Header Image - Anthemin Constructions

Daily Archives

One Article

1950s Home Retrofit to Super Efficient Passive House – Urban Green Building

by Brad

1950s Home Retrofit to Super Efficient Passive House – Urban Green Building

This 1950s Montreal house was retrofitted to become a super efficient passive house by adding a 16 inch thick layer of cellulose insulation to the exterior.

Construction Le Tournesol:

Maison Ozalée’s builder, Richard Price from Construction Le Tournesol, also used triple glazed windows with insulated frames, and strategically placed small windows on the north side of the building to reduce heat loss, and placed large windows on the south side to take advantage of solar gain, which helps heat the house in winter. In order to avoid overheating the house in the summer, there are built-in shading elements above the large south-facing windows.

The home is airtight, with plywood sheathing to solidify the older home doubling as a vapour barrier once all the seams were taped.

Because of the energy gained from passive solar, and because it’s airtight, this home only needs approximately 10% of the energy a typical home of the same size would need to heat during the winter.

The owners are very environmentally conscious and added additional features to their home to make it sustainable not just in terms of energy, but water as well. They installed a rainwater catchment system that feeds water into an underground water cistern which they use to water their enormous permaculture garden. They use no municipal water to irrigate their plants.

Indoors, they’ve installed a grey water recycling system that allows them to filter and clean water from the shower & bath and then reuse it a second time to flush their toilets.

It was really interesting to see how this alternative building technique can result in such enormous energy savings! And to see that an existing home can fairly easily be retrofitted to be more energy efficient!

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle


Thank you to all of our Patrons who support us so generously and a very special thank you to our backbone supporters: The Burgess Family!

If you like our videos, please consider supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/exploringalternatives


Blog: www.exploringalternatives.ca

Facebook: /exploringalternativesblog

Instagram: @exploringalternatives


A very special thank you to our subtitle and closed captions contributors!

If you would like to contribute subtitles or closed captions to an Exploring Alternatives video, please click here to see which ones need your help:


To learn how to create and submit subtitles and closed captions, check out this YouTube info page:


If you would like credit for your subtitles, translation, or closed captions in the description of the video, please email us with your full name, the language of your translation, and the video title that you worked on. You can email us at: danielle.is.exploring@gmail.com


We occasionally include paid sponsor messages/integrations in our videos to help fund the channel. We do our best to work with companies and organizations that offer products or services that are in line with our values, and that we think would be interesting and useful to our viewers.

We will always disclose if we’re promoting products that were given to us for free, or if we’re including a sponsored message in our video.

For business or sponsorship inquiries, please email us at danielle.is.exploring@gmail.com


Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat of Exploring Alternatives.

Editing Credits:
Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives

Filming Credits:
Mat of Exploring Alternatives