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The House : Materials

Certain material such as wood and the paints used should be to considered when thinking about sustainability of the home. The Archetype Sustainable House incorporates the following advances in resource efficiency.

House A is intended to demonstrate practices and technologies that are current and practical today. House B demonstrates practices that you will see in future. Come out and visit the Kortight Centre in Vaughan to experience more.


  • FSC wood - FSC stands for The Forest Stewardship Council and was created to change the dialogue about and the practice of sustainable forestry worldwide. For more information about FSC visit www.fscus.org
  • FSC engineered joists
  • Advanced construction framing, 2" x 6" on 24" centres was used, which means the amount of wood used in framing needed was greatly reduced.
  • R20 basement walls were made with Durisol blocks. "R" stands for resistance against heat flow so this home exceeds normal building standards by 30 per cent.


    House A
  • Cork flooring - No cork trees are cut down, only the bark is peeled without destroying the tree, and it grows back within nine years, ready to be harvested again which makes it an incredibly renewable resource.

    House B
  • Bamboo - Botanically, bamboo is not a wood at all, but a grass. It is attractive as a building material because it is very hard, strong, and dimensionally stable. Environmentally, it is hard to argue with a wood-substitute that matures in three years, regenerates without need for replanting, and requires minimal fertilization or pesticides.


  • Low volatile organic compounds (V.O.C.) paints and solvents we used on this project. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemical compounds that have high enough vapor pressures under normal conditions to significantly vaporize and enter the atmosphere.


  • High Volume Fly Ash Concrete (HVFAC) was used in this project. Currently in the concrete industry, the percentage of fly ash as part of the total cementing materials in concrete normally ranges from 15 to 25 per cent, although it can go up to 30 to 35 per cent in some applications. The use of fly ash in concrete will improve some aspects of the performance of the concrete. For more information on HVFC visit www.hvfacprojectindia.com