Category Archives: Environment

An Ecological Pool? Why not!

Although they aren’t that popular in Québec, they are quite common in Europe. Some books deal with the subject there. You can even find videos on YouTube. Imagine! Swimming in a natural pool without chemical products. Out with the chlorine!

Piscine naturelle patio TOPIA environnement
Topia.ca

 

It’s the plants that take care of filtering the water. The purification is done naturally. The water is so pure that you can almost drink it.

The purification process is done in a pool of water converted into a lagoon. That’s where the plants, like water lilies or others, accomplish their job of filtration. Then, the water spills into the swimming area through a waterfall or over a retaining wall. This is the oxygenation phase, which is then completed by certain plants. The water always circulates which keeps mosquitoes at bay since they are attracted to stagnant water. It’s the same principle as a mountain lake. Same simplicity, same freshness and the same pleasure to swim in.

Numerous healthy and sustainable materials ensure the pool’s impermeability. You can transform your conventional in-ground pool into an ecological pool. Among other things, you will have to build a natural purification and oxygenation zone and demolish one side of the pool to let the water fall into the swimming area. Continue reading

iStock

Sustainable Homes Love Cork

A plant product that is sustainable, recyclable and rot-proof: cork is sought after as a floor covering and is considered one of the most efficient insulating material for walls, doors, roofs and floors. In addition, it looks beautiful and inviting. In short, it’s a God-given product.

Let’s start with the basics. Cork is often used as a subfloor for a hardwood or floating floor because of its sound and crush-resistant properties and its elasticity. A more discreet role, but an efficient one, nonetheless.

iStock
iStock

Far from being unattractive, cork is most usually used above ground, in the form of slabs, as a flooring material. It has numerous qualities. It is flexible, effective against vibrations, soft to the touch, and pleasant to look at. A dozen shades, if not more, are available on the market. Continue reading

Insulating the Eco-Friendly Way

We are expecting a typical Québec winter this year. That means cold weather, snow storms, and humidity. Should you reconsider your home’s insulation? If so, this is the perfect occasion to take your first Eco-friendly step. Plus, you will save on heating costs.

Good insulation means improved comfort, protection against outside noise and energy efficiency; hence, the importance of having an adequate insulation system.

iStock
iStock

First off, here is some basic knowledge. Since hot air tends to rise to make room for the cold air that is flowing down, the roof’s insulation is a top priority. Do not overlook the insulation of the piping system, even if it seems trivial. And remember, properly installed insulation means zero heat loss; therefore, no seams nor openings.

According to many experts, ecological insulation materials are more energy efficient than mineral wool insulators. You can expect less condensation because the ecological insulator is more breathable. In addition, they are less irritating to the skin during the installation. Ecological insulators are not as energy intensive to make as mineral wool, with a few exceptions. Continue reading

iStock

An Eco-Friendly Basement

Even the basement does not escape the concept of a sustainable house. If you are planning to remodel the lower floor and are concerned about the future of the planet, here are a few guidelines you should follow, according to Écohabitation experts.

This would be the perfect time to check for radon. We have been hearing more and more about this carcinogenic gas. You can find the detection device in a large shopping centre or a hardware store. If the level is high, Écohabitiion recommends a system designed to evacuate the gas.

Insulating the water heater and plumbing pipes will considerably reduce your energy bills.

iStock
iStock

Opt for synthetic (recycled) gypsum for the walls and ceilings instead of the natural one. It is more ecological. Continue reading

Healthy Housing Overseen By Experts

You may wonder if sustainable houses designed, built, inhabited and then monitored step-by-step by professionals actually exist. The answer is yes. The EQuilibrium Housing Initiative is just that.

If you wish to learn and understand more about the sustainable housing industry – which is about to become fundamental in the fight against climate change – the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) initiative is for you.

The CMHC seeks to expand the construction of EQuilibrium houses across the country. Even if you’re planning to buy an existing home, exploring an EQuilibrium house will give you the required knowledge to properly evaluate another home that some owners might try to sell you as sustainable.

iStock
iStock

The initiative exists since 2006. The EQuilibrium house is meant to serve as a model for sustainable living: safe and environmentally friendly materials, lower utility bills, renewable energies, conservation of our planet’s limited resources, reduced environmental impact, greater comfort and cost-effective construction. And, believe it or not, as an added value, sustainable houses are a better investment than traditional homes. Continue reading