We are building a house in the rural area surrounding Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The planning stage of the project focuses on energy efficient design features such as super-insulated walls, passive solar, solar hot water, concrete floors for thermal mass and using locally produced materials as much as possible.


7 Responses to About

  1. Ted Clarke says:

    good luck from the druid grove

  2. Hello John,

    I am the new Ottawa area rep for Fibertec Windows and Doors. I would love to chat sometime with you about the project. My phone number is 613 606 1546.


    Matthew Salkeld, P.Eng.

  3. Ken Galbraith says:


    I am currently in the planning stages for a new house and am looking into passive designs, could you by any chance send me a sketch of the layout of your house? Also, since building the house are there any design challenges or changes you would have made?


    Ken Galbraith

    Saint John, NB

  4. Kathy Gagne says:

    Hello, Love the pictures of your house! We are in the planning stages of building a passive house near Ottawa. I have 2 questions – First, can you share with us who your builder was? DId you also have a designer look at the plans? And second, how do you find the concrete floors for standing in the kitchen, also are they cold to walk on? Thank you! Kathy

    • We have R25 insulation under the floors so there is no issue with cold floors because of the amount of insulation. Insulation is key – if you have R25 or better, the floor tends to be the same temperature as the ambiant room temperature. You can source used foam insulation for that, if you like (check with roofing companies and kijiji). I can’t recommend the builder we had. We did not have a designer – we used a variety of books (Tap the Sun) and online plans, we hired an energy consultant to do a HOT 2000 analysis. My father in a retired engineer, and together, we drew up the floors plans and eleavtions. We then had an arch-tech re-draw our initial plans for building permit purposes. They were stamped by an engineer, which saves a lot of hassle. The energy consultant was Ross Elliot from Almonte and he has worked on several passive and LEED houses. (his business is called HomeSol) In general I would say it would be a good idea to have a designer if you could find one that is like-minded. We talked to a few, and to tell you the truth, they seemed more interested in pursuing their own design ideas, and not our vision. We also found we didn’t have the budget for it. Most of our techinical design ideas came from http://www.greenedmonton.ca site – they have extensive information on a number of net-zero homes in that area. The floors have not been a problem from a comfort perspective, though my husband always wears birkenstocks (he did so at our former house too). Good luck!

  5. Kathy Gagne says:

    Thank you so much. I will certainly check out those links and read all of your archived posts (should have done that first…). We’re building in the Perth area so we’ve heard about HomeSol. Anyway really appreciate the info! All the best, Kathy

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