natural building products / Guides

Crawl Spaces or Slab on Grade Foundations?
Foundations and Basements

Slab on grade or crawlspaces, which is better?

...building a raft slab we saved money by not requiring any soil remediation. Read more about our Wakefield house solar air heated slab floor here . What’s cheaper to build – a slab on grade or a crawlspace? A slab is cheaper . A crawl space is like building a mini (and dysfunctional) basement, so you get most of the ...

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

How to build high performance homes with less lumber

...building homes with less lumber, find more about green home construction and choosing sustainable and healthy building materials in the pages below and in the Ecohome Green Building Guide pages . How to design a home for thermal comfort and energy efficiency The best lumber choices for timber frame construc...

Deck Construction, 10 Top Tips for Building Decks
Decks, porches and gazebos

Building a deck ? 10 Tips to make your deck last longer

...building Deck Surfaces - Wood or Composite: Cedar deck and stairs under construction - natural wood makes a beautiful finish but will need maintenance Pressure treated wood is far less toxic than it was in years past for building a deck outside , but it's still not as benign as natural wood. It could in theory ...

Pallet beds are trending but pallets can be toxic so be careful
Recycled and Reclaimed Materials

Is it safe to build beds or furniture with shipping pallets?

...building so you don’t unknowingly contaminate the air quality in the home . How to finding safe shipping pallets for building The first indication if a pallet is wise to reclaim for building or best left alone, is how clean they are . Stains on pallets may be from food, or from toxic substances. It can be difficult...

How to Vent Roofs - the Methods, Vent Types, Fans
Walls and Roofs

Why Roofs need to be ventilated and how to ventilate a roof properly

...natural roof ventilation enough? Natural roof ventilation is generally sufficient for removing moisture from attics in colder climates . Air circulates naturally due to temperature differences in the roof, so there is generally no need for mechanical or electrically assisted ventilation. This is only true of course i...

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

Rigid insulation panels: which ones to use for different applications

...products we're comparing here are all petroleum-based, but their characteristics, performance and ecological impacts vary significantly. Alternatively, depending on application and budget, you could always choose natural Green Insulation Products, Like Hemp Insulation panels or Batt Insulation or mineral wool - demonst...

Net Zero Energy Homes Pilot Project Canada
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Natural Resources Canada launches net zero energy pilot project

...building envelope products, technologies, and techniques that can be used to achieve net zero energy performance. Participants who are successful through the request for proposals process will also have access to modeling support from NRCan simulation experts for technologies that cannot be modelled using HOT2000. Th...

What to do with old coffee grounds
Lifestyle and environment

Here is what old coffee grounds are good for - including skin care !

...natural home remedies and green lifestyle tips in the the following pages: How to make your own natural paint Tru Earth Eco Strip Laundry detergent Growing Food at Home in Small Spaces - 7 Top Tips Why you should never use coffee grounds in your garden! Find more about green living and gre...

Efficient home design

Phase change building materials - natural heat storage in buildings

...building science makes mundane tasks like folding laundry a joy. This particular episode was about phase change building materials (PCMs) and how they can be incorporated into buildings to improve energy-efficiency by harnessing a naturally-occurring physical reality, 'the melting point'. When looking for commerciall...

Polished concrete floors and counters
Paints, finishes and natural coatings

Finishing concrete floors with silicate densifiers

...products and manufacturers will have specific instructions for the application of their products, so we won't get into too great detail here. But the short story is - a day or so after completing the densifier, you can apply a final sealer. Normally you would just apply it to the floor and buff it with a high-speed bur...

Home made DIY laundry detergent from buckeyes / horse chestnuts
Lifestyle and environment

How to make Eco-friendly DIY laundry soap from Buckeyes / Horse Chestnuts

...building materials , we are always happy to share clever natural cleaning product ideas that keep unnecessary toxins and perfumes out of homes . Not long ago we featured Tru-Earth eco strips with natural ingredients and greatly reduced packaging, but for the real enthusiasts, here is how to make your own laundry soap w...