durable

Hmmmm...fir

The old house at 9805 - 84th Avenue was built in 1910, so the property title says. Those were different and amazing times - I'm guessing that most houses had no indoor plumbing, and all heating was done by burning wood or coal in stoves.

As I deconstruct this house to make way for the Mill Creek NetZero Home (MCNZH), I've been encountering a lot of history. For example, when it was originally built, every square inch of the house was covered in 15-foot long, 3.25-inch wide planks of old-growth Douglas-fir.  read more... »

Most Efficient Cooker Ever

This is a thermally insulated pressure cooker. We're not going to buy our way out of the environmental crisis, but certain purchases can make a big difference if they reduce our consumption of fossil fuels.

Pressure and Insulation for Efficiency

Pressure cooking is a super-efficient way to cook. A pressure cooker "can drop the consumption [of energy] by ... 68 percent ... compared to a flat-bottomed pot" (Stoyke, 2007, p. 80). It's so efficient because when it's under pressure, water can boil at a much higher temperature (about 120 degree Celcius), which makes the food cook faster.  read more... »

Flex House (part 1)

MCNZH, First Floor

We have a bad habit in North America of not planning for the future. In our built environment, one way in which this habit manifests itself is disposable buildings. Tearing down a building after 30 years, a practice that would shock most Europeans, is completely normal here. We need to change this mindset.  read more... »

Reuse is the second "R"

I've never understood people who buy new books. Even before I became concerned about the earth's death spiral, I just didn't understand why someone would pay $20 for a book that they could borrow for free from the library.  read more... »