• Langley Passive House - Part 5 - Door Install
  • Langley Passive House - Part 5 - Door Install
  • Langley Passive House - Part 5 - Door Install

Doors are installed similarly to windows. A 2x4 ripped is offset at jamb and head. The door frame rests on plywood spacers and is glued/sealed with adhesive foam. The frame is over a self-adhered flashing at sill which itself sits above rigid EPS at concrete foundation. The EPS is painted with compatible damp-proofing. 2 layers of rigid roxul provide a thermal bridge free installation at the wall. On the interior the door is taped to the concrete topping at floor and to the studs at jamb & head. The door install shares the non-conventional details as the wall detail (see Part 4). The exterior insulated strategy shown here is considered the most robust (http://buildingscience.com/documents/insights/bsi-001-the-perfect-wall) is endorsed by the Home Protection Office (https://hpo.bc.ca/r22-effective-walls-wood-frame-in-BC) the same people who insure your home. ...

Read More

Window Detail Triple pane window is installed over sill flashing & weather resistant membrane and then taped. Then there is a 2x4 ripped to the thickness of 1 layer of rigid roxul around the window offset about 3". This holds a layer of rigid roxul tight against the window frame and provides a nailing & flashing surface. The second layer of rigid roxul covers up the 2x4 resulting in a thermal bridge free detail. Borate treated 2x4 strapping on flat hold the 2 layers of rigid roxul in place. Also shown here is the wall connection to the foundation. You can see the dimple board drainage layer with a self adhered flashing at the top and the rigid roxul over top. On the left of the lower picture (above) you can see how the rigid roxul is held in place with temporary bracing via leaning 2x4s before the install of permanent strapping and long screws. You can see the ...

Read More

We are surrounded by it - cellphones, cell towers, powerlines, smartmeters, wifi, you name it. We are swimming in what we can call now "electrosmog" and we feel we have no control over it. But there are practical steps we can take to reduce our exposure to radiation starting from our most immediate environment - our home. Ask the right questions and the answers will come!

  Yes we are surrounded by it - cellphones, cell towers, powerlines, smartmeters, wifi, you name it. And yes, we are swimming in what we can call now "electrosmog". And we question whether the amount of radiation we are being exposed to on a daily basis is safe for our bodies. At the same time we feel overwhelmed by the thought of trying to reduce our exposure to 'electrosmog' because we feel we don't have any control over it. It's out there, it's everywhere, what are we supposed to do about it? And what can we do that is actually effective? My take on it, first of all, is we need to get out of this 'helpless' kind of mentality and the belief that there is nothing we can do about the situation so why do anything? That's just a thought that keeps us from taking action. Ask the right questions and the answers will come! There are very practical things we can do to reduce our exposur ...

Read More
  • Langley Passive House Part 2 - Sunshade
  • Langley Passive House Part 2 - Sunshade

The South facing sunshades on the Langley Passive House are permanent, sized to reject the overheating summer sun while allowing passage of the winter sun through the windows to heat the home, and fit the architectural style of the home. There are two levels of sunshade one at the roof level as an extension of the eaves and the other shades the main level windows and doors as a continuous wall mounted canopy. The upper eaves are extensions of the top chord of the roof trusses and form an angled soffit with continuous venting. This overhang shades the upper level windows from the steep angle of the summer sun. The lower angle winter sun is not obsured by the length of the overhang allowing the warming rays to play a key role in heating the interior of the home. The main level canopy is shown in the detailed close-up image and is attached such that it does not penetrate the insulatio ...

Read More
  • Langley Passive House Part 1 - In Progress
  • Langley Passive House Part 1 - In Progress

The Langley Passive house is a 'split-insulated' wall assembley pioneered by RDH Building Engineering for the BC climate. This strategy is described in the Building Enclosure Design Guide (HPO 2011) and Guide for Designing Energy Efficiency Building Enclosures (FPInnovations 2013) both by RDH. The wall design borrows from the North Shore Passive House in construction by the Econ Group (http://www.econgroup.ca/north-shore-passive-house/) and progress photos of the North Shore home are available at http://www.econgroup.ca/north-shore-passive-house/. The schematic roof - wall - foundation diagram shows the component parts for the Langley Passive house. The wall assembley consists of a 2x4 structural and service wall with a plywood vapour barrier at the exterior. An air barrier is taped to the rigid plywood backing. Two layers of rigid roxul provide exterior and continuous exterior insula ...

