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Bird safety grey

Bird Safety

Glass windows reflect foliage and sky, creating the appearance of an inviting place for birds to fly into. Collisions can temporarily stun birds, but are most often deadly. The abundance of glass windows in urban and rural areas means the toll on birds is significant. Safeguarding your windows, whether with screening or netting, can help reduce the number of fatal strikes. Installing external sun shades or awnings to block the reflection of sunlight can also be benefitial.


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Blower Door Testing - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Air-Tightness - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Air-tightness-11

Air-Tightness

Air-Tightness is defined as the resistance to inward or outward air leakage through unintentional leakage points or areas in the building envelope. An airtight building, when combined with an appropriate ventilation strategy will result in lower heating and cooling demands (due to reduced heat loss/gain); will require smaller heating and cooling equipment; will improve the performance of the ventilation system; will reduced the chance of mold and rot because moisture is less likely to enter and become trapped in cavities; and will result in fewer drafts, and thus, increased thermal comfort.

Air-Tightness is measured in Air Changes per Hour (ACH), which is determined by performing a Blower-Door Test, which calculates the volume of air being added to or removed from a building at a specific pressure (50 Pascals).

SUSTAINABLE.TO achieves superior air-tightness by paying extra attention too the application of a continuous air barrier, and making sure gaps are sealed where windows and doors meet walls.


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Lighting - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Lighting

Lighting

Lighting is an essential component of every design. Far from simply illuminating an interior, light can dramatically wash across walls, underline architectural details, or create a strong focal point. Selecting the correct fixture and lighting system also requires considering energy-efficiency, longevity, and overall quality. In collaboration with the lighting consultants at DarkTools, we will be there to assist you every step of the way.

darktools logo

www.darktools.com

4 Carlaw Ave. Unit 7
Toronto, ON M4M 2R5
647.725.DARK (3275)
info@darktools.ca


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Adaptive Re-Use - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Adaptive re use

Adaptive Re-Use

Adaptive Re-Use, most simply put, is changing the use of something which we no longer need to something new, which we now need—whether it be the up-cycling of old materials for a new purpose, or changing the function of an existing building—we are making the most of that which we already have, rather than sending the old stuff to landfill and manufacturing more new stuff.


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Drain Water Heat Recovery - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Drain heat recovery-2

Drain Water Heat Recovery

Drain Water Heat Recovery (DWHR) is the practice of recovering the thermal energy we throw away down our drain particularly during a shower.

Water is the most expensive natural element to heat and carries a significant amount of energy. Any hot water that goes down the drain carries away energy with it—as much as 80-90% of the energy used to heat water in a home. Drain water (or greywater) heat recovery systems capture this energy to preheat cold water entering the water heater or going to other water fixtures.

The Power-Pipe is a water to water heat exchanger designed for use with drain water.

www.greyter.com

Greyter Water Systems Inc.
2345 Stanfield Rd. Ste. 300
Mississauga, Ontario
416-883-2411 x229
jbell@greyter.com


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Heritage Conservation - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Heritage

Heritage Conservation

Heritage Conservation is an important part of municipal sustainability and a strong contributor to sustainable development strategies in the following ways:

Economically – research from across the globe shows that Heritage Conservation can have multiple economic benefits for a community, including job growth in skilled trades, increased property values, revitalized neighbourhoods and a wide array of tourism opportunities.

Culturally – at its core, Heritage Conservation is a cultural activity. Not only does it remind us of our past and traditions, it acts as a point of pride and reference that can help foster awareness and confident cultural growth that respects traditions and stories of the area.

Environmentally – Reduce & Re-use. Heritage Conservation helps to reduce reliance on new materials, environmentally unfriendly building materials and energy intensive production of new building materials. Heritage Conservation encourages the re-use of existing building materials by extending the life of a building and its components, or rehabilitating damaged building materials.


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Geothermal Heat Exchange - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Geothermal heat exchange

Geothermal Heat Exchange

Geothermal Heat Exchange (adapted from Ten Myths About Geothermal Heating and Cooling, Posted by Brian Clark Howard of National Geographic on September 17, 2013)

Imagine a building in which the temperature is always comfortable, yet the heating and cooling system is out of sight. That system performs efficiently but doesn’t require extensive maintenance or knowledge on the part of the owners.

The air smells fresh; you can hear the birds chirping and the wind rustling lazily through the trees. The building shares energy with the earth similar to the way the roots of the trees exchange the essentials of life to their leaves and branches. Sounds comfortable, doesn’t it?

Geothermal heating and cooling makes that vision a reality. Geothermal HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) brings a building in harmony with the earth beneath, taking advantage of subterranean temperatures to provide heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.

