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EcoPlans & EcoProducts:
for the New Millennium

Introduction: if you are interested in any of the following sustainable items: Home Plans, reused Solar Collectors, double Strawbale Sewing Needles, EcoStuds, Home Check List, Conference Papers, Drawings, CD-ROMs or videos, please for details or current pricing. Some items can be faxable, others can be sent electronically, after payment. Some items need to be delivered or picked-up. These items evolved through "real world" experience in the field over many years, and lessons learned by daily living and working in a demonstration building that we designed and built. All items are available now, except those indicated.

Table Of Contents

A. EcoPlans: Sustainable Building Plans:
1.00 Sustainable Home Plans
2.00 Strawbale Garage/Workshop Plans
3.00 Strawbale Cabin/Hermitage Plans
4.00 Autonomous Alpine Hut Plans

B. EcoProducts for Buildings:
5.00 EcoStuds: (Wall Trusses)
6.00 refurbished Solar Hot Water Collectors
7.00 double strawbale Sewing Needles
8.00 Strawbale Wall Access Ports

C. Educational Products: Books, CD, Checklist, Papers, Reports

9.00 Straw Bale House Book: A/B. Steen
10.00 CD-ROM: "Sustainability in Action"

11.00 Home CheckList, Report Card: List of 30 Criteria & Questions

12.00 Conference Papers (Public Education I)
a. Alberta Sustainable Home/Office:
12.01 Conserver Lifestyle
12.02 Energy & Water Consumption
12.03 Environmental Features
12.04 Environmental Features & Pattern Language
12.05 Health Features
12.06 Indoor Environmental Features
12.07 Masonry Heater & Thermal Mass
12.08 Many "R"s: Beyond the 3 "R"s
12.09 Science & Technology
12.10 Windows, SunPipes & Shades

b. Strawbale Design & Construction:
12.11 BREBS Project: Straw Bales & Rammed Earth
12.12 Code Amendments
12.13 Strawbale Blacksmith Shop: Owner's Perspective
12.14 Strawbale Buildings in Northern Climates
12.15 Strawbale Design & Construction (Looking Back): Lessons

c. Other Buildings & Products:
12.16 Energy Options for Alpine Huts
12.17 Green Building Products
12.18 Green Office Towers
12.19 Passive Cooling

13.00 Drawings/Details: Cool Closet & 12 Strawbale Details

14.00 Reports (Public Education II): Toilets, Retrofit, Water Systems
14.01 Biological Toilets
14.02 Sustainable Home Water System: RainWater & GreyWater Systems
14.03 Design of a Generic Sustainable House
14.04 Advanced Sustainable House
14.05 Retrofit Wall System for Residential Housing
14.06 RecoFit House: Ecological retrofit of standard house
14.07 Self-Help Retrofit Manual for Owners of Multi-Family Housing Units
14.08 The Hood River Precedent: Community Retrofit Project
14.09 Gas Consumption Analysis: Space & Domestic Hot Water Heating
14.10 Set-Back Thermostats: Comparison
14.11 HandHeld Energy Audit Tools: Comparison
14.12 Computer Simulations - HOTCan
14.13 Air-Leakage Tests: Housing Units: Results
14.14 Air Leakage Tests: Windows and Doors: Results

15.00 Strawbale Video Rental: Blackrange

A. Sustainable Home Plans: Home, Garage & Cabin Plans (available Fall 2003)

All plans were supervised by a university trained professional having 27 years of "real world" experience in design, construction and consulting in the sustainable building field. All are stamped by Alberta registered engineers. 5 sets of working drawings will be provided. All have been built, except where noted. If you think that you would be interested in a complete set of working drawings, including architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical for our simple and small sustainable buildings or homes, please contact this office. Basic plans should be appearing on-line over the next few months or so.

1.00 Sustainable Home Plans: single family homes for city and country (see photo of completed projects on left):
Over the last 27 years we have designed many environmentally-sound, energy-efficient, passive solar homes using a variety of construction methods including: EcoStuds, straw bales, rammed earth, double wall, stack wall, and prefabricated (i.e. SIPs). We have decided to offer our most sustainable projects for construction by others in cold climates. We are taking some of our best plans, improving the layout and flexibility, updating the whole-house systems and retrofitting them with our latest details, as a complete set of working drawings. All projects are based on our [Mission/Vision Statement], as appropriate in the circumstances.

A set of working drawings for any building or home includes: Foundation Plan, 4 Elevations, 2 Building Sections, Roof Plan, Construction Details, Window/Door Schedule, General Notes, Construction Notes, Structural Notes, structural components (posts, beams, lintels, footings, pads, etc.), Electrical Layout, Mechanical Plan (radiant floor heating & HRV layout). We exclusively use radiant floor heating, heat recovery ventilators in our mechanical systems.
Most of our projects use "shallow frost protected foundations" (SFPF) and slabs-on-grade. A site plan will be done after purchase, according to sketches provided by the owner of the land.

2.00 Strawbale Garage/Workshop: for city or country lots
This single car garage for a city lot includes a small workshop, solar hot water collectors for radiant floor heating, and rain barrels for summertime rainwater collection. This is a useful way to retain some of the engine heat, once the car is parked. Reused materials are specified to keep the costs down.

3.00 Strawbale Cabin/Hermitage: for city backyards or country retreats
This small autonomous building can serve many functions including: backyard retreat, tool shed or work room for a city backyard. It includes a solar hot water collector for radiant floor heating, a photovoltaic panel with batteries for clean green electric power and rain barrels for summertime rainwater collection.

4.00 Autonomous Alpine Hut: A preliminary design of this small tight (12 x 24 feet) autonomous hut for 15 people (maximum) was presented for the 1991 AGM of the Alpine Club of Canada at Lake Louise. It was designed for the most rigorous remote mountain conditions: high wind loads, deep snow drifting, infrequent servicing, self-sufficient operation, minimum environmental impact, need for shelter & safety, and opportunities for social community. This movable building was designed for the following requirements: body heat utilization, waterless toilet, greywater collection, highway/helicopter/snowmobile transport, passive solar heating, backup heating, photovoltaic/wind electric energy, natural materials, and winter access. A variety of energy supplies were considered and compared including wind, thermo-electric, fuel cell, photovoltaics and mini-hydro. Final selection would depend on site assets and constraints. The basic plan is an elevated floor cavity containing batteries and storage tanks as a ballast. The main floor houses an air lock and shower area, kitchenette and common space/sleeping area. A spiral stair accesses an upper sleeping loft. A second floor balcony serves as winter access when snow cover prevents ground floor entry.

B. EcoProducts for Buildings:

5.00 EcoStuds Wall Trusses (see photo on left): This wall truss is very versatile in both height and thickness. Our usual wall thickness is 14" ( 36 mm) accommodating R-56 insulation. There is very little thermal bridging of heat from the inside to the outside (in the winter) or the reverse (in the summer). We have used it for 1, 1.5 and 2 story heights in both modern balloon frame construction, and in old fashioned western framing. Balloon framing allows a far superior wall-floor detail to control traditional problem areas of excessive infiltration and exfiltration, a non-existing vapour barrier and poor thermal insulation, as occurs at floor trimmers. From an insulation point of view, it can accommodate any logical amount of insulation. Since it is an open "wall truss", blown-in insulation such as cellulose or (mineral) wool is very fast and efficient. EcoStuds can reuse short left-over cut-offs (cull material) from any truss manufacturer and nail plate connectors can be made from 60% recycled steel. They are installed like any stud wall. There is very little thermal bridging at top plates and lintels (which are installed over the inner 2x4 or 2x6 structural studs), bottom plates, cripples, king studs (around windows and doors), with about R-42 insulation outside of these members, in a 14" wide EcoStud. The costs vary according to manufacturer and province, but average about 80% more expensive than 2 x 6 studs (which comprise about 20% of a wall area as thermal bridging). Our current EcoStud drawings are protected by copyright.

6.00 Solar Hot Water Collectors (refurbished) These 4' x 8' reusable "PetroSun" solar collectors, as seen on the left, will be coming on-line soon. We have several projects where such collectors were removed from a project done by others, after about 18 years of service, and reinstalled on one of ours, for either or both solar hot water heating and/or space heating. We have a new supply of old collectors which are being inspected, cleaned and refurbished as necessary. First come first served.

