Super Sustainable Renovation of a Cottage

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The vacation home in question is located in the Lake of Bays, Muskoka region and is actually a recently renovated house from the 1960s. The renovation was done by Fourth Pig and Stone’s Throw Design and the end result is a nearly passive home, which boasts of a number of sustainable features and looks amazing inside and out.

As part of the renovation, the home has been wrapped in straw bale for insulation, and it is heated by a wood fired boiler. The latter also provides hot water for both washing and the radiant heating system. There is also a solar hot water heater, which provides hot water and supplements radiant heating. They home also features a high efficiency Energy Recovery Ventilator.

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Apart from straw bale, they also use denim batt and cellulose for the insulation. The house is foam free and instead features Perlite insulation under the basement slab, since Perlite is an extremely efficient, low density insulator and a great alternative to foam insulation. Limecrete was used for the basement slab, which eliminated all need to use cement in the renovation.

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The interior wall finishes are all natural too, and include wood, lath and clay based plaster, which is more durable and resistant to mold than drywall. They only used FSC lumber and No Added Urea Formaldehyde sheets, zero VOC eco-friendly adhesives, finishes and sealants in the renovation. They also used metal-clad BX wiring to minimize electric magnetic fields (EMF) and avoid the need for PVC insulation, so even the electrical wiring is sustainable.

Steel was used as the main roofing material, and they chose it because of its durability, longevity and recyclability. They also plan to install a water collection system, and this roof will be ideal for that. They also strove to reuse as much of the materials from the deconstruction process as they could, which includes lumber, chimney bricks, and plywood for formwork.

All in all, this is certainly one of the most green renovations we’ve seen in a while, so let’s hope there are more in the future.

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