Outdoor temperatures fluctuate with the changing seasons but underground temperatures don’t change as dramatically, thanks to the insulating properties of the earth. Four to six feet below ground, temperatures remain relatively constant year-round. A geothermal system, which typically consists of an indoor handling unit and a buried system of pipes, called an earth loop, and/or a pump to reinjection well, capitalizes on these constant temperatures to provide “free” energy.


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Net-Positive Cost of Energy - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Net positive cost of energy

Net-Positive Cost of Energy

We recommend solar photovoltaic (PV) modules to many of our clients, when the chosen site and project are suitable to harvest solar energy. Projects up to 10 kW qualify for the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) microFIT program, which is an incentive that pays homeowners for the energy that they generate on site.

Net-Positive Cost of Energy means that within the period of one year, our clients generate enough energy to exceed the cost of energy they pay to their energy utilities each year, and thus create revenue for themselves through their PV system.


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Green Roof - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Green roof-2

Green Roof

Green Roof (also known as Living Roof) systems refer to the partial or complete covering of a building’s roof with well-selected vegetation planted in a suitable growing medium spread out over root barrier and drainage layers, installed over the roof’s waterproofing membrane. Automated irrigation systems can also be integrated for ease of maintenance. Green Roofs contribute to the reduction of urban heat island effect, storm water retention, rainwater filtration, roof membrane protection, and to keeping a building cool through evapotranspiration.


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Solar Thermal Energy - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Spatial Hierarchy - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Spacial hierarchy

Spatial Hierarchy

Spatial Hierarchy ensures both the exterior form and massing of the building, as well as its interior spaces are designed with a focus on human use and interaction, ensuring comfort, functionality, and user-friendliness.

Spatial Hierarchy is also important when considering passive solar strategies.


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Thermal Mass - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Thermal mass-2

Thermal Mass

Thermal Mass is a property of a material’s ability to absorb, store, and release heat. Thermally-massive building materials such as concrete have a high capacity to absorb and to store excess heat, often from the sun, which is released into the occupied space when the ambient temperature falls below that of the Thermal Mass. Most materials which will absorb excess heat, will also absorb excess humidity. Thermal Mass materials passively act as temperature and humidity flywheels, reducing indoor temperature and humidity fluctuations without the consumption of energy.


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Water Efficiency - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Water efficiency-2

Water Efficiency

Water Efficiency focuses on promoting small behavioural changes in users to reduce water consumption, and to choose water-efficient products such as low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets to reduce the amount of potable (drinking) water consumed and waste-water produced. Using low-irrigation native vegetation, rainwater harvesting, low- or no-flow fixtures, greywater reuse and installing displacement devices inside toilet cisterns are a few examples of Water Efficiency strategies.


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Site Optimization - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Site optimization

Site Optimization

Careful consideration of a building site will: minimize the disturbance on the land, protect current vegetation, mitigate the need for additional infrastructure, and provide opportunities for daylighting, solar heat gain, and natural shading and ventilation. It is ideal to select a site where existing community resources such as: schools, shopping, employment, entertainment, public transit routes, and existing infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, energy, sewers and water supply, and open green space) are accessible.


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Reversible Ceiling Fans - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Reversible ceiling fans

Reversible Ceiling Fans

Reversible Ceiling Fans are used to circulate indoor air and can be used in both heating and cooling seasons.

In the winter, cool air is drawn from the floor up toward the ceiling, pushing warm air from the ceiling down into the occupied space.

In the summer, air is directed down toward the occupied space to promote evaporative cooling.


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Recycled Materials - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Recycled materials

Recycled Materials

Recycled Materials are building materials that have been salvaged from the end-of-life of one project to be given a new life on a current project.


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On-Demand Hot Water - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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On demand hot water

On-Demand Hot Water

On-Demand Hot Water is achieved using a tankless water heater, which instantly heats water as it flows through the device rather than heating, storing and re-heating a tankful of water until it is needed. The result is a continuous flow of hot water and reduced energy consumption. On-Demand Hot Water can be used for domestic hot water at faucets and showers and /or for radiant space-heating.

Drain Water Heat Recovery can be effectively coupled with On-Demand Hot Water for optimal energy-efficiency.


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Natural Cross-Ventilation - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Natural cross ventilation

Natural Cross-Ventilation

Natural Cross-Ventilation occurs when air enters through openings, such as windows and doors, on one side of the building and exits on the opposite side. It is driven horizontally by positive pressure on the windward side and negative pressure leeward side of the building, as well as vertically through the building via stack effect. Natural Cross-Ventilation reduces energy-consumption for artificial cooling and ventilation during summer months. Buildings are ideally designed to encourage Natural Cross-Ventilation through their relationship with prevailing breeze patterns.