7.00 double Strawbale Sewing Needles: As seen in the photograph on the left, these double strawbale sewing needles save a lot of time since they can stitch a wall much faster than using the single strawbale needles. Narrower needles for producing single designer bales can also be used. They can be rented or bought from our office. Our drawings of these double strawbale Sewing Needles are protected by copyright.

8.00 strawbale Wall Access Ports (patent pending): As can be seen in the photograph on left, this inexpensive openable access port for strawbale walls is inexpensive and will maintain a good vapour barrier on the inside surface of outside strawbale walls while allowing a moisture/temperature probe to penetrate the bales for occasional testing. In cases of continuous and isolated higher moisture readings (i.e. >20%), it may also be a way to inject dry warm temperatures through a hair dryer to help dry off some of the bales, although this has not yet been tried. It is constructed out of readily available materials and can be constructed in a few minutes. They are attached to stucco wiring. They have also been used as a multipurpose holder for such items as hanging plants, pictures, bulletin boards, etc. They can be ordered by the dozen, or the diagrams can be e-mailed electronically after payment (see 13.211 below). Drawings, specifications and photographs of these strawbale Wall Access Ports are protected by copyright.

C. Educational Products (books, CD-ROM, Checklist, Conference Papers, Reports, Video Rental):

9.00 The Straw Bale House Book, Athena & Bill Steen: 3 left. Good introduction to basics and projects, but details and building science not appropriate for cold climates, codes or inspectors.

10.00 CD-ROM: (to be released in the Fall of 2003): "Sustainability in Action": This interactive, useful and educational CD-ROM is meant to be fun, informative and practical for the everyday Canadian, whether you live in an apartment, single family house, townhouse, farm, or remote community. You choose the degree of change appropriate for you. It is meant for lifestyle changes, recofit (ecological retrofit) options or new construction opportunities in cold climates. Air, Earth, Sun, and Water are the foundations on which to build and optimize many "Kyoto Opportunities", in concert with "real world" partners and products for "local solutions to global change". For a sneak preview, please [click here]. One visual tool that will be used within the interactive CD is a complete virtual tour of ASH.

11.00 The Sustainable Home "Check List" (or Cold Climate "Home Report Card"): An interactive 8 page checklist, in point form, of sustainable concepts, multipurpose features, green products and healthy materials, which can or should apply to most homes. This list can also be used as a "Report Card" to help establish the value of the new house you are considering. It also serves as a guideline for questions to ask your builder.

It lists every feature considered or found in the [Alberta Sustainable Home/Office] (EcoHome) in Scenic Acres in Northwest Calgary, which has now been visited by about 70,000 people.

This Check List has the following categories of your consideration. Click to see photo.
11.01 Basic Housing Rights 11.16 [Greenhouse] (food production, cleaning water & air)
11.02 Principles of Sustainability 11.17 [Utility Area] (recycling centre, washing, storage, waterless toilet)
11.03 Specific Design/Build Criteria 11.18 [Lower Bathroom] (handicapped accessible)
11.04 Siting Aspects 11.19 [Home Office] (MultiPurpose Room, Bedroom #4)
11.05 [North Elevation] 11.20 [Useful Garage] (Showroom, Playroom, In-Law Suite)
11.06 [Tool Shed/Greenhouse] 11.21 [enlightened Stairway] (i.e. walk-through library)
11.07 [Backyard (Edible/Medicinal) 11.22 [Upper Hallway]
11.08 [South Elevation] 11.23 [Upper Bathroom] (can accommodate 4 people)
11.09 [West Elevation] 11.24 [Attic Storage] (i.e. den)
11.10 [FrontYard (Edible/Medicinal)] 11.25 [Bedroom #1] (can be combined with adjacent bedroom)
11.11 [Porch] (to build community) 11.26 [Bedroom #2] (can be combined with adjacent bedroom)
11.12 [Air Lock] (Mud Room, Vestibule) 11.27 [Mechanical/Storage]
11.13 ["Living" (or Family) Room] 11.28 [Master Bedroom] (Bedroom #3) + meditation alcove
11.14 [Dining Room] (or Office extension) 11.29 [Conserver Lifestyle]
11.15 [Kitchen] (heart of the home) 11.30 [Performance]

This check list is particularly useful if you are comparing homes, to help find the most sustainable one. it will also give you the most objective reference points assembled in one place. It is not perfect, nor does it have everything for everyone. It is under constant development and improvement, as time and resources allow.

12.00 Conference Papers: these peer-reviewed conference papers were all presented at various conferences in Canada or the US over the last 20 years. Most are based on experience with the Alberta Sustainable Home/Office (since 1993). For further information, you are invited to visit [Media] for a more comprehensive list of publications written by others and ourselves, and reports published by this office.

a. Alberta Sustainable Home/Office:
12.01) "Leading a Conserver Lifestyle in the Alberta Sustainable Home/Office": This 2 page summary sheet outlines some of the background and specifics of a conserver lifestyle. Some of the items touched on include: sustainable futures, greater health, greater safety, personal benefits, work benefits, fringe benefits, economic advantages, new comfort zone, and a summary of "Win-Win Lifestyle Changes".

12.02) "Residential Energy & Water Consumption Study: This 6 page study is a comparison of all energy and water savings of the Alberta
Sustainable Home/Office compared to an average Calgary Home. It showed an 83% saving in total annual energy and water use and a
100% saving of natural gas consumption.

The paper is broken down into the following major categories:
1.0 Analysis: Phase 1: Preliminary Analysis of Energy Consumption Patterns;
2.0 Phase 2: Identification of Major Energy Consumers;
3.0 Phase 3: Testing & Monitoring; and
4.0 Phase 4: Results & Analysis

Under the latter heading, separate sections include: Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV), using 19% of all energy; and a Solar Collector Pump
using 12% of all energy.

"Preliminary Water Consumption Comparison" indicated savings of 78-85% over average city consumption, at that time.

The section on "Refrigerators" showed that the Alberta Sustainable Home/Office only used 4% of its total energy for refrigeration.

A brief comparison of lifecycle costs were provided for 1 old and 5 new energy efficient models, based on total usable volume ÷ (capital costs+ operating

A comparison of "Environmental Costs" in carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, coal and disturbed land was also provided.

For more information on the Alberta Sustainable Home/Office, please [click here].
Note: The use of electrical energy has improved since that time. Fluoridated and chlorinated city water has been cut off for many years.

12.03) "Environmental Features of the Alberta Sustainable Home/Office": This 7 page overview is broken down into 11 main categories, including "The General Mandate" and "Basic Principles" (as listed in 11.08).

The section on Global "Environmental Stewardship" includes such items as: Sustainable Futures; Reduced Greenhouse (Gas) Emissions; No Gas Line, Furnace or Boiler; Ultra-Efficient Fridge/Freezer; Cool Closet; Insulation; Conservation Energy; Low Embodied Energy; "Integrated Environmental Impact Statement"; Urban Farming; Indoor Gardens/Food Production; and Durability/Extended Life Cycle.

Under the heading "Occupant Health (Indoor Air Quality)", 10 approaches for a more healthy indoor environment are discussed.

Under the heading "Water Preservation" the following aspects are discussed: Water Conservation; Phoenix Waterless Toilet; Planter Boxes; Slow Sand Filter; Plumbing; GreyWater Recycling; Water filtering; Solar Distillation and Rainwater Collection.

Under the heading "Architectural Concepts, Features & Products" such aspects as: Natural Materials; Smart Roof; Recycling Area; Maximum Sunlight & Daylight; Furniture; EcoStuds; Fire Exits and Fridge/Freezer are discussed.

In the section entitled: "Conservation Energies", the important roles of the following are briefly noted: Fridge/Freezer; DC Electricity; Insulation; Air Tightness; Stucco; Air Locks; and Low Embodied Energy.

The section on "Alternative Energies" briefly discusses: Passive Solar; Active Solar; Solar Hoods; Stirling Heat (not completed); Solar Hydrogen Fuel Cell (not in use); Photovoltaics (not complete); Biomass; Geothermal (not complete) and Heat Reclamation.

"Appropriate Technology" highlights our experience with our indoor Fertilizer Plant (Waterless Toilet) and Solar Ovens.

