing Siding Correctly
Exterior cladding

How to install siding

...walls will more likely ensure that they will get wet and stay wet. The walls that will last the longest are the ones that have been designed to realistically manage moisture and dry out, not those designed to achieve the unachievable. With a few material exceptions of course, for the most part it is okay for walls to g...

How much is Too Much Insulation in my Attic or Walls?
Insulation and soundproofing

How much insulation is too much in attics and walls?

...the most common insulation (Fiberglass batts) and the thickness that fit between the studs. On occasion there are minor improvements made to code requirements, but they are often kept minimal so as not to risk upsetting the building industry and the familiar model of profitability they have established. Some local ...

Insulating a Slab on grade for a Passive Solar LEED Home with Rockwool © Ecohome
Insulation and soundproofing

Insulating below slab-on-grade floors

...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 in all directions) so a lot more heat is lost to the groun...

Ecohome's Kenogami House 'The Most Resilient Home in North America'
Concept and design

Resilient design features for new home construction

...ther predictions coming true, and if there is any consistency it seems to be that the long-term projections are often upgraded in severity from what we may have been told only a few years earlier. It is not hard to find examples in Canada and the rest of the world that show there is an increase in the frequency and s...

Choosing between OSB or Plywood for house sheathing for Roofs, Walls & Floors.
Wood and organic materials

Which is better, OSB or Plywood for Roofs, Walls & Floors?

...the risk of moisture accumulation. What still makes sense today in this advanced world of software modeling is the 'old two thirds rule' which is about putting 2/3rds of your total amount of insulation on the exterior of the sheathing, a formula that is tried and true. It keeps the sheathing warmer, and there is no q...

Pre-fabricated straw bale SIPS panels, an environmental choice
Wall assemblies - new construction

Modern straw bale SIPS construction: high performance, durable, affordable & interesting

...ther protects panels from weather during construction, and the quick installation of finished panels means you can get a roof over them quickly. When I spoke with Chris Magwood about the public perception regarding moisture issues, he had this to say: " We think nothing about putting trees in our walls; straw is the ...