natural building products / Guides

Wood frame Triple-glazed, argon-filled windows in the Ecohome Demo House
Windows and doors

Choosing windows - which window frame? wood v aluminum v vinyl

...products and construction that are more resistant to pressure and warping due to temperature changes, which ultimately determines the life expectancy of your windows. Wood Windows: Pros : Wood is a natural, renewable resource and has comparatively good insulation value; it can be finished naturally or with any pa...

Naugler House: the most energy efficient Passive House design in New Brunswick
Efficient home design

New Brunswick's most energy efficient home is Passive House designed

...building products as possible. Keeping to these goals helped in making all the hard decisions that come through the planning process. Using the Passive House Planning Package [PHPP] software to ensure the home would achieve the Passive House Standard, we designed the envelope and chose our building materials care...

Finished basements can lead to mold and mildew
Healthy indoor air quality

Why are basements moldy? How to fix or Prevent a Moldy Basement

...Building Science Corporation has to say about this type of basement wall assembly - "The experience by the Building Science Consortium with these two approaches has been bad. The Building Science Consortium has concluded that these two approaches are unsuitable for use by the home building industry due to serious pro...

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

Everything you need to know about Passive House certification

...building grows, so dividing the air leakage by the volume as opposed to the surface of the building makes it far easier for bigger buildings to achieve the standard. The Passive House movement is, in essence, an ecological one, so if buildings are not going to be measured by the same yardstick, should it not favour tho...

Interior solid pine door
Doors and trim

Interior finishing

...natural. They can be finished naturally with oils or paints. Cons : They are more expensive than the other door types cited above. And despite the fact that we are surrounded by forests, a lot of our finished wood products are made in China, with Canadian wood. So if possible try to shop local, it’s more sustainable ...

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

...building” continues to grow even in the midst of a major economic downturn. ICF producers demonstrate how the attributes of their building systems – energy-conserving, easy & fast installation, durability, and extremely low construction waste - make them a contender as a green building material. Though ICF building sta...

Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

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

...building techniques that would ensure safer indoor-air quality for occupants. To meet those stated goals, ventilation air is controlled at the source by a continuously operating energy recovery ventilation system (ERV) that filters pollutants. All building materials were carefully selected to prevent any interior s...

Green cleaning products
Healthy indoor air quality

6 easy steps to detoxify your home

...natural fragrances on home air quality. 5.) Open your windows. Did you know that the inside of a home generally has three to four times the dangerous pollutants and small particles of the outside world. Building materials, finishes, carpets, furniture and computers can all off-gas in our homes for years . Let fresh a...

Cutting a 110 year old dying pine tree.
Recycled and Reclaimed Materials

The rise of urban logging

...building site. The whole process of building this backyard studio (which Brian and Colleen have dubbed the treehouse) has drawn in many curious and inspired neighbours who have walked away with bits of this locally infamous tree for their own projects. Boards stacked for air drying © Brian Blak Reclaiming mat...

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

Hemp building supplies

...building product, most notably as hemp-batt insulation , and also hemp boards for cabinetry. Why choose hemp building materials? The growing and harvesting of hemp is a far more sustainable process than harvesting wood for use as building products, due to the short time period in which a crop is ready to harvest. T...

Plastic in landfill
Recycled and Reclaimed Materials

Turning Waste Plastic Into useable Fuel

...products including running the processor itself which uses its own off-gases as fuel (approximately 10-12% of process output). The emissions documented by CRA (carbon footprint analysis) from the P2O stack test were lower than what would be produced by the same test on a natural gas furnace of similar size. John ...