"Conserver Lifestyle" at home and at work outlines some of the many advantages available to anyone living in any building type, including:
Personal Benefits; Work Benefits; Fringe Benefits; Economic Advantages; and "Win-Win Lifestyle Changes".

"New Inventions" discusses such aspects as: Insulated Lintels; a R-17 (COG) Window; FoamForm Cribbing; Silent Door Stops and Non-Additive Drywall Mud.

The last section entitled, "Other" aspects, concludes with: Awards, Market Response, Overall Performance, Conclusions and Credits.

12.04) "Environmental Features & Pattern Language of the Alberta Sustainable House": This 4 page summary describes: the General Mandate; Basic Principles; Global Environmental Stewardship; Occupant Health (Indoor Air Quality); Water Preservation; Architectural Concepts; Products & Features; Conservation Energies; Alternative Energies; Conserver Lifestyle and New Inventions.

12.05) "An Overview of the Health Features of the Alberta Sustainable Home/Office": This 2 page paper summarizes the following features: No Gas Line, Furnace or Boiler; Prudent Avoidance; Kinesiology; No Basement; Low/Non Toxic Caulking & Adhesives; Biological Filters; HRV; Scrubbers; Passive Fresh Air Vents; Environmental Cabinetry; Space Joists; Dust-free Heat Exchangers; Pipe Insulation; Paints/Stains; Water Filtering; Natural Materials; Maximum Sunlight & Optimal Day Lighting; Full Spectrum Radiation-Shielded Lights; Furniture; Closet Exhaust; Central Vacu-Flo; Radiant Heat; Portable Radiant Heater; Handicapped (Access); EMF; Urban Farming (Sustainable Permaculture); Indoor Gardens/Food Production; Dormant Garage; TailPipe Exhaust; Non-Additive Concrete; and Non-Additive Drywall Mud.

12.06) "Indoor Environmental Features of Alberta Sustainable Home/Office": This 4 page overview briefly discusses such "Basics" as: Prudent Avoidance; No Gas Line, Furnace or Boiler; Kinesiology; and Handicapped (access). In the section entitled "Air Quality", issues such as: CO Detector; TailPipe Exhaust; Closet Exhausts; Biological Filters; Alpine Air Cleaner; Low Dust Venetian Blinds; and Passive Fresh Air Vents are discussed. In addition, such "Architectural (Aspects) as: No Basement; Dormant Garage; Passive Solar Heating; Airlocks; and Upper Kitchen Cupboards are briefly described. Such "Construction (Aspects) as: Non-Additive Concrete; Space Joists; Polyethylene Air Tubes; Wood Window Preservatives; and Pipe Insulation were all briefly described. Then, such "Finishing (Aspects) as: Natural Finishes; Non-Additive Drywall Mud; Low/Non Toxic Caulking & Adhesives; VOC-Free Paints/Stains; Environmental Cabinetry; and Flooring were mentioned. Under the heading of "Water", such topics as: Water Filtering; Waterless Toilet; and GreyWater treatment were noted. Under "Mechanical", the following were discussed:HRV; Scrubber; Radiant Heat; Portable Radiant Heater; and Central Vacu-Flo were discussed. Under the heading of "Electrical", electromagnetic fields were discussed. The heading "Lighting" mentioned: Maximum Sunlight & Daylight; and Full Spectrum Lights. Under appliances: Dust-free Heat Exchanger; and Office Equipment Ventilation, were briefly noted. Under "Furniture" the following items are discussed: Bio-Furniture; Bed and Office Furniture; are summarized. Under the last heading "Other", the Indoor Garden/Food Production; Fire Extinguisher; and Solar Oven, are noted.

12.07) "A Masonry Heater, A Large Thermal Flywheel and Constant Temperatures": This 5 page paper discusses the role of thermal mass in the Alberta Sustainable Home/Office to even out large outdoor temperature fluctuations ranging from +8 dC to -37 dC. Total mass in this project is 87 tonnes of which the 5" thick concrete floor represents 68%. Wood studs, a brick feature wall, furniture, planter boxes (treating greywater) and the waterless toilet all contribute significant amounts to the total mass. This paper includes: 2 floor plans, a breakdown of major elements of mass, indoor/outdoor temperature graphs during 1 severe winter, and a "Wood Burning Fact Sheet" showing wood use, BTU delivered, and pollution emitted, compared to houses still using fossil fuels.

12.08) "The Many 'R's of the Alberta Sustainable Home/Office: This 4 page paper discusses 22 approaches to design, construction and lifestyle, for a more sustainable future, all of which have been implemented in the Alberta Sustainable Home/Office by our firm. The "Basic Principles" elaborate opportunities beyond the standard 3 'R's - "reduce, reuse and recycle" to many other complementary actions and approaches, such as: rethink, re-evaluate, research, redefine the resource, reclaim, resale value, recover & redesignate, refurbish, repair & restore, and renewables. Aspects of "Global Environmental Stewardship", "Water Use", and "Architectural Concepts" are also discussed.

12.09) "Science & Technology of Alberta Sustainable House": This 2 page description summarizes some of the features of the Alberta
Sustainable Home/Office under the headings of: Biology, Chemistry Geology, Physics and Other, for teachers and school administrators.

12.10) "Windows, SunPipes & Shades in the Alberta Sustainable Home/Office": This 5 page overview of observations and impressions
on various fenestration techniques used in the Alberta Sustainable Home/Office includes: "Criteria" such as Affordability,
Indoor Air Quality, Maximum Daylighting, Reduction of Heat Loss, Increased Comfort, Embodied Energy, Renewable
Resources, Airtightness, Passive Solar Penetration, Humidity, Noise, Low Maintenance, UV Blockage, Bringing Outside
Inside, Security & Safety and Environmental Record (of manufacturer). Technology Highlights include a brief discussion of : R-17
(COG) Window, AR Low-E films, R-12 (COG) off-the-shelf windows, an ER=+17.8 window, and SunPipes. Retrofit Strategies
discussed include: Window Coverings, Solar Venetian Blinds, Window Quilts, Honeycombed Shades, and Window Kits.
Conclusions are provided on: an R-20 Window, a better SunPipe, Less Window Mullions, Wide Window Sills, Window Mirrors (very popular), Interior Windows, Storm Window Kits, Skylights, Condensation, Condensation Retention Gutter, "Swiggle Strip", White Window Frames, and Overall Conclusions. These observations and lessons are based on "real world" experience in living and working with buildings we design and build.

b. Strawbale Design & Construction:

12.11) "The BREBS Project" (Straw-Bale Rammed Earth Passive Solar Home): This 5 page paper discusses some of the main design
and construction features of this strawbale rammed earth home. Some of the "Guiding Principles of Sustainability" discussed
include: Environmental Stewardship, Vernacular Aesthetics, Indigenous Materials, Decentralization, Team Approach, Local
Economy, Arts & Crafts, Job Creation, Cottage Industry, User Participation, Ethical Procurement, Alternative Funding, and
Economic Incentive. Some of the "Architectural Features" described include: Smaller & Affordable House, Construction,
Aesthetics, Space Stretchers, Belvedere and Details. Some of the Energy Features described include: Exterior Walls, Windows,
Ventilation and Mechanical Systems. Some of the "Renewable Energy Features" include: Solar Thermal, Solar Electric, Wind,
Daylighting, Gas Line and Wood Heat. Under the heading of "Environmental Features", Indoor Air Quality, Recycled (Products) and
Recycling Center, Water Use, and Sewage Treatment are discussed. A graph of the results of structural testing of strawbales
(both on end and flat), the first in North America, is also included.

12.12) "Preliminary Code Amendment to Part 9.00 of the Alberta Building Code (and National Building Code of Canada) for Strawbale Construction:
This 6 page paper starts with an Abstract, Background, Introduction, Definitions and Context before examining some of the "Basic Parameters" including: Engineer's Stamp; Two Story Restrictions; Basements; Structural Loads; Monolithic Integrity; Racking Strength; Top Plates; Lintels; Bottom Pedestal; Scaffolding; Loose Straw Pick-Up; Fire Fighting Plan; All Risk Insurance; Construction Fence; Flashings; Corner Bracing; Capillary Break; Drainage; Stucco Treatment; Vapour Retarder; Variations; Moisture Content; Bathroom Humidity; Electrical Wiring; Roof Overhang; Exterior Finish; Corner Gaps; Height Limitation; Stacking; and Portholes. The paper concludes with "Other" aspects, References and Postscript. 2 drawings are included.

