Zero carbon / Guides

Passive House certification - PHI or PHIUS? The Spring House Passive House
Passive House

Everything you need to know about Passive House certification

...Zero, Zero Energy, Novoclimat, Energy Star, Living Building Challenge all have their raison d’être and were all created with the intention of easing the stress we’re putting on the planet by pushing the industry toward environmentally sound, super-efficient construction. If their objectives are indeed the same, why not...

Swimming Pool Heating - Save energy & money & be Eco-friendly as possible Tips
Natural swimming pools and ponds

Heating a Swimming Pool - Top 10 Cost-Efficient & Eco-friendly ways to heat a pool

...zero rate. Excellent for safety and efficiency, but maybe not so good for the environment due to their extensive use of vinyl as a construction material. (see here) How good an eco-friendly option are bubble type roll up pool covers? Another type of pool cover or blanket which is much more affordable, but with n...

ICF Block Construction - The Definitive History of ICFs from 1932 to 2022 © R j
Concrete and masonry

The definitive history of ICF blocks and ICF construction

...carbon footprint of concrete - or how in 2021 there is a race on to develop low or carbon negative concrete products... but we digress! Concrete forming has it's origins in history with the Romans - before the days of iCF - behold the spectacular dome in the Parthenon ! To achieve this amazing feat of early c...

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?

...Zero Energy and high-performance homes is consistently making the most of Passive Solar Gain , having a home where each day starts with fogged over windows is absolutely a huge detriment. A hidden effect of condensation on house windows is that once the sun does come up, which could and should be heating our high perfo...

MDF Formaldehyde Free Alternatives - Made from Rice Stalks
Healthy indoor air quality

The formaldehyde-free MDF non-toxic alternative made of natural rice-stalks

...carbon (acts as carbon storage), having a positive impact on the fight against climate change, of which the building industry is a leading contributor to. Disposing of leftover rice stalks after harvest can be a big environmental problem as fields are often flooded to speed up the rotting process, which not only cons...

Hemp fibreboard and Hemp insulation - the Green Building choice
Wood and organic materials

Hemp building supplies

...carbon sequestering capabilities. By the time it is ready to harvest, one ton of hemp will have sequestered an average of 1.62 tons of CO2. Carbon is then stored for the entire lifecycle of the material. From a health perspective, unless you intentionally source a healthy alternative, most forms of sheet stock such a...

Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

A Toronto Off-grid home 20 years later; how did it fare? How could it be optimized?

...carbon filters), water passes through a Waterloo Biofilter . The system is designed to treat 600 litres of rainwater per day, which is done without using any chemicals. Water is first filtered by charcoal, purified with ultraviolet light, then stored in the underground tank, which is covered with a layer of limestone...

Choosing a building envelope
Wall assemblies - new construction

Choosing a building envelope - starting with the perfect wall

...Zero Energy Homes , Well, a perfect Answer to that Is, first Ask the Right Questions! - After all, what is the best way to get from one place to another? You have to choose between the quickest way, the safest way, the most scenic way or which route has the most gas stations or least amount of hills. So what is the bes...

Ecohome's passively heated Edelweiss House
Efficient home design

Are better insulated homes worth the money?

...carbon emissions, it would also be a painless way to help meet emission reduction targets. That's a win, win, win hat trick. Despite the fact that better-insulated houses would mean more money for builders and owners, our shopping habits force them to build to bare minimum performance requirements to remain competiti...