A residential semi-detached urban infill on a small east/west-oriented lot, with each living unit having three bedrooms plus study and attached garage, is a typical redevelopment in an established Ottawa neighbourhood. With one unit retained by the Developer/Owner/Architect and the other sold at market price, the project was a careful experimental blend of the sustainability preferences of the Owner versus market pricing realities.
By Gordon Erskine
Continue reading “Clarendon Semis”
Compact house lets nature do the work
Located in a jungle of hip roofs, white vinyl, and pink stucco in East Vancouver, the Passive Narrow House makes green home ownership more affordable through careful planning, use of simple forms, and a combination of inexpensive yet durable materials that reduce maintenance costs. The passive strategies for lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilating run on free solar energy, and the house has the ability to provide rental income of varying amounts based on the family’s changing needs.
By Allison Holden-Pope
Continue reading “Passive Narrow House”
A builder expert’s essentials for a green home or reno
“Green” has been a buzzword over the last few decades. We are bombarded with reality TV shows, websites, magazines and product descriptions that often give conflicting information about their green claims. For builders, sorting through these conflicting claims can be challenging. For home owners, it’s worse. It can be both confusing and discouraging.
By Roy Nandram
Continue reading “Tips from the field”
Big builder pushes the boundaries of green residential development
Great Gulf, one of the country’s largest home builders, is simultaneously concerned with being an innovative, forward-thinking company, and a competitive builder in the residential market. This project in Thorold, Ontario was a leap of faith in a market that has not to date shown much interest in sustainability. Using the existing local design guidelines of a traditional gabled roof design and adapting them for the Active House yielded a multi-functional design that was the basis for an open plan, an abundance of interior daylight, and a house of superior environmental performance.
By Meg Graham
Continue reading “Great Gulf Active House”
Comfort, durability and healthier indoor air
The musty basement smell that we have come to accept as unavoidable is actually quite avoidable. The solution is really very simple – don’t build below grade with walls that were designed for above grade, because they can’t possibly do what you want them to do.
By Mike Reynolds
Continue reading “Building better basements”
Big makeover brings modern look and function
The house is a three-storey flat roof structure with a two-storey addition in the rear. Flat roofs were chosen not only for the modern appearance but for rain water collection and green roof application. The house, with its modern appearance, is appropriately positioned on the site. Set back slightly from its neighbours, the house takes on a more humbled position in the row of houses
BY MARK THOLEN
Continue reading “House C4”
Time for some respect
In 2005, Metric Homes of Carp, Ontario designed and built Canada’s first Energy Star labelled home in Canada. This home was built with dense-packed cellulose as the wall insulation of choice. Their intent was to produce a better built home with a goal of creating “a proper balance between additional efficiency and price such that it would be attractive to future clients “.
By Phillip MacCallum
Continue reading “Insulating walls with dense pack cellulose”
Our web partners at Ecohome.net have recently taken passive heating and cooling to a new level, and released a program called Net Zero Heat [NZH]. It is a rating system unlike most others, as it is also a design service that promotes an entirely new philosophy in home design.
Continue reading “Net Zero Heat”
Whether natural or mechanical, ventilation in homes is a must. Houses are no longer built to leak heat and moisture the way they used to be; we now build them as airtight as we can. This makes mechanical ventilation essential in a high-performance home.
By Denis Boyer
Continue reading “HRVs and ERVs”