12.13) "Strawbale Blacksmith Shop": This 2 page overview by the owner of a Blacksmith Shop built with strawbale walls explains the basic costs and problems encountered with this project.

12.14) "Strawbale Buildings in Northern Climates": This 9 page "Case Study Overview" is meant as "candid advice on a promising, environmental, renewable & natural (but imperfect) building material & method", based on work since 1978. The 7 main areas of discussion include: History, Applications, Assets & Liabilities, Construction, Building Details, Testing Reports, and Other Components.

This paper starts with a Prologue, Background and Introduction.

The "Discussion" section includes short paragraphs on the following: General Advantages, General Disadvantages, Architectural Advantages, Limitations, Achilles Heel, Material Cost, Reuse & Recycle, Renewable Resource, Short Rejuvenation Cycle, Embodied Energy, No Factory, Dual Dividends, Code Compliance, and FIRES.

Under the heading of "Construction", the following items are briefly discussed: Construction Method, Forgiving Material, Pre-Compression,
Alignment, Scaffolding, Post & Beam Construction, Stucco, Exterior Finishing Materials, Interior Finishing Materials, Construction Cost, Hip Roofs, Roof Trusses, Tips, WarmUp and Recofit.

Under the heading "Details", the following aspects are briefly discussed: Specifications, Rock Foundation, Rubble Trenches, FormWork, Foundation Wall Insulation, Waffle Slabs, Starter Rebars, Wood Preservative, Bottom Plate, Moisture Content, Breathing Walls, Vapour Barriers, Pinning, Windows, Ladders and Overhangs.

Under the heading "Testing", the following aspects are briefly noted: Insulation Value, Compression Tests, Air Tightness and Wrong References.

Under the last heading, "Other", the following aspects are briefly discussed: Three Myths, Value Added, Coach Potatoes, Advice, Reminders, Open Invitation, Rhetorical Questions and In Closing.

The paper ends with 10 References.

12.15) "Looking back: the last 18 years of Strawbale Design & Construction for Northern Climates": Jorg Ostrowski began working on strawbale design and construction in 1978. He has never been a strawbale "zealot". As with all construction methods, strawbale construction has certain advantages and disadvantages. Unless one has many years of "real world" experience with various construction techniques, on many different projects, one can not know the assets and liabilities of various construction methods. Strawbale walls only comprises a small % of total construction costs. This 6 page paper discusses some of the lessons learned, those ideas that worked and those that did not. It begins with an introduction to the more recent resurgence of interest in strawbale construction in the US in the 1990s, and goes on to describe such aspects as: Advantages (General, Environmental, Construction); Moisture; Insulation Value; Disadvantages; Details; Specifications; Rubble Trenches; Roof Trusses; Myths; Code Compliance; Limitations; Caution; Advice; Improvements Needed; Research; Conclusion; and References & Resources. 5 photographs are included. This is a widely distributed paper.

c. Other Buildings & Products:

12.16) "Energy Options in Backcountry Alpine Huts": This talk to the Alpine Club in 1991 was an overview of Advantages, Disadvantages and Costs of: Conservation, Fuel Cells, Mini-Hydro, Passive Solar, Photovoltaics, Thermo-Electric Generators (TEGs) and Wind Electric Generators, as options for remote and stand-alone Alpine Huts. The main headings for this 6 page paper included: Background, Requirements, Energy Options, Costs, Best Options, The Design of an "Autonomous Alpine Hut" and Bibliography. An Alternative Energy Matrix provided a rating for various Criteria such as: Renewable Energy, No Pollution, Low Embodied Energy, Recycled Parts, D-I-Y Potential, No Moving Parts, Low Weight, Simplicity, Reliability, Modularity, Portability, Commercial Availability, Self Reliance, Quiet, Low Maintenance, Energy Density, Co-Generation, In-House, Time Tested, Efficiency, Cost-Effectiveness and Application, for each of the following Energy strategies: Conservation, Fuel Cells, Mini-Hydro, Passive Solar, Photovoltaics, TEG and Wind. Sections, South Elevation and Floor Plan for a "Generic Autonomous Alpine Hut for 15 people" was also provided.

12.17) "Green Building Products for Sustainable Buildings and Communities": This 4 page paper discusses some of the basic principles and specific products appropriate for this context. Under "Occupant Health", Low/Non Toxic Materials are discussed. "Environmental Stewardship" provides details on Insulation, Natural Materials, and Maximum Sunlight & Daylight. "Resource Conservation" itemizes Reused Materials, Recycled Content, and Short Rejuvenation Periods. Another section describes "Water Conservation" opportunities. "Energy Conservation" describes Air Tightness, and Insulation opportunities. "Specific Green Products" provides brief descriptions of: Foam Form Cribbing, Non-Additive Concrete, Space Joists, EcoStuds, Waterless Toilets, Heat Recovery Systems, Radiant floor Heating, Photovoltaics, SolarWall, Stucco, Strawbales, Insulated Lintels, High Performance Windows, Non-Additive Drywall Mud, StrawBoards and
Other Products, for sustainable buildings and communities.

12.18) "Green Office Towers": In preparation for our "Retrofit Strategy for a 50 Story, 2000 Person Office Tower", this firm reviewed relevant architectural precedents. This 4 page overview describes some of the best green office buildings both new and retrofit, including: the International Nederlanden Bank (Amsterdam, Holland); Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank (Hong Kong); C. K. Choi Building (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), Green on the Grande (Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), 2211 West 4th Avenue (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), BRE Low Energy Headquarters (Garston, UK), the Self-Sustaining Eco Centre (Tyne & Wear, UK), the Learning Center (Chelmsford, UK), NRDC's Eco-Office (Washington, DC, US), The Center for Regenerative Studies (Pomona, California, US), Eastgate Office Complex (Harare, Zimbabwe), Jack Davis Building (Victoria, BC), Audubon House (NYC, New York, US), Ridgehaven Municipal building (San Diego California, US) and the EcoSmart Building Center (NYC, New York, US). 10 References are provided.

12.19) "Passive Cooling": A more healthy and environmentally progressive alternative to Artificial Air Conditioning". This 2.25 page essay briefly outlines such techniques as: Prudent Avoidance, Air Tightness, High Levels of Insulation, Venetian Blinds and Insulating Shades, Radiant Barriers, Light Roofs, Roof Overhangs, Operable Windows, Chimney Effect Ventilation, Cross-through Ventilation, Stack Effect, Mass, Air Locks and Lifestyle.

13.00 Drawings/Details: These popular features and details were developed through our various "real world" projects. They are not available anywhere else.
13.10 "Cool Closet": popular way to take advantage of cool outdoor temperatures, for at least half the year, inside the home to make the fridge run less.
13.11 strawbale "Wall Access Port" (described in 8.00 above): drawings, instructions and photos can be e-mailed to you.

13.20 "Strawbale Details": Some of the most up-to-date professional details for strawbale construction include, but not limited to:
13.201 window/door buck framing 13.207 interior wall supports for handrail, grabbar, etc.
13.202 wall section showing sewing technique & sequence 13.208 window jamb & sill blowups
13.203 wall-roof connection showing high heel trusses 13.209 interior-exterior wall connection
13.204 frost protected shallow foundation 13.210 corner bracing
13.205 continuous insulated top plate/bond beam/lintel 13.211 Wall Access Ports
13.206 continuous insulated bottom grade beam 13.212 thermal breaks at door thresholds

14.00 Reports: Topics: Biological Toilets, Self-Sufficient Water Systems, Sustainable Home Design, Retrofit Walls, Retrofitting Townhouses. The retrofit reports are specifically useful today in light of the Kyoto protocol and the vast opportunities to save energy, utility costs and CO2 emissions in existing multi-family projects, while increasing resale value.

14.01 "Alternative Human Waste Management Options: A Comparative Study (Biological Toilets): Jorg Ostrowski, Karen Braun, ARE-Inc.
This 70 page well illustrated study objectively compared various toilet systems for homes and businesses, evaluating various systems against many different criteria. Conventional household toilet systems such as the flush toilet with centralized treatment or septic systems contaminate drinking water and are inefficient as a transport medium. Conventional toilets are detrimental to the environment in terms of methods of treatment and disposal of by-products. There are feasible alternative human waste treatment systems available for household use that have favourable characteristics over conventional systems.

