What makes a home green / Guides

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

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

...all space, where a normal home is estimated anywhere from $16 to $25 per square foot. And at those prices, you are lucky to see a wall that performs half as well as straw. Normal walls have a 'true' R value of approximately R13 to R16 when you factor in all the wood that makes up the frame . In comparison, a straw ba...

E-bikes and electric scooters- green transportation
Lifestyle, location and commuting

Why you should get an E-bike now

...antastic commuter option, because you can now get to work without arriving red-faced and dripping in sweat. In Canada all provinces enacted the federal regulations and now electric cycles that are limited to 32km/h, have motor not exciting nominal power of 500W, and are equipped with pedals are road legal across Canada...

Tesla Solar Roof shingles
Solar photovoltaic

The Tesla Solar Roof: we love the hype, but we'd like to see some actual facts.

...apacity Powerwall 2 . What we like about Tesla's Solar Roof: Solar Roof © Tesla Almost all solar panels are silica based, Tesla shingles are quartz based, which makes them more efficient and more durable. A wide product range mimics the look of terra cotta roof coverings, slate, a smooth glassy look and e...

Laneway house by Lanefab Design/Build
Interior design and furnishing

Interior furnishings & decor

...and bedding A standard mattress can contain and release many toxins, found in the glues, foams, pesticides, fire-retardants and chemicals that prevent staining. And like so many products throughout our homes, they will be heavily laden with formaldehyde. In many areas fire-retardants are mandated by law, a law whic...

Condensation on windows in our homes - why is it there? - how to stop it?
Walls and Roofs

Condensation on windows is a pain but is it a problem & how to stop it?

...ant to carefully seal air-barriers in homes , paying special attention to joins and breaks in the membranes – especially where secondary trades have passed after air-barriers were fitted - and by using specialist sealing tape that stays stuck down properly. Last but not least – if you live in a cold climate area that...

Frost in Attics: What causes Attic Ice? How to Fix it?
Roof assemblies - renovation

Why is there frost in my attic? Is ice in roofs a problem & How do I stop it?

...ask. Important to note as well, because it will likely come up if engaging contractors to help, that spray foam will also work to seal air leaks and add insulation. In the unfortunate situation of having no air barrier but a truss system that makes a poly air barrier impossible to install from above, spray foam may b...

Frost Heave Prevention Helps Stop Frost Heaving Breaking up Home Foundations
New foundations and slab-on-grade

What causes Frost Heave? Preventing frost heaving is down to good foundation design

...makes an excellent base. Sand works as well; it takes a layer of about 4 to 6 inches to be safe. As mentioned above, a slab on grade is not at any greater risk of frost heave than a basement, full stop. Read more here – Choosing between a slab on grade and a basement . You can build a basement right or wrong, you can...

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

The Kenogami House: designed to ENDURE

...ants as a priority. A home must be relatively simple and affordable to occupy, operate and maintain. Features: Ease of access to mechanical components for routine maintenance Designed for human comfort and ease of use. Exceptional indoor air quality Natural lighting Covered parking and entrances Materia...

Canada's first LEED V4 Platinum certified home - The Edelweiss House
LEED Homes

Canada's first LEED V4 Platinum house - An EcoHome project checklist

...ally hard to say; there are so many variables and criteria to consider. Eidelweiss is a simply designed yet elegant Scandanavian feel, passively heated slab-on-grade rancher capable of housing a family of 4 comfortably in a sustainably sized home, without resorting to building a Tiny House . And best of all, it was d...

Vapor retarder latex primer instead of polyethylene sheet
Air and vapour barriers

Replacing polyethylene vapour barriers with latex paint vapor control

...atic extremes, we should find a solution that at least takes them both into account. The vast majority of Americans & Canadians live in a temperate climate, so for most of us a vapour barrier (or more accurately semi-permeable vapor retarder) that allows a certain amount of water vapour to pass through a wall could a...

Lasagna Gardening - How to Build an Easy Vegetable Garden
Food production

Lasagna gardening - the easiest vegetable garden at home?

...ain papers and cardboard contain chemicals, heavy metals and plastics Lasagna Garden size is Limited. It simply would not be practical to try to do an entire field in the lasagna garden method. In certain climates lasagna gardening encourages pests – slugs, snails, vermin, snakes and even alligators can all nest in...