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Interior Materials - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Materials interior

Interior Materials

Interior Materials are selected for low emissions (low- to no-Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) & non off-gassing), resulting in a superior indoor air quality.

The recycled content and end-of-life recyclability of Interior Materials is also considered to reduce current and future waste to landfills.


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Indoor Air Quality - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Indoor air quality

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the concentration of contaminants in the air as they affect occupant health and comfort. Superior Indoor Air Quality is achieved with careful interior material selection and an optimum ventilation strategy, ensuring a both healthy and a comfortable environment.


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In-Floor Radiant Heating - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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In floor heating

In-Floor Radiant Heating

In-Floor Radiant Heating uses conduction and convection to exchange heat between a heated fluid running through tubes into the floor and then to the occupied space.

Benefits include lower energy consumption compared to forced-air systems, a healthier indoor air quality, and a higher level of comfort.


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Off-Grid - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Off grid-2

Off-Grid

An Off-Grid building does not rely on the municipal water supply, sewer, natural gas, electrical power grid, or any other utility service.

Instead, water is sourced on-site through a well and /or harvested rainwater; waste water is treated on-site through a conventional septic system, composting toilets, and /or a constructed wetland or bioswale; and electricity is generated on site by solar photovoltaics and /or wind turbines.

Winter heating and summer cooling & ventilation are best augmented by passive strategies such as: air-tightness, good thermal insulation, glazing placed for winter solar gains, thermal blankets at windows, and the use of thermal mass, which can jointly reduce the heating energy demand; and reflective roof surfaces, air-tightness, good thermal insulation, low proportion of glazing, outdoor summer solar shading, the use of thermal mass, and natural & night ventilation, which can jointly make a cooling system redundant.


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ICF - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Insulated concrete form icf(2)

ICF

Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) are formwork blocks created from insulative materials. We prefer Durisol due to its low embodied-energy, and lack of petroleum-based compounds, compared to the common rigid-foam ICF. The blocks are first laid in place and stacked like Lego. Concrete is then poured into the spaces within the blocks to provide rigidity to the wall structure.

Advantages of ICF include good insulating properties, minimal thermal bridging, and a good air seal. An additional advantage of Durisol is the placement of the insulation completely on the outside of the concrete, allowing the concrete to function as an effective thermal and humidity mass.

www.durisolbuild.com

DURISOL BUILDING SYSTEMS INC
4145 North Service Road, Second Floor
Burlington, Ontario, L7L 6A3
647-494-0088
info@durisolbuild.com


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HVAC - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Hvac

HVAC

An HVAC system refers to mechanical systems for Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning to maintain the desired environmental conditions within a space. The requirements of each building are unique and there are many different systems available; therefore, every system should be tuned to the building’s needs.

Where possible, passive strategies and low-energy systems for heating and cooling are utilized to reduce energy demand, and to make the indoor environment more stable. In combination with an HVAC climate control system, good passive design can make the environmental conditions more comfortable.

Passive strategies include: reflective roof surfaces, air-tightness, good thermal insulation, low proportion of glazing, outdoor summer solar shading, the use of thermal mass, and natural & night ventilation, which can jointly make a cooling system redundant; and air-tightness, good thermal insulation, glazing placed for winter solar gains, thermal blankets at windows, and the use of thermal mass, which can jointly reduce the heating energy demand.

www.alphacomfortcontrol.com

Alpha Comfort Control
2410 Dunwin Drive, Unit #10
Mississauga, ON L5L 1J9
(905) 607-7706
(416) 880-1350


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Hrv

HRV/ERV

Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) and Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) systems pre-condition incoming fresh air by transferring the latent temperature and humidity from stale exhaust air to the fresh intake air. This process saves energy in heating & cooling, and reduces the load on the HVAC system.

www.alphacomfortcontrol.com

Alpha Comfort Control
2410 Dunwin Drive, Unit #10
Mississauga, ON L5L 1J9
(905) 607-7706
(416) 880-1350


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High-Efficiency Windows - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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High efficiency windows 2

High-Efficiency Windows

High-Efficiency Windows include well-built, air-sealed windows with good thermal performance. Typically, double-glazed or triple-glazed windows with insulating gas between panes (argon or krypton) and a low-E coating are considered high-efficiency. Low-Emissivity (low-E) coatings prevent radiant heat from crossing the window plane, i.e. they keep heat inside in the winter and outside in the summer.

The frame material is as, if not more, important than the glass. Frame materials like Fibreglass and Wood have low rates of thermal energy transmission. Aluminium and PVCu (Vinyl) consistently have the highest negative environmental and health impacts according to life cycle assessment techniques (Source: USGBC).

