If the kitchen truly is – as the saying goes – the heart of the home, then it’s extra important that it be eco-friendly! Kitchens are one of the most overwhelming areas of a house to design or renovate, because
Whenever we tell people about our land one of the first questions they ask is, “How many acres do you have?” Now, 40 acres may not be a lot if you come from a farming family and own a quarter section (160 acres) or
I write a lot on Of Houses and Trees about eco-friendly interior design and decor, but those aspects are really only part of the sustainability package. Of course, what comes first is the building itself. I touched on this topic in my post 5 of Canada’s Most Sustainable Buildings, but one of the coolest things about sustainable design (other than it’s planet-saving powers) is that it’s constantly evolving. New technologies plus new ideas meet and mingle and suddenly an ingenious green product or practice is born. And with another year coming to an end, it’s always inspiring to take a look at current and upcoming innovative sustainable architecture trends. From showing off solar to filling walls with straw – here are 5 of the most innovative trends in sustainable design.
Now more than ever – it’s easy to be green. Companies are putting out more eco-friendly products. Businesses are turning to eco-friendly practices. Governments are bringing about change through incentive programs and new laws. However, for an individual or a family it can still feel pretty overwhelming. This becomes even more true when coupled with an already overwhelming situation like building a new home. So it’s understandable the first question someone asks when considering a green build is – can I afford it?
The answer is – yes!
Aside from Of Houses and Trees, I also write content for a few other architecturally-minded blogs. One subject I’ve written quite a bit about lately is the building material magnesium oxide board (MgO board). If you’ve never heard of it, it’s essentially an eco-friendly drywall alternative. And, of course, as soon as I see the phrase “eco-friendly alternative” I get all giddy and start geeking out. It looks like we’re going to build our Real Life Home next spring. (Fingers crossed!) And I absolutely want to use as many green materials as possible. Not only are environmentally friendly materials good for the planet, but they’re also good for you and your family as they tend to release little to no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into your home nor other narsty chemicals. (Did you know synthetic drywall contains formaldehyde? Yuck.)
Happy 150th birthday Canada! To celebrate our country’s milestone, I’ve put together a list of a few of its most eco-friendly buildings. As far as green countries go, Canada certainly isn’t at the top of the list. But with our government’s shifting priorities and increased public awareness about the impact of unsustainable choices, architects are now designing buildings with the environment in mind.
Interestingly, the current trend in sustainable building isn’t designing structures filled with fancy green technology. Instead it’s about creating smart buildings that don’t need all the bells and whistles. A building’s orientation, amount and quality of windows, square footage and types of materials are all current focuses in sustainable building. So here is a sampling of some of the greenest buildings in Canada. May they be an inspiration to us all!