durable

Preserving Original Wood Windows While Improving Their Insulation Value

 

dining room window

Note from Conrad:This is a guest post by fellow Edmontonian Alice Harkness. Thanks for your excellent work Alice!

I experimented last winter with a very simple way of upgrading the insulation value of the beautiful original windows of my house: I added a third, Low-E glaze between the double hung window and the storm window.

Method

There is a 3/4 inch thick space inside the storm window created by the stop (the strip of wood that serves as the outside edge of the channel for the upper double hung window, and backing for the storm). Here’s what I did:  read more... »

Metal Roof

I've always wanted to install a metal roof on the Mill Creek NetZero Home. The installation is almost complete now, and I'm very pleased with the sharp look of the roof. Style wasn't our main motivation for choosing to go with metal though.  read more... »

MCNZH - Flex House (Part 2)

MCNZH, Second Floor. As built on the left, and "flexing" on the right.

Durability is absolutely key to sustainability. Everything we buy, every precious drop of fossil fuel that we burn, should be put to best use by creating as much value from it for as long as possible.

I see no reason why the Mill Creek NetZero Home (MCNZH) can't stand for hundreds of years. To be as useful as possible during its long lifetime, we designed it to flex with the changing needs of its occupants.  read more... »

Solar Retrofit - Part 4: High Efficiency Heating & Domestic Hot Water

My previous post regarding the problems with Taylor Munro Energy Systems was very negative.  While the problems with TMES are still not resolved, I'd like to focus this posting on a part of my renovation that worked really well:  The high efficency boiler and the heating system.  

There are three main components to the system: 1) a source of heat: the boiler, 2) something to replace my furnace: a fan coil and 3) a domestic hot water (DHW) tank that runs off the boiler.  In addition, I've done a retrofit of radiant floor heating.  This step is optional and was done to allow zone heating of different areas of the house.

 read more... »