A classification of toilet types was developed based on the method of toilet function and waste treatment. Through the "Comparative Inventory Chart of Household Waste Treatment Systems", each option is evaluated according to a set of detailed criteria. For the Environmental Impact Category, the stationary and mechanical types of composting toilets are rated the best. Taking into account all criteria within each category, the retrofit toilet devices rank highest.

The "Comparative Inventory Chart" is a useful tool for the evaluation of current and future toilet systems. It is also useful to determine the most appropriate alternative household human waste treatment system for various situations because the criteria ratings can be altered to reflect specific considerations.

The Table of Contents is broken down into the following sections, starting with: Abstract, Executive Summary, Acknowledgements, Company Profile, List of Figures, and List of Tables and Graphs.

The section entitled, "Introduction", discusses: History of Human Waste Management, Current Methods of Human Waste Management, Importance of Water Conservation, Human Physiology and Health.

The section entitled, "Deterministic Criteria for the Comparative Inventory Chart", discusses the following criteria under 5 main categories: Aesthetics: House Integration, Odourless, Quiet Operation and Resale Marketability; Convenience: Durability, Ease of Code Approval, Fail Safe Devices, Local Availability, Low Maintenance, Operational Simplicity and Retrofit Adaptability; and Cost: Do-It-Yourself Installation, Low Operating and Maintenance Costs, Low Purchase Costs and Low Repair and Replacement Costs; Environmental Impact: Chemical-Free, Energy Conservation, Low Contamination Risk, Low Embodied Energy, Minimum Waste Removal, Recycled Materials, Regional Application, Safe and useful End Product, Self-Sufficiency, Various Wastes Handled, and Water Conservation; Health & Safety: Accident Prevention, Fire Prevention, Hygienic, Minimum Waste Contact, Pest-Free, and Temporary Containment.

The "Classification of Toilet Systems" was broken down into5 separation categories: Biological Toilets: Composting (Stationary), Composting (Mechanical), Composting (Assisted); Chemical Toilets: Oil Flush, Portable, and Recirculating Fluid; Physically Processed Methods: Freeze, Incinerating, Packing and Vacuum; Standard (Conventional) Toilets: Outhouse Privy, Regular Flush (22.5 litres), and Standard Septic.; and Water-Based Toilet Systems: Aerobic Tanks, Algae Digester, Low Flush (1-7 litres), Retrofit Devices (11.5-19.5 litres), and Ultra-Low Flush (0.6-1 litre).

The report then moves into a discussion of the results from the "Comparative Inventory Chart", followed by a Summary of Questionnaire Responses, Conclusions, Recommendations, References and Appendices. This report includes: 29 Figures, 2 Tables, and 6 Graphs.

14.02 "The Sustainable Home Water System" at the Alberta Sustainable Home/Office: Jorg Ostrowski, Karen Braun, ACE-Inc.
This 5 year study monitored potable and reuse water. It reduced total residential water use by 78% compared with average Calgary household.

Collected rainwater is treated on demand to satisfy potable water requirements and meets the Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines (1996) for all parameters tested, however aesthetic objectives are slightly exceeded for temperature.

Heat from greywater is reclaimed through the counter-current and drum storage greywater heat exchangers contributing 7.4% and 4.4% respectively to hot water heating. Combined in-series operation accounts for 16.8% of the hot water heating required at the Alberta Sustainable Home/Office.

The greywater is treated using slow sand filters, soil box subirrigation, and a GreyWater Garden Wall. The treated greywater conforms to non-potable water guidelines from several U.S. states, apart from the elevated levels of total suspended solids. This "reuse water" satisfies 86% of the total water demand (i.e. ultra low flush toilet, bathing, clothes washing and subsurface irrigation).

The Sustainable Home Water System (SHWS) is a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly, and safe home water system which can easily be installed in new homes, and SHWS components can be incorporated into existing residential water systems. Maintenance and operation requirements are inexpensive and require limited time, however, a complete understanding of the system is required. Further research, monitoring, adaptation, improvements and refinements to the water treatment system will continue as time and resources are available.

The Table of Contents is broken down into 7 major headings as noted below, with subheadings. The report starts out with an Abstract, Executive Summary, Acknowledgements, a List of 7 Figures and a List of 19 Tables.

The "Introduction" discusses the Objectives of the study.

"Sustainable Home Water System (SHWS) Design" discusses both: Water Demand and Water Supply with the help of 3 Tables.

"Description of the Sustainable Home Water System (SHWS)" discusses: Rainwater Collection; Potable Water Treatment and Supply; GreyWater Heat Exchangers; GreyWater Treatment and Reuse Supply: Slow Sand Filtration, Soil Box Subirrigation and GreyWater Garden Wall; with the aid of schematics, tables and drawings.

"Water Quality for the Sustainable Home Water System" discusses the following topics: Water Quality Monitoring Objectives; Water Quality Monitoring Protocol; Water Quality Monitoring results: Potable Water System Quality, GreyWater Quality, and Reuse Water Quality; Water Quality Discussion; and Water Quality Recommendations.

"GreyWater Heat Exchanger (GWHX) System" discusses: GreyWater Heat Exchanger Precedents: Counter Current GreyWater Heat Exchangers (CCHX), and Drum Storage GreyWater Heat Exchangers (DSHX); Design Description of GreyWater Heat Exchangers: Counter Current GreyWater Heat Exchangers, and Drum Storage GreyWater Heat Exchangers; GreyWater Heat Exchanger (GWHX) Monitoring: GWHX Monitoring Objective/Performance Criteria, GWHE Monitoring Protocol; GreyWater Heat Exchanger Data Analysis; GreyWater Heat Exchanger Monitoring Results: Counter Current GreyWater Heat Exchanger, Drum Storage GreyWater Heat Exchanger, In-Series Operation of the GreyWater Heat Exchanger System; GreyWater Heat Exchanger Discussion; and GreyWater Heat Exchanger Recommendations.

"Performance Analysis of the Sustainable Home Water System" discusses: Actual Water Demand for the Sustainable Home Water System; Capital Costs for Sustainable Home Water System; and Integrated Savings Account (Energy, Greenhouse Gases, Environmental Credits, Externalities and Societal Savings): Operational Costs; Environmental Savings; A 10 and 20 Year Forecast; Security of Supply and Service, Trends, Precedents; Water and Sewage as Precious Resources; and Politics of Water.

The report ends with Conclusions on Government Involvement and Compliance Issues, Recommendations, References and 8 Appendices on Monitoring Data.

14.03 "Design of a Generic Sustainable House", Jorg Ostrowski, Tony Argento, ACE-Inc.
The Alberta Sustainable Home/Office began with this 230 page research effort that combined a literature search, study of precedents, selection of criteria, initial architectural drawings and computer simulations. The main idea was to develop a prototype sustainable home that developers could use in tract housing in the future. It must be remembered that this study became the foundation for continued research, improvements and evolution as time went on, so that in the end, all environmental targets have been met or far surpassed in the actual construction of the Alberta Sustainable Home/Office.

Sustainable Development refers to the use and treatment of the environment and its raw materials and resources in a manner which will not affect the ability of future generation to do the same. Concern over the state and preservation of the environment has fast become a matter of high priority for governments, industry, trade and professional associations, and the public. Using the principles of environmental protection and recognizing that affordability must also be preserved to promote marketability, this project encompassed the detailed design of an affordable sustainable house.

Specific project objectives included:
1) the identification of environmentally responsible features and techniques that can be incorporated into the design of a single detached dwelling in a
cost-effective manner with no adverse effect on the saleability of the house in the mainstream urban market;
2) the production of detailed working drawings
3) validation of the cost of the resultant sustainable house

Through personal expertise, the assessment of information gathered from existing literature, and consultation and interviews with industry representatives, the project team developed a set of environmental criteria, which could be used to quantify the performance of the house to be designed against that of a similarly sized conventional house. These criteria included but were not limited to, quantity of lumber used, electricity and water consumption, heating/cooling requirements, generation of pollutants, and overall energy impact.

