Earth Day, celebrated each year in the month of April, reminds us that the fight against climate change, and as fallout of that the survival of humankind, is far from won. There is still hope, however. A growing number of companies are converting to environmental responsibility.
In terms of building, the focus is on eco-friendly housing. It’s far from being a burden, as not only is eco-friendly housing healthy, it also provides a strong dose of peace. It’s somewhat like a peace home.
Eco-friendly housing is a lifestyle, as it covers all aspects of life in your home: construction, decoration, renovation, indoor and outdoor life. You get up green, you go to bed green, you live green.
The positive effects of eco-friendly housing on health are well-known. Scientific studies tend to prove that using healthy materials, i.e. transformed as little as possible, improves the health of residents. There are less allergies, prolonged irritations and respiratory problems. Continue reading →
The expression “invest in stone” used to mean to invest in construction and real estate. Why? Because real estate is a strong and durable sector. Like stone.
Is there a more natural, more resistant, more sustainable and stronger material than stone? It’s practically eternal. Not surprising that it is among the materials of choice in this era of green living.
Stone is abundant in nature. It is recyclable, waterproof, porous and requires little maintenance, which keeps it far away from numerous chemical products. It filters pollution by absorbing carbon dioxide, the main gas behind the greenhouse effect. Another important asset: it’s fire-resistant.
Stone reduces energy consumption in a house by storing the heat for redistribution as needed. It is a natural heat regulator, since it combats temperature variations. In Quebec, however, this ecological advantage is lesser because insulation separates the exterior stone wall from the interior. But lesser does not mean nil. A stone floor exposed to the rays of the sun in winter will slow this ecological loss.
Elsewhere in the world, in certain mountainous regions, crushed stone is piled around foundations of homes to deal with the violent winds and extreme winter temperatures. These crushed stones heat the inside in winter and cool it off in summer.
Stone is not perfect. Its mining, at times its transformation and shipping result in a considerable energy expense, given the weight and mass of the material. These operations release a good dose of carbon dioxide into the air. Therefore, it’s preferable that the stone be mined in the region itself. The shorter the journey, the more the material becomes ecological. Fortunately, Quebec has numerous quarries, including the granite and marble quarries in the Mégantic region, and slate in Saint-Marc-du-Long, the largest quarry in North America according to Wikipedia.
French Wikipedia article on slate
Habitat sain et écologique, Ginette Dupuy, Les éditions Quebecor, 2011, 295 pages
Guide de la maison verte, Michel Durand, Les éditions La Presse, 2008, 339 pages
We often forget them, but they can provide an important service. Why not resort to an architect when the time comes to do major renovations? Such as expanding a house.
Of course, an architect will increase the cost of the work, but keep in mind that, in most major renovations, your property will increase in value. So why not increase this value as much as possible? Especially if it involves adding space to a house.
You don’t have to call upon a renowned architect. A student fresh out of university will do just fine.
Don’t be afraid to seek knowledge elsewhere when you want to renovate a house. An architect is a professional who has this knowledge.
First advantage: you can talk to the architect before starting the renovation project and throughout the process, which removes a great deal of stress. You will feel less alone. Continue reading →
It happened in Val d’Or. Unable to sleep, Geneviève gets up at dawn. She jumps into her slippers and walks to the window. She opens the curtain and contemplates the sky. Day breaks. Not a sound. Everything is quiet. Then bang ! A huge clap of thunder followed by a blinding light in the sky. Then the window shatters. Screaming, Geneviève brings her hands to face. She is bleeding.
Robert wakes up startled. He heard the thunder, the windows shattering, Geneviève screaming. Then a second bang, a third, a fourth, a fifth. One per second for twelve seconds.
Robert runs to the living room. All of the windows on the side were shattered. There are shards all over the floor. Geneviève’s face is covered in blood. The children are crying upstairs. The entire family jumps into the car and heads to the hospital.
On the way, Robert sees dozens of shattered windows. He sees people coming out of their houses and looking at the sky. The roof of the factory that he drove by every day had collapsed. All of the windows were broken. Continue reading →
She is said to be the most read author in the world, all genres combined. Therefore, many of you must be among the admirers of the one who created detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Did you know that Agatha Christie fed a strong passion for houses?
At one point in her life, she was at the head of eight residences. She bought dilapidated houses in London, renovated them and sold them furnished. Sometimes she would rent them or live in them with her second husband.
On more than one occasion she built homes in her head if she saw an ideal site during her many voyages.
As a child, she enjoyed “building houses with bath towels draped over chairs and tables to make houses that you come out of on all fours,” she wrote in her autobiography.
Little Agatha loved her dollhouse. She bought so much furniture that she wanted a second house. Her mother offered her a cupboard as an expansion room. Agatha placed the first house under the cupboard, which gave the residence six storeys. Once a week, the people living in the house had to move. Agatha loved moving.
She lived in an apartment with her first husband. She experienced the scourges of the housing shortage and overly high rents. She spent hours pouring over the classified ads in the newspapers.
She experienced living in the suburbs, then purchased her first home. She had to shop. A burden you say? Not at all, Searching for a house was one of her favourite hobbies. Continue reading →
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