Where to buy wood / Guides

Is EPS foam eco-friendly? Exterior home insulation rigid foam panels
Insulation and soundproofing

Does plastic foam or Styrofoam insulation have a place in green building?

...to fly your family to your in-laws to argue over Thanksgiving dinner. That is a totally arbitrary and baseless statement in case you think I don’t know; maybe your in-laws live around the corner. I just like to get a little saucy when I crop-dust my fellow green builders with a contentious topic. If we were able to f...

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

How to build high performance homes with less lumber

...wood? Given the skyrocketing cost of lumber in 2021, we think it’s the perfect time to consider more affordable ways to frame and insulate homes. Below are some alternative wall systems - most of which we think are already improvements to standard construction - it’s just easier to get builders to make the switch now...

Greenhouse Construction for Cold Climates
Greenhouses and Sunrooms / Solariums

How to build a greenhouse in a cold climate

...to bring in fresh dry air and to avoid overheating. Growing season: There is no heating system, so its use is currently limited to the summer months, from the first week of June to as late as mid-October. But the couple would like to add a heat source of some kind to extend the functional use to three seasons. Ty...

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

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

...where words are unable to explain”. Overall, the goal is to embrace nature and the shapes that come with it. Implementing Biophilic design into our homes and workplaces has profound health and economic benefits. Not to mention (again) it gives us an amazing sense of calmness, mental restoration, and improved producti...

How radiant floors work
Delivery: radiant, forced-air and decentralized

How to design for thermal comfort in a home

...towards high-performance (experience with Passive House practices is a bonus), and selecting a general contractor who won't clash with your designer and try to talk you into their own favourite practices. Let the designers design and the builders build. So that's how to design a home for human comfort, to learn how t...

Installing foam panel insulation, which is best?
Insulation and soundproofing

Rigid insulation panels: which ones to use for different applications

...to whether or not this poses a significant risk to health doesn't seem to be based on any hard facts or testing. We'd be really interested to find any verifiable sources for EPS chemical off-gassing testing - if you find any please post them to the comments section below - as we are starting to think that EPS foam may ...

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

Resilient design features for new home construction

...wood is fairly easy to come by, along with manufactured pressed-wood logs that can be found at most hardware stores. Manually-operated pellet stoves: Most pellet stoves require power to feed the hopper. You could rig up a small PV solar panel to run it; optionally, there are a couple of models of pellet stove that do...

Carpenter ants are a common pest and nuisance to get rid of in homes
Pest control

Removing insects and rodents from your home, safely & humanely (by preference)

...to go buy and no poisons to introduce to your home. You can see how well your trap is doing, and if you’re a Buddhist, you can catch and release. No harm, no foul. The trap needs to be changed somewhat regularly so it doesn’t get moldy, and left too long it will turn into an incubator for new larvae. A common way f...

Top Tips for Getting a House Ready for Winter
Wall assemblies - renovation

Winter preparation for your home - are you ready for the cold?

...to install windows properly so they don't leak air Air leaks are easiest to find when it's cold and windy outside, so take advantage of those times to do some troubleshooting. Be sure to get the right caulking for the surfaces you are attempting to seal - be it wood, plastic, metal or stone. Different products bond t...

Solar Air Heating Panels for Homes - How to Build DIY
Solar thermal collectors

All about solar air heaters - DIY or purchased

...torage, you will likely need an additional heat source like high efficiency wood-burning stoves or fireplaces , or if off-grid an electric-free wood pellet stove . Storing solar heat (thermal batteries): If you incorporate thermal mass into a home to store and release heat , you can distribute the heat collected ov...

Renovate, Remodel or Rebuild? How to choose which is Best for Homes
Wall assemblies - renovation

Should I be renovating my home or tearing it down & rebuilding?

...where I wanted to live. I come from a sentimental DNA strain that cherishes our family history, so for the longest time, the only thing I could envision was restoring our family holiday-home to its former glory. That’s what led to the ‘first’ final decision I made; I was going to fix the house up and keep the dream a...