Another significant energy pathway is the porosity of the construction including sealing. Installation is an important consideration for High-Efficiency Windows.


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High efficiency appliances

High-Efficiency Appliances

High-Efficiency Appliances must reach regulated targets for reduced energy consumption. These targets are set lower than typical energy-use for the same appliance. In North America, we use Energy Star as a guide for energy-efficiency standards for most household appliances.


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High Albedo Roofing - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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High albedo roofing

High Albedo Roofing

High Albedo materials reflect sunlight and limit the amount of heat gained through those materials. High Albedo Roofing materials are chosen to reduce unwanted heating of roof surfaces and attic /top floor spaces, which helps to decrease cooling loads during summer days. High Albedo Roofing is known to have higher lifespans and also plays a major role in reducing the urban heat island effect.

www.newsteelroofers.ca

New Steel Roofers inc.
1-877-877-7349
info@newsteelroofers.com


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Grid-Connected - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Grid-Connected

A Grid-Connected building generates electricity for use on site. When electricity generation exceeds the amount required, the system supplies the excess power to the utility grid. Conversely, when the electricity demands of the building exceed the amount supplied on site, electricity can be drawn from the power grid. Optimally, a grid-connected building can be net-zero (or net-positive), meaning that the amount of electricity supplied to the grid is equal to (or greater than) the amount drawn from the grid. With the Ontario microFIT Program all generated electricity is supplied to the grid, and all required electricity is drawn from the grid.


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Greywater Reuse - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Greywater reuse-2

Greywater Reuse

Greywater is a term used to describe water that has been used for showering, bathing, and hand-washing. It sometimes includes wastewater from kitchen sinks and laundry, depending on local by-laws. Greywater Reuse involves the collection and treatment of this water for use in toilet-flushing, outdoor irrigation and constructed wetlands, reducing the overall demand for potable (drinkable) water.

Drain Water Heat Recovery can be effectively coupled with Greywater Reuse for optimal energy and resource-efficiency.

www.greyter.com

Greyter Water Systems Inc.
2345 Stanfield Rd. Ste. 300
Mississauga, Ontario
416-883-2411 x229
jbell@greyter.com


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Exterior Materials - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Materials exterior

Exterior Materials

Selecting durable and natural exterior cladding materials and treatments to withstand weathering and to extend the building’s lifespan. Upon the end of their required use such materials will ideally be returned to the biosphere with positive, rather than adverse, effect.


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Double-Skin Facade - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Double skin facade

Double-Skin Facade

A Double-Skin Facade is a building envelope consisting of two separate layers of exterior cladding positioned to promote air flow through the intermediate cavity. The ventilation of the cavity can be natural convection or fan-supported mechanically-driven. Double-Skin Facades can provide a building envelope with a number of performance enhancing benefits, such as: reduced energy consumption by providing heat in winter and shading in summer, contaminant-filtered natural ventilation, acoustic insulation, occupant comfort & productivity, and additional security.


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Deep Overhangs /Shading Devices - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Deep overhangs

Deep Overhangs /Shading Devices

Proper window shading will allow optimal solar heat gain in the winter, while limiting unwanted solar heat gain during the summer. A correctly sized roof overhang will completely shade a window at solar noon on August 21st (the warmest and sunniest month of the year in the northern hemisphere). Windows that face east or west will require larger overhangs, or vertically-mounted shading devices for complete shading. Shading windows from the summer sun will help to maintain comfortable conditions inside a building as well as to considerably lower annual cooling costs.


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Above-Code Insulation - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Above code insulation(2)

Above-Code Insulation

Many energy consultants now recommend that cold-climate homes include R-60 insulation in ceilings, R-40 in above-grade walls, R-20 in basement walls, and R-10 below basement slabs—well above minimum building code requirements. We prefer to avoid styrofoam and other poly-based insulation products whenever possible, opting instead for fire-resistant, non-toxic, mineral wool insulation.

www.roxul.com

8024 Esquesing Line
Milton, Ontario L9T 6W3
iain.stuart@roxul.com


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Passive Solar - Strategies Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building

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Passive solar-2

Passive Solar

Passive Solar design refers to the use of the sun’s energy for the heating and cooling of living spaces. In this approach, the building itself or some element of it takes advantage of natural properties of materials and air created by exposure to the sun. Passive systems are simple, have few moving parts, and require minimal maintenance and no mechanical systems.

Operable windows placed for optimal heat gain in winter, shading devices and solar chimneys for the summer, and thermal mass for both seasons are common elements found in Passive Solar design. Solar chimneys create or reinforce the effect hot air rising to induce air movement for cooling purposes. The resulting suction pulls cooler air into the building from lower, shaded spaces.


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