Windows / Guides

Drywall and construction dust
Cleaning and maintenance

Tips for keeping air clean during renovations

...windows open. Seal air vents: At least during the time work is happening, covering vents (unless they are operational) will reduce a build up of dust that will be spread around your house long after construction is complete. Dirty air ducts © Ecohome Material selection: This is less about what you will breath...

Passive home designer Harold Orr, one of the original high performance homes
Passive solar home design

The principal designer of the house that inspired the global Passivhaus movement reflects on the project that started it all.

...Windows: Unfortunately, at the time we built the SCH the best windows were only about R2. These windows were essentially holes in the walls. We placed most of the windows on the South side, and because of their poor Rvalue we installed shutters on the outside of the windows. The large windows on the main floor had ...

Rendering of River District Sustainable housing development In Vancouv
Lifestyle, location and commuting

Vancouver developer leads the way to more sustainable communities

...windows can lead to lower energy costs. One example of a progressive developer is ParkLane Homes based in Vancouver, BC. ParkLane is going above and beyond municipal requirements while developing a 15,000 home development along the Fraser River over the next decade. The community is called the River District , and ...

Electric Heaters - is heating with electric an eco-friendly option?
Heating with electricity

Heating with electricity

...windows, as that is where you will have your greatest heat loss. It is also important that they be installed an inch above floor levels to allow for air intake through the bottom. Electric convection heaters: A convection heater is similar to a baseboard heater, but with a fan attached. So again, there is no diff...

Lifestyle and environment

Resources and getting started

...windows with plastic in winter. These upgrades don’t necessarily have to cost you a lot, you could also consider talking to the landlord about footing the bill for material costs. More and more people are inquiring about utility costs when renting, so making these upgrades increases the value of the property and makes ...

The Affordable Architect-Designed Modern Green prefab 2 Bed kit home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Le Refuge - An Architect-Designed modern Green prefab 2 bed kit home

...windows for natural lighting that can reduced heating costs when oriented for passive solar heat gain . Some kit houses we feature are Passive House ready , and some, like Le Refuge, are built ready to meet the LEED for Homes rating system requirements in terms of energy-efficiency, healthy indoor air quality and the...

What is a Free Home Energy Audit Canada?
Grants and incentives

Free home energy audits in Canada

...windows, and a blower door test to see how much heat loss there is from air leaks . A blower door test identifies air leaks for repair to make homes more energy efficient. Are energy audits free for Canadians? Energy audits for government green home renovation programs are in some cases free , (free, as in pa...

Off-grid leed home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog post 5: appliances, mechanical and other systems

...windows, and doors, but with new high-efficiency construction there is a strong risk of the air getting stale. Our home ended up very tight (see past post here ), so we needed mechanical ventilation. This is accomplished by a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) , which serves two purposes. First, the HRV circulates stale ...

The passive solar home in Lac Kenogami, Quebec
Passive solar home design

Ecohome design wins House of the Year Award from Green Builder® Magazine

...windows". While the Kenogami house does need a minor injection of heat at the coldest moments of winter, for the most part on sunny days it produces far more heat than it needs, leading Alain Hamel to begin work on a phase change thermal battery , to avoid overheating and save excess heat for when it is needed. Mod...

Natural Building Insulation Made of Grass - Eco-friendly, Green
Insulation and soundproofing

Non-toxic natural building insulation made of grass

...windows can indicate a problem , having some safe passive humidity storage is never a bad thing in homes. Have you ever noticed that sometimes a squeaky floor boards get quieter for no apparent reason? Or a drawer is sometimes easier or harder to open? Or… your guitar sounds terrible after a heat wave? Most homes are...

Concrete floors and timber frame as thermal mass
Efficient home design

The pros and cons of thermal mass in buildings

...windows at night to cool a house, it will take longer to release heat if it is stored in tons of dense material. During an extended heat wave, you’ll win for the first couple of days as the cool mass absorbs heat from the air, but you will probably find the average temperature creeping up a little everyday if it's a lo...