ECOHOUSE CANADA 2 - Spring  2013

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The overlooked
and essential component
of building envelopes

Air barriers and vapour barriers are not the same thing. Which one is more important would probably  surprise most builders.
While many variables are at play that affect actual numbers, building scientists estimate that as much as 100 times more water vapour can be carried out through walls by air leakage than will be carried out by vapour diffusion. That makes air barriers 100 times more important than vapour barriers. So why is no one talking about them? Because we are too busy talking about vapour barriers.

By Mike Reynolds     Read more



Energy efficiency from the foundation up

The house at Black Bank Hill is situated in Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment region on a high plateau overlooking the surrounding landscape. The owners – a retired couple who aim to live off the land – wanted a house that is energy efficient, comfortable, low maintenance, modest in size, and with a connection to place and the surrounding agricultural landscape.

By Christine Lolley   Read More



Compact design offers space, light and air

This 1-1/2 storey, 750 square foot laneway house is located in the centre of Vancouver in a residential neighbourhood that is a five-minute walk to one of the new Canada Line rapid transit stations. The house has one bedroom, one bathroom, full open kitchen/living arrangement, as well as an upper loft space and attached garage. The laneway was built with the long-term plan of becoming a permanent residence for the owners’ mother.

By Brian Billingsley   Read more



Inspired by the Tiny House Movement, Chris and Malissa Tack designed a 140 Square foot home that sits on a 7’ x 20’ trailer bed. This traditional
looking home with gable roof and dormers just happens to be as mobile as it is beautiful.

By Hillary Hosta    Read more


80-year old siding helps modern house meld into historic neighbourhood

The Zen Barn is an infill home built in an historic and eclectic Ottawa neighbourhood. The owners wanted to balance their modern taste with a subtle integration of the house into the community.

By James Hawley    Read more