In the preliminary stages of design, a comprehensive and all-encompassing list of environmentally beneficial features was compiled. The list was closely examined in terms of marketability of the various features. Those deemed detrimental in terms of saleability to the urban consumer were discarded. Surviving elements were subjected to cost examination. The benchmark for this examination was the 3-bedroom 4-level split house used by Alberta Municipal Affairs in its annual House Cost Comparison Study. As required, the list of environmentally beneficial features was further culled, by discarding items in the order of least preference, to maintain unit costs compatibility with the benchmark house. Remaining items were then incorporated into the detailed working design of the generic sustainable house.

The resultant drawings and specifications were then submitted to 3 Calgary builders for detailed pricing and to the City for confirmation of compliance with municipal requirements. As necessary, further refinements concerning price and physical form were carried out.

The final design of the sustainable house featured: slab-on-grade construction; exposed (patterned) concrete floors in some areas; an airtight, energy-efficient envelope; high performance glazing; a liveable attic; a waste recycling and composting centre connected to the kitchen; an integral solarium (greenhouse); passive solar-assisted domestic water and radiant floor heating system; mechanical ventilation; greywater recovery and reuse; rainwater collection; energy-efficient lighting and optimum daylighting; and specific-purpose photovoltaics, to name a few. Special efforts were expended to ensure that non-toxic or very low toxicity materials were specified throughout. The compact 3-bedroom design contained 1175 SF on the main floor and a fully developed attic area of 375 SF, for a total of 1550 SF of living space.

The house would require 20% less lumber to build than would a similarly sized conventional house. Calculations indicate that electrical and water consumption could be reduced by 72% and 67% (respectively) compared to a conventional household. [Note: Report 12.02 indicated 83% reduction.] Natural Gas consumption is estimated to be 79% lower than conventional space and hot water heating requirements. [Note: A 100% reduction in natural gas was achieved since there is no NG line, furnace or boiler.] Researchers were not able to quantify pollutant generation and overall (embodied) energy impact criteria of the house because of the lack of existing and available data in these categories. The design philosophy, however, placed great emphasis on minimization in this regards.

The project demonstrated that the principles of environmental responsibility can be cost-effectively applied to housing in a manner that does not detract from the marketability of the house, with minimum lifestyle adjustments. Benefits can accrue to all involved, including material manufacturers, developers, builders, and consumers. Most importantly, investment in sustainable housing constitutes investment in the preservation of the environment and in a sustainable future.

The Table of Contents is broken down into the following 9 main sections, with 10 Tables, 8 drawings and 4 Appendices: 1) Executive Summary, 2) Data Collection, 3) Precedents of Sustainable Buildings and Projects, 4) Residential Construction and Post-Occupancy Waste, 5) Selection and Quantification of Performance Criteria, 6) Design and Specifications, 7) Comparative Performance, 8) Cost Analysis, 9)Conclusions. Subheadings are outlined below.

1) "Executive Summary": Introduction, Focus and Objectives of the Work, Study Approach, and Report Structure.

2) "Data Collection": Literature Search, Industry Questionnaire, and Market Trends.

3) "Precedents of Sustainable Buildings and Projects": Hamilton Solarium, Calgary Alberta Canada; Stampede SunSeed, Calgary Alberta; Silver Willow Pheasant Farm Lodge, Carstairs Alberta; Stollery House, Devon Alberta; Environmental Resource Centre, Edmonton Alberta; Chareve Community, Rural Alberta; Ecology House, Toronto, Ontario Canada; Northwood Estates, Nova Scotia Canada; Biosphere II, Arizona US; Integral Urban House, California US; Meadow Creek, Arkansas US; Solar 1 Subdivision, Phoenix Arizona US; Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales, UK; Dutch Policy on Global Warming, Netherlands; and Summary.

4) "Residential Construction and Post-Occupancy Waste": Residential Construction Waste, Post-Occupancy Waste, and Dealing with Waste.

5) "Selection and Quantification of Performance Criteria": Lumber, Electricity, Water, Heating & Cooling, Indoor Environment, Energy Impact and Conservation.

6) "Design and Specifications": Drawings

7) "Comparative Performance": Lumber, Electricity, Water, heating/Cooling, Indoor Air Quality, and Energy Impact.

8) "Cost Analysis": Target Cost, Determination of Actual Selling Price, Paybacks, and Cost Summary

The report ends with "Conclusions", a Bibliography and 4 Appendices.

14.04 "Advanced Sustainable House": Jorg Ostrowski, Helen Ostrowski, Orian Low and Tony Argento, ACE-Inc.
Shortly after the "Design of a Generic Sustainable House" (see 14.03 above) was completed, we began to refine the previous work with this submission to the Advanced Houses Competition. We were chosen as one of the 14 winners from across Canada in Stage 1, and submitted our Stage 2 report to the competition. Due to ulterior motives and political manoeuvring behind our backs by a local lobby group worried about our success, Alberta lost its opportunity to participate in this national program. However, after an initial shock at this turn of events, it quickly became clear it was a blessing in disguise. Today the [Alberta Sustainable Home/Office] still bears witness to its success using only about 25% of the purchased energy of the Advanced Houses and having been visited by about 70,000 people from around the world. It is still open to the general public after 10 years of "Open Houses".

This 140 page research effort combined: technical innovation, project/business plans, selection of criteria, identification of a multi-disciplinary team, refinements to architectural drawings, and further computer simulations. It must be remembered that this submission, together with its predecessor report, became the vehicle for continued refinement and evolution as time went on, so that in the end, all environmental targets have been met or far surpassed in the actual construction of the [Alberta Sustainable Home/Office].

The Table of Contents is broken down into 3 sections: Introduction, Application Form and Appendices. The subjects of greatest interest are underlined.

The "Introduction" begins with: Summary Sheet #1: House & Site Statistics, and Main Features; Summary Sheet #2; Energy & Environmental Targets, and Chief Participants.

The "Application Form" is broken down into 5 subsections, as follows:
1.0 Technological Innovation: Potential Prototypes(s); Potential Innovations (features, methods, products, options); Monitoring and Assessment Plan; and
Ability to Commercialize Successful Prototypes or Concepts
2.0 Technical Requirements: Predicted Energy Performance; Equipment Information and Options; Appliance Information; Lighting; Outdoor Electricity Usage;
Peak Electricity Control; Fan Energy; and Environmental Requirements
3.0 Project Intent and Publicity Plan: Project Purpose; Issues Addressed; Prospects for Industry Adoption; Publicity Activities; Technology Transfer, and Activities
4.0 Project Funding: Proposed Project Budget; Financial Contributions; Contributions of Goods and Services; and Approximate EMR Funding Requested
5.0 Project Management: Project Team; and Proposed Deliverables

There are 13 Appendices as follows, with the "Drawings" and "Energy & Photovoltaic Calculations" sections being the main focus.
1.0) Drawings: Site Plan & Landscape Layout; Main Floor Plan; Attic Floor Plan; South & West Elevations; North & East Elevations; Sections; Optional Attic
Rental Suite; Foundation & Framing Plan; Main Floor Radiant Layout; Mechanical Schematics; Radiant Floor Heating Notes; Main Floor Electrical Plan; Attic
Electrical Layout; and Photovoltaic System Schematic.
2.0) Tasks & Timeline
3.0) Critical Path (Schedule)
4.0) Energy & Photovoltaics Calculations: HOT 2000; PV- Worksheet Summary; PV - System Performance Analysis; PV- Design Summary; and PV - System
Design Manual; Worksheet #1: Site Conditions; Worksheet #2: Load Estimator; Worksheet #3: Battery Bank; and Worksheet #4: Array & Components.
5.0) Annual Fossil Fuel & Environmental Cost Avoidance Chart
6.0) Biological Air Cleaners & Pollution Controllers
7.0) Environmental Report Card
8.0) Monitoring Plan & Costs
9.0) Business Plan
10.0) Promotion Plan
11.0) Media Events:
A: Advanced Sustainable House:
News Release of Nov. 29, 1991; Calgary Herald, Nov. 29, 1991; Calgary Herald, Dec. 28-29, 1991; and Natural Life Magazine, Jan. 1992.
B. Sustainable House:
Canadian House & Home, Feb/March 1991; Environment Views, Dec. 1990; Grande Prairie Herald Tribune, Aug. 30, 1991; Grande Prairie Herald
Tribune, Oct. 1, 1991; and Calgary Mirror, June 1, 1991.
C. Other Work:
Calgary Herald, Nov. 18, 1990; Calgary Herald, Oct. 28, 1990; Calgary Herald, July 30, 1990; Calgary Herald, Oct. 22, 1984; Calgary Sun, March 21,
1991; Globe & Mail, April 1991; Calgary Herald, Nov. 29, 1991; Calgary Herald, Oct. 21, 1991; Edmonton Journal, May 22, 1990; Edmonton Journal, ?,
Grande Prairie Herald Tribune, June 7, 1990; and Kitchener Free Press.
12.0) Sealed Combustion Range