Read More
The Spiritual Practice of Architecture

Intro As far as I can remember as a kid I have wanted to be an architect. My first recollection of expressing such an interest was in grade 6, when we were asked to write an essay about the career we imagined for ourselves, as if we were describing a typical workday. Without hesitation I put down words visualizing a client coming into my office filled with dreams and on this blank piece of paper before me I began to transform their dreams into reality – there began my dream to become an architect.  Today I have made architecture my career and established my own architecture practice with my husband, Howard, who I met in architecture school. It’s been a long journey. I could not have predicted where this path would take me nonetheless I followed my bliss - sometimes passionately, sometimes arduously, sometimes optimistically, sometimes naively, at times disillusioned, frustrated or exh ...

Read More
Build your own Sit/Stand Desk Workshop

Do you ache, feel tired and uncomfortable while working on your computer? Is your creativity and productivity being affected too?   We are partnering up with physiotherapist Rosalind Ferry to give you tips on how to improve your posture and save your back while doing computer work. On Wednesday April 30th at 7pm Rosalind will be presenting her new book "The Posture Pain Fix" and we will be collaborating with a presentation on how to build your own Sit/Stand Desk. This is a simple concept we have designed for our office and which has greatly improved the health of our backs. We will be sharing it and instructing others on how to build their own simply and inexpensively.     This free event will be part of the Anniversary Party for The North Shore Sports Medicine. There will be refreshments, appetizers, door prizes, and you might even bump into ...

Read More
Raising the Bar & Freeing the Spine

The shift from an agricultural/industrial economy to a technological economy has greatly expanded the options available to us in terms of work and lifestyle, and yet we struggle with the impact that these sedentary jobs are having on our bodies."People who 'sit down all day' are the members of the working population most susceptible to back pain issues. (...) Researchers found that 59% of the respondents with sedentary jobs and lifestyles are more at risk of having back issues than people who do a great deal of lifting and carrying in their positions."1 Many professions today rely on the use of computers to perform their work and many people can attest that spending 8 hours per day sitting in front of a computer can feel ather unnatural to our bodies.  The results of forcing our bodies into extended periods of sitting often results in slouching, crouching over small screens, putting too ...

Read More

Natural light is a valuable asset. For this client's artist studio we explored the performance of skylights versus clerestory windows throughout the year. The results of the solar study turned out to be very telling!

The two options were priced and the framing of the clerestory windows with a beam/rafter system turned out to be a $9,000 premium in the overall budget compared to the option of inserting skylights in between scissor trusses.  So the question came down to, "Are the clerestory windows worth the premium?" And the results of the solar study turned out to be very telling! In the Spring/Fall Equinoxes, the clerestory windows captured the sunlight and directed it at the ceiling, creating a luminous feel to the whole space and diffusing the light down evenly. This effect would be further enhanced with a white or light-colored ceiling.  The skylights, on the other hand, failed to capture much of the sunlight at the Equinoxes due to the shallow angle of the sun.   In the Summer Solstice, the opposite happened. The skylights captured all of the mid-day sun, greatly increasing ...

Read More
How to enclose a rock in a living room? – Stories from the Rockhouse

When anyone first enters the Rockhouse, after a moment of disbelief, they invariably ask, "How on earth did you manage to enclose a rock bluff inside a living room?!" So we decided to share what we learned from this experience in the blog, from the conceptual, practical and technical sides.   I have to say that the largest barrier we had to overcome was the problem of perception rather than technical difficulties. Before we could get anywhere with the idea of enclosing a rock inside a living room in the rainy climate of BC, we had to believe for ourselves that it was possible. I will not underestimate the importance of this first step because nothing could have been accomplished without it. This proved to be very challenging at times when everyone and everything around us seemed to suggest that it could not be done. So the next big step was to convince others of our vision. ...

Read More