Waste Reduction

The construction of today’s modern house expends a lot of energy and creates a lot of waste. We’ve worked hard to reduce waste while building the Mill Creek NetZero Home.


Green Door Builders framed the home, and along with building us a very airtight double-walled system, they were extremely conscientious about keeping their waste to a minimum. Here is a picture of 100% of the OSB waste that they created:


(a tiny pile of OSB waste, considering that a 2000+ sq. ft. home was framed with OSB sheathing)

Our LEED inspector was very impressed with this tiny pile.  read more... »

Solar Hot Water (Part 2)



The lessons that I learned from the computer model of our solar hot water system are as follows:

  • insulate the pipes leading from the basement to the collectors to at least R6, preferably R10
  • insulate the storage tank to R50
  • install a 1000 litre storage tank
  • install 3 collectors
  • there is extra heat - install a system to harvest it

We bought the collectors, drainback tank, pipe insulation and other knickknacks from Trimline Design Centre just down the road from the Mill Creek NetZero Home. My builder Peter was very impressed with the clever, simple design of the flat plat collectors that Trimline manufactures. Yes, that’s right, they manufacture solar hot water collectors right here in Edmonton!



(schematic of the MCNZH solar hot water system)  read more... »

MCNZH - Progress (part 6) - concrete floors, counter tops, drywall, wood burning stove


(Pouring concrete, main floor, MCNZH)

A lot has been achieved in the three months since my last progress report.  read more... »

Saint Andrew's United Church Steps Up



People all over Edmonton are waking up to the fact that we’re in the midst of an environmental crisis. It’s good to remember this once in a while, as we go about life in this city of the one driver per car. Some good citizens at Saint Andrew’s United Church are trying to make a difference. They’ve paid some attention to their church building “through regulated use of more efficient heating, installation of low-flush toilets and replacing doors and windows with more energy-conserving models”.  Now they’re trying to reduce the amount of single-occupancy church commuters through Operation Carpool, “a program designed to help our congregation reduce emissions and fuel consumption by having fewer cars pull into our parking lot on Sundays”.

They’re also keen to share their knowledge through “offering tours and workshops to other churches and non-profit groups”.

We’ve started a new section here at Green Edmonton called “Initiatives”. It will highlight and document organizations that are making concerted efforts in the right direction. Congratulations to Saint Andrew’s Church for their positive initiative.