Sustainable & Efficient Renovations
We are proud to provide eco-friendly renovation, restoration, and construction services to home and business owners. Please see below for some of our specialized design, build & finish services.
Adaptive Re-Use, 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 new items.
Air-Tightness is defined as the resistance to inward or outward air leakage through unintentional leakage points in the building envelope (cracks, holes, etc.). An airtight building, when combined with an appropriate ventilation strategy will result in lower heating and cooling costs, prevent mold and rot and create a more comfortable indoor space due to fewer drafts. It is measured in Air Changes per Hour, which is determined by performing a Blower-Door Test, which measures the amount of air flowing through “leakage points” in the building envelope at a specific pressure.
Careful consideration of a building site will minimize the disturbance on the land, protect current soil, mitigate the need for additional infrastructure, and provide opportunities for daylighting, solar heat gain, and natural shading and ventilation.
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. Examples include operable windows placed for optimal heat gain in winter, shading devices and smart insulation.
Thermal Mass is a property of a material’s ability to absorb, keep, and release heat. Thermally-massive building materials such as concrete have a high capacity to absorb and to store extra heat, often from the sun, which is dispersed 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 act as temperature and humidity flywheels, reducing indoor temperature and humidity fluctuations without the use of energy.
Natural Cross-Ventilation occurs when air enters a building through openings such as windows and doors on one side, and exits on the opposite side. It is driven horizontally by positive pressure on the windward side and negative pressure on the leeward side of the building, as well as vertically through the building via stack effect. Natural Cross-Ventilation reduces energy-consumption from air conditioning and ventilation units during summer months.
Green Roof systems refer to the partial or complete covering of a building’s roof with well-selected plants 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.
Proper window shading will allow optimal solar heat gain in the winter, while limiting unwanted solar heat gain during the summer.
High-Efficiency Windows include properly installed, air-sealed windows with good thermal performance. Typically, double-glazed or triple-glazed windows with insulating gas between panes and a low-E coating are considered high-efficiency. Low-Emissivity coatings prevent radiant heat from crossing the window plane, they keep heat inside in the winter and outside in the summer. Frame materials like fibreglass and wood have low rates of thermal energy transmission while aluminium and PVCu have one of the highest negative environmental and health impacts.