13.0) Linkages:
A. Direct Involvement: Calgary Home Builders Association representing industry (Note: Not used. See note above) ; Soltech Housing Calgary Ltd. as a
builder; the City of Calgary: Mayor's Office for land, Electric Department for PV grid-interconnect, and Waterworks Department for water
conservation expertise; Alberta Environment for research & contacts; Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada for IRAP funding; Canadian
Western Natural Gas for sealed combustion gas range; Nu-Tek Plastics for airtight electrical boxes; Horizon Technologies Inc. for home automation;
Visionwall Technologies Inc., for high performance windows; C"MAX Technologies for composite roofing tiles; Alta-Therm Industries Ltd. for window
technology; Healthy Calgary (Dr. David Swann) for indoor air quality; Alberta Association for Environmental Health for Kinesiology and IAQ; Burnco
Products Ltd. for roofing tiles; Can-Cell Industries Inc., for cellulose insulation; Tycor International Inc., for surge protector; Soltek Solar Energy Ltd., for
photovoltaics; The Natural Stain Company of Canada for environmentally sound paints; Dr. Robin Basu, electrical engineer, for photovoltaics; Roy
Barker, mechanical engineer, for solar thermal and radiant floor heating; George Hegmann, mechanical engineer, for solar thermal and greywater heat
B. Indirect Involvement: Alberta Research Council; Alberta Municipal Affairs; Alberta Economic Development and Trade; Environmental Network; Global
Thermoelectric; Bentek Corporation; and the Environment Council of Alberta.

The submission ended with the professional resumes of Jorg Ostrowski, Helen Ostrowski, Tony Argento and the consultants.

14.05 "Retrofit Wall System for Residential Housing", Jorg Ostrowski, Rob Chapla, ARE-Inc.
This 18 page report reviewed various options for increasing air-tightness and greater insulation values for average 2x4 walls. The study is broken down into the
following sections: Summary, Introduction, Form & Content, Conclusions, Recommendations, and References.

Under "Form and Content", 3 main retrofit systems were considered: Rigid Board Insulation as Sheathing, Curtain Wall as Stand-Off Retrofits, and Spray-on Retrofit Insulation.

Some of the 43 criteria used for evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of insulation materials included: Insulation Type, R-Value/Inch, Thickness, R-Factor @
Thickness, Number of Layers, Functional Air Barrier, Permeance, Acoustically Absorbent, Smoke and Fire Resistance (Flame Spread), Water Absorption Resistance (% volume), Non Toxic Material, Air Movement, R-Value Stability, Acceptance of Stucco, Additional Sheathing Requirement, Availability, and Thickness.

Some of the criteria or considerations for determining "wall system" include: Thickness, Standard Construction, Simplicity for Contractor, Simplicity for Homeowner, One Trade, Special Equipment, Basement Retrofit, Roof Retrofit, Windows Retained, Eave Retained, Ledger Plate, Rafter Support, Minimal Flashing, Setback Problems, Tyvek, Finish Compatibility, Impact Resistance, Repair, Thermal Break, Thermal Bridge, Energy Input (BTU/SF/R), Renewable Raw Materials, and New Construction.

The main cost criteria consisted of cost (cents/SF/R).

The report ended with a Summation, Conclusions re: Insulation and Wall System, Recommendations, and References. 2 pages of details and photographs were included. 1 large blueprint shows a standard old house and 8 details using the recommended system. Another large blueprint shows a "Comparative Inventory of Various Retrofit Wall Systems" in a matrix of Systems with Photographs, Horizontal Section, and Vertical Section, evaluated against 46 criteria.

14.06 "RecoFit House", Jorg Ostrowski, Helen Ostrowski, Orian Low and Tony Argento, ARE-Inc.
This submission to the "CMHC Healthy Homes Design Competition" in 1992, was presented in both a Report and presentation board format. Our entry received an Honourable Mention. There were no winners in the category of Single Family Home. The 112 page Report & Appendices contained the following sections, with
subsections noted, where appropriate.
here: underlining & order (according to dates, alphabetical, etc.?), present tense
Occupant Health: Indoor Air Quality; Water Quality; Light Quality & Levels; Sound Levels; Electromagnetic Fields; Barrier Free Suite; and Fire Safety.

Energy Efficiency: Embodied Energy; Design Heat Loss; Energy Requirements: Energy for Heating, Energy of Ventilation, Energy for Cooling; Renewable Energy
Systems: Solar Thermal - Air, Solar Thermal - Water, Solar Electrical - Photovoltaics, Solar Electrical - Wind; Biomass - Wood Heat; Destratified Heat; Electrical Load Changes; and Home Automation.

Resource Efficiency: Material Selection & Use; Management Policy; Water Conservation: Rainwater, GreyWater, Toilets, Showers, and Faucets; Durability & Longevity; Architectural Design; Recycling Centres and Space Stretchers.

Environmental Responsibility: Emissions: Combustion By-Products; Waste Water: Sewage; Community Planning: Site Planning; Hazardous Waste: Landfill & Disposal; Plants as Air Filters; and Lifestyle.

Affordability, Economic Viability & Payback: Affordability; Practicality; Adaptability; Marketability; Sweat Equity; Rental Suite; Home Industry; Preferential Mortgage; and Tax Benefits.

There are 21 Appendices in 4 main categories, Occupant Health; Energy Audit; Energy Efficiency; Renewable Energy Systems; and Building Plans

The Occupant Health Appendices contain the following sections: Indoor Air Quality in an Existing House; Mechanical Air Cleaners: Review & Selection; Housing Characteristics for the Environmentally Ill: Commentary & Selection; Kinesiology in Construction: Techniques for Material Selection & Use; Consumer Products for the Environmentally Sensitive: A Business Man's Perspective; Residential Water Treatment: Overview & Selection; Chemically Sensitive HRVs: Concepts, Experience & Features for a Prototype; Biological Air Filters; EMF in 3 Existing Houses: Identification & Measurement.

The Energy Audit Appendices contains the following section: Air Leakage Test Report: Identification & Quantification.

The Energy Efficiency Appendices contains the following sections: Energy & Environmental Cost Avoidance Chart: Operating Energy, Water & Pollution Reductions; Heat Loss/Heat Gain Calculations: HOT 2000; Indoor Air Quality Tools; Home Automation: Design & Selection of Equipment; and Energy Efficient Appliances: New & Retrofit (Fridge, Washing Machine & Furnace Fan).

The Renewable Energy Appendices contain the following 2 sections: Solar Electric: Photovoltaics (Energy Contributions); and Photovoltswagen: Solar Retrofitted Golf Cart as Commuter Cart.

The Building Plans Appendices contain the following sections: Architectural, Electrical and Structural (Axonometric of the Basement, Main and Second floors before and after RecoFit); Sections: N-S Section, E-W Section, Building Section (Before & After); Elevations: South (Before & After); North (Before & After); East (Before & After); West (Before & After); Site Plan: Site & Landscape Plan (Before & After); Site & Landscape Planning (Integrated Sustainable Approach and Edible, Medicinal, Energy Conserving & CO2 Landscaping); and Cost Data.

The Product Information Appendix is a compilation of new product information, with the following sections, which are detailed above: Occupant Health, Energy Efficiency, Resource Efficiency, Environmental Responsibility, Affordability, and Economic Viability & Payback.

A Bibliography was also included.

14.07 "Self-Help Retrofit Manual for Owners of Multi-Family Housing Units": This 61 page report by Jorg Ostrowski of ARE-Inc, for a 3 year grant under the Alberta/Canada Energy Resources Research Fund was undertaken at a 43 unit Housing Co-op. The Table of Contents includes the following 6 sections: Executive Summary; Introduction; Objectives, Description of Retrofit Techniques, Conclusions, and Recommendations, as detailed below.

