Paints & Finishes

Safe, healthy and durable paints and surface finishes

Guide

Polished concrete floors and counters

Finishing concrete floors with silicate densifiers

Non-toxic and durable finish for polished concrete floors, especially when using natural beeswax floor polishes for the Eco-friendly Green Building choice for finishing a concrete floor beautifully.… Polished concrete floors are extremely durable and non-toxic; silicate-based densifiers keep them that way and make it …

90 year old red pine refinished with zero VOC floor oil

How to find a healthier wood finish

A wood floor will need to be sealed and protected but many products have a detrimental effect on air quality as they still contain VOC's which are best avoided if possible.… Is Polyurethane floor seal non-toxic? In North America, polyurethane varnish is used almost exclusively as a wood floor finish, but the majority …

Painting with zero VOC paint from Benjamin Moore

Choosing safe paints

Choosing zero VOC paints and finishes for your home ensures safer indoor air quality.… There is a current trend towards limiting the production of solvent-based paints, replacing them with solvent-free or water-based paints. The move towards safe paint has led to a noticeable improvement in indoor air quality since th…

Eco-friendly & Healthy Flooring is best for Green Homes

Eco-Friendly Flooring material options for Green-Homes

Find healthy and durable flooring that is right for you. The following is list of the pros and cons, durability, cost and lifespan of various flooring materials.… The floors you choose really create the atmosphere in your home and give it its identity. The first considerations should be to choose a durable and non-tox…

White pine floors finished with Rubio Monocoat, a zero VOC durable oil

Sanding your own wood floors

This is one place where you can safely save some money. Sanding wood floors is a time consuming but relatively easy procedure.… Sanding wood floors & refinishing yourself will definitely save money, and even an inexperienced homeowner can likely do a better job than the lowest bidding handyperson who quotes on it. Onc…

Balanced insulation levels in a green home

Insulation in Green Home Building, a balanced approach to putting it where it does the most good

Homes are often over-insulated in some parts and relatively under-insulated others. Balanced insulation when building a Green Home means applying your insulation dollars where they are most needed.… Home Insulation, How Much do I need & Where? Think of the heat in your home as if it were water behind a dam, and that i…

A Vancouver laneway house

Flexible house design

A well-constructed home will stand long enough to see many families come and go in its lifetime, and they won't all have the same needs. When drawing floor plans, flexible design can make future changes easier.… Design basics for flexible housing: Depending on the stage you are at in your life, you might have kids, th…

Slab on grade or a foundation and basement?

Choosing between a slab-on-grade or a foundation and basement

Outlining the benefits & drawbacks of slab-on-grade construction compared to basement foundations - As the first step of home design is deciding which foundations to build it on!… Is a concrete basement or an insulated slab on grade the best foundation choice?  Traditionally, home construction often starts with a conc…

Choosing a building envelope

Choosing a building envelope - starting with the perfect wall

When it comes to choosing a building envelope there are many variables to consider: what climate zone you're building in, performance, durability, health, comfort, and of course, cost.… What is the best wall system for a home?  We're frequently asked which is the perfect wall system for high-performance LEED, Passive …

Finished basements can lead to mold and mildew

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

Basement mold and mildew can easily be avoided with better designed walls. Common building practices trap moisture in wall assemblies preventing them from drying.… That musty, moldy basement smell that we have come to accept as unavoidable, is actually quite avoidable. The solution is really quite simple - stop buildi…

Better Basement Design on basement walls prevents mold and midlew

Basement renovations: How to prevent mold when finishing basements

Why are basements moldy? Because we build walls so they can't dry. Simple changes in wall design will result in mould-free durable basements.… Basements don't have to be moldy, that is the first thing to realize. It's easy to build a basement better, or to finish an existing basement correctly, we just need to realize…

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