Couple Builds Energy Efficient Passive Solar Home – Green Building

In this video we meet Casey & Natasha, a conscious couple who built a passive solar home near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. In addition to orienting their house to face south, they installed overhangs that block the sun to keep it cool during summer months and allow the sun to enter and heat the house during winter months. They also installed a 10 kW solar system that sells clean electricity back to the grid through Ontario’s MicroFIT Program and the revenue helps cover their own utility bills.

The house was built to Passive House standards and is currently pending certification. You can learn more about Passive House here:

The exterior walls of this house are 20″ thick and are insulated using Roxul insulation which is made locally, better for the environment, can get wet, and has less flame retardants than traditional fiberglass insulation, which means cleaner air quality in the home.

To maximize the energy efficiency of their home, they installed triple glazed windows, a drain water heat recovery system, an air source heat pump water heater, and a bioethanol fireplace. They also chose sustainable alternatives like concrete countertops instead of granite, and reclaimed pine flooring instead of using new wood. Last but not least, they designed their house to be completely fossil fuel-free which means that they don’t use any fossil fuels to power or heat their home.

Casey & Natasha are building a conscious group of companies to align their work life with their personal values. Their companies include The Conscious Builder, the Conscious Living podcast and the Conscious Store (coming soon!).

Natasha Grey – Conscious Living

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle

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Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat Dubé of Exploring Alternatives.
Couple Builds Energy Efficient Passive Solar Home - Green Building

20 thoughts on “Couple Builds Energy Efficient Passive Solar Home – Green Building”

  1. They have some eco-friendly practices which is good. However this house is massive for 3 humans. This is unsustainable materialism and inefficient complexity. This is not the way to a sustainable future worldwide. If they truly cared for the environment they would lead by example and focus on conservation and minimal effective use of resources to sustain life.

  2. The house may be way too big but this is still a very informative video to get ideas on passive heating, you can always do it in a smaller scale or use the same principles for further development of similar technologies.

  3. Whats the problem with cutting down trees? It's not like the Amazon would've been used to make your flooring.
    Trees are the best renewable resource we have, not only is it a strong cheap easy to produce building material, but as the trees grow they are helping the environment. Once cut down, more will be planted and the cycle will continue.

    I don't buy that they used concrete for the bench tops to save the planet, more likely they ran out of money and needed a cheaper alternative.

  4. They will save so much money on their utility bills each month.

    This house is probably the closest thing to a house on mars. Self-sufficient, internal air filter and almost no energy loss.

  5. I don't care how many "clean" technologies you have, this space is too big to be sustainable. The resources going into building and maintaining this house offset the energy efficiency.

  6. Seriously he could not find any other material for the counter-top besides concrete and epoxy… how about… wood like in most houses.
    Wood is renewable source no need to feel bad about using it, using reclaimed wood is not necessarily better cause you spend more time and energy on preparing it.
    The rock isolation is not eco friendly either cause it requires lots of energy to be made… many wrong on that house, passive maybe eco friendly hell NO.

  7. The house is too damn big. How is that passive living. Are they planning to have half a dozen kids?

  8. one of the raddest things about this lifestyle is the connection between the couples and families living this way 🙂

  9. Well they are quite wealthy, so there's that. Some of the things they said really reflect that. ("We try to eat ORGANIC and HEALTHY!"…such a hackneyed phrase, and does "organic" actually mean anything these days?)

    I do think it would be cool to design and build my own house though, even if I didn't do much of the actual work myself.

  10. I had a hard time getting past all the unfinished work in that house. The outside deck even had missing sheeting and no rails. The fireplace backing in the upstairs hallway was open. With little kids running about, things like this can become a massive safety issue.

  11. Great video. The core of the tiny house movement – for me at least – is economics and low environmental impact. This seems to be totally in the spirit of Exploring Alternatives.

  12. Ethanol comes from ethene when made in bulk which is a fossil fuel so your furnace is using a fossil fuel.

  13. for everyone caught up on the size of the house, please look further into what these folks are doing.

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