The section entitled: "Description of Retrofit Techniques" is divided into the following subsections: Introduction; Retrofit Techniques Tested: Air Locks, Air sealing, Automatic Combustion Air Control, Furnace Interrupters, Furnace Maintenance, Indoor Dryer Vent Kits, Set-Back Thermostats, Water Conservation, and Window Insulation Kits.

The section entitled: "Other Potential Retrofit Measures" is divided into the following subsections: Basement Floor Insulation, Basement Wall Insulation, Duct Sealing & Insulation, Energy Cost Indicator, Hot Water Tank Blanket, Low Flow Shower Heads, Pipe Insulation, Return Air Combustion Control, and Low Flow Restrictors/Aerators.

General and Specific conclusions are given to Professionals, Government, and Designers and Architects. Many diagrams and photographs are included.

14.08 "The Hood River Precedent", is a 10 page 1987 Report by Jorg Ostrowski of ARE-Inc., to provide a general introduction to the landmark significance of retrofitting on a community scale that was unique in the world, at that time. This $21 million project, involved many levels of government, power companies and citizen groups. About 3,100 electrically-heated homes in the Town of Hood River Oregon, were "weatherized" withe energy saving techniques. To be cost-effective, $1.15 could be spent on retrofitting then, to save 1 kWh in the future. A 28% demand reduction was expected to free up enough rediscovered (saved) power for use elsewhere, to avoid borrowed capital costs, rate increases, and new power plant construction. Maintenance costs and energy losses along the grid were also expected to decline significantly. Many peripheral studies on participation and attitudes, computer simulations, indoor air pollution, economic impact, house doctoring and air-leakage, have also occurred. This demonstration project has also shown that residential energy users are capable of producing significant amounts of available electrical energy by conservation and retrofitting measures. 4 photographs are included.

14.09 "Gas Consumption Analysis" is a 7 page short form or 66 page long form,1987 Report by Jorg Ostrowski of ARE-Inc., which charts the energy consumption records of 43 multi-family housing units between 1982 and 1986. Several graphs depict the natural gas requirements of:
1) tenured units (long term residents) compared to the overall average consumption (including high turnover units)
2) end units versus interior units
3) housing units according to block and orientation, and
4) monthly heating consumption per heating degree day.
Compared to single family houses, these 1100 SF units only consumed half the natural gas (about 66 GJ) per year compared to the same sized single family detached house. Most units could easily save 19%to 32% of their space heating costs by adopting more conserving lifestyles as already modelled by other units within the same development. Energy conserving retrofits, although effective, may sometimes seem to increase consumption. Two similar households may vary as much as 200% in their annual space heating energy demand and costs. This multi-family housing project failed to achieve a significant downward trend as was the pattern in Calgary during the same time. Part of the reason may have been the absence of equity ownership in the units and thus no personal commitment or return-of-investment to warrant improvements to a rental unit.

14.10 "Set-Back Thermostats" is a 4 page short form or 26 page long form,1987 Synopsis by Jorg Ostrowski of ARE-Inc., which charts the the relative merits of 9 well known set-back thermostats through a set of 39 criteria. This was supported by a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages, with appropriate graphics for the selection of the most cost-effective and best performaing devices on the market, based on an analysis of literature, specifications and laboratory results. The "Comparative Inventory Chart" is a 1 page sysnopsis of the report, in blueprint format, particularly useful for homeowners, property managers and energy professionals to assist in the selection of the most appropriate device. Many set-back thermostats are too complicated to install and operate. Prices should not exceed $50.00. According to lab tests, they can reduce energy consumption by 11%. Many "Add on" devices that utilize existing thermostats, are more appropriate than ones that replace them. The 3 most cost-effective devices, regardless of price are: Autostat by First Alert, T100 by Johnston Controls, and Magicstat 2000 by Quad Six.

14.11 "Hand Held Energy Audit Tools" is a short 4 page summary or 20 page long report was done by Jorg Ostrowski of ARE-Inc. in 1987. It compares 18 different energy audit instruments useful for locating and quantifying heat-loss in a building envelope. This document is meant for building owners, managers and scientists, engineers, designers and architects, consultants, utility companies and government departments responsible for reducing energy waste and operating expense. Included, is a "Comparative Inventory Chart" - a set of 2 blueprints giving a detailed relative evaluation of each tool according to 27 criteria. Included are such devices as the: Window Energy Meter, Maximum/Minimum Thermometer, Infiltrometer, Digital Contact Thermometer, Heat Sniffer, Cold Sleuth, Multi-Channel Thermometer, Air Snooper, E/One Snoop, Heat Sleuth, Microscanner, Ultra-Sound Leak Detector and the Infrared Digital Thermometer. Recommendations are given for a generic energy audit tool that would feature multiple functions, easy operation, maximum cost-effectiveness, universal acceptance and deep market penetration.

14.12 "Computer Simulations - HOTCan" is a 4 page summary or 36 page long report, completed in 1987 by Jorg Ostrowski of ARE-Inc. Computer software that was designed for energy-eficient single family buildings had rarely been tested for multi-family housing of traditional construction for retrofitting purposes. In this report, the well known "HOTCAN" program was used in this way to see what problems would be encountered, and how its "predictions" compared with "actual" consumption records. The effects of solar orientation and "block" versus "individual unit" calculations were compared to historical energy consumption records. One interesting result was that if interior units were air-sealed only (using actual blower door and weatherization results) any such units can equal or better the energy performance of a similarly-sized R-2000 home built to the "Super Energy Efficient Housing Program" standards of the Canadian Federal Government.

14.13 "Air-Leakage Tests: Housing Units" is a 7 page summary or 29 page long report, completed in 1987 by Jorg Ostrowski of ARE-Inc. Standard construction results in unnecessary fuel bills, heat-loss and discomfort, due to excessive and uncontrolled infiltration. The townhouses at Springhill Ranch Housing Co-op have greater air-leakage rates and areas than in most similar developments and detached single family homes in the area. The air leakage rate @ 50 Pa for standard townhouse units at this complex is 4 ACH, for air-sealed (retrofitted) units, 2.4 ACH. Air-leakage rates and areas were reduced 40% by "do-it-yourself" retrofitting without any work in the attic. Progressive sealing of accessible interior openings reduced air-leakage by 20%. Window insulation kits have good potential for reducing air-leakage. Blower door fans are not a very refined method of infiltration/exfiltration measurement due to problems in reliability, accuracy and awkwardness of equipment and method.

14.14 "Air Leakage Tests: Windows and Doors" is a 6 page summary or a 18 page long illustrated report, completed in 1987 by Jorg Ostrowski of ARE-Inc. Based on initial in-field testing with a portable air infiltration tester, window and door openings account for about 10-15%of the total air-leakage of the townhouses at Springhill Ranch Housing Co-op . Canadian air-leakage standards are unrealistically low, compared with the standards of other countries and are in desperate need of being upgraded and correlated into a single document. Governments should establish minimum standards for on-the-site, after-installation air-tightness tests of all window and door openings with the results of tests mandatory for public display. The use of horizontal sliders should be banned because of their notoriously poor air-tightness characteristics and the impossibility of improving in-site performance.

15.00 Strawbale Video Rental: 3 of these 4 videos are made in the US. They serve the purpose of general introduction. The fire testing video is helpful for building inspectors. They are available for rent at $5.00/week/video. Reservations are taken by e-mail.
15.01 "Straw bale Workshop": 73 minute video of US strawbale workshop (Black Range Films)
15.02 "A straw Bale Home Tour": 60 minute tour of US strawbale homes (Black Range Films)
15.03 "Straw Bale Code Testing: 40 minutes of fire testing walls useful for building inspectors (Black Range Films)
15.04 "Strawbale Construction" from Eastern Canada (Kim Thompson)

© Jorg Ostrowski 2003. All rights reserved.

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Principals: Jorg Ostrowski, M. Arch. (M.I.T.), B. Arch. (Toronto), Helen Ostrowski, B. S. Arch. (U.S.T.)
28 years in "Real World" professional Green Building practice, new & retrofit, 4 residential/commercial Demonstration Projects completed