Researching best designs 🔗

As I’ve been thinking about my future home in Hokkaido, I have begun researching the latest tech used to build an eco-friendly home without breaking the bank. Below are a number of videos that highlight some of the most interesting developments.

Exploring Green Building and the Future of Construction 🔗

Exploring Green Building and the Future of Construction. Imagine a skyscraper with smart windows and walls made from fungus … yes, a fungus. Let’s explore green building and the future of construction. And can going net-zero really make a difference?

video (14 minutes) 🔗

Exploring Tesla Solar Roof 🔗

Exploring if Tesla Solar Roof is about to go mainstream? Tesla made a huge splash in the solar panel world when they unveiled the latest version of the Tesla Solar Roof. But since then we haven’t seen too much about it. Is it a bargain or a bust? Or are solar tiles about to go mainstream? I talked to Weddle & Sons Roofing to learn more about it from an installers perspective, as well as what it’s like to go from roofs to solar panels.

video (12 minutes) 🔗

Solar Panels for Home - Still Worth it 2 Years Later? 🔗

It’s been two years since I installed solar panels on my home in the Boston area. How’s it been going? Let’s take a look at how much it cost, how much it’s saved, how it’s been holding up and what type of maintenance it’s taken.

video (14:07 minutes) 🔗

Exploring Passive House Design - 90% Energy Savings! 🔗

Exploring Passive House Design - 90% Energy Savings! What if I told you that it’s possible to build a house that uses up to 90% less energy than your current house? And combining that with solar panels you could heat, cool, and even charge an EV for just a few hundred dollars a year? Let’s take a closer look and explore Passive Houses

video (12 minutes) 🔗

Exploring Modular Homes - Cheapest Path to Net Zero? 🔗

Owning a home is an important life milestone for a lot of people, but the ever increasing cost of construction materials and affordable housing is a major roadblock. And on top of that, traditional construction methods and materials cause a surprising amount of gas emissions and waste. But there are some really cool trends around more sustainable building practices that may change that … if you can get past some preconceived notions that pop into your head when you hear, “modular homes.” Can modular homes keep the dream of home ownership alive, as well as make a positive impact on the environment?

video (12 minutes) 🔗

Most Innovative 3D Printed House 🔗

Architecture firm Mense-Korte has done an incredible job exploring uncharted territory with this design printed by a Cobod BOD 2 in concrete. Let’s dive into the details of this build and examine some of the design choices they made that make this project so unique and before its time. I would imagine after completing this project there are many new things Mense-Korte and Cobod are planning on trying next!

video (13 minutes) 🔗

Insulated Concrete Forms (construction) 🔗

Quad-Lock Insulating Concrete Forms are used to construct Amazing Buildings: bunker-strong, durable, resilient, sustainable for cozy, healthy and peaceful interior living spaces

video (38 minutes) 🔗

Waterproofing ICF 🔗

In this last installment of our ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) series we are showing the final and critical step in the foundation waterproofing. For more on this product visit

video (6 minutes) 🔗

ICF vs SIPs vs Framing - Pros and Cons 🔗

Insulated Concrete Forms vs Structural Insulated Panels vs Traditional Platform Framing. In this video I will give you the pros & cons for all three of these building systems. While most homes in the US/Canada are built with traditional framing is that the best system? And what about Insulated Concrete Forms or Structural Insulated Panels, what advantages do these have? I’ve built homes with all three of these systems in my 24 years as a Builder, so I’ll give you my thoughts along with a cost comparison.

video (21 minutes) 🔗

Exploring How This Plant Could Replace Concrete 🔗

I’ve already explored tiny homes, earthships, passive homes, and also modular homes as more efficient and sustainable alternatives to traditional houses. But what if you could build sustainable homes or apartment buildings that’s not only fire-resistant like concrete, but also more efficient and sustainable than conventional homes? Let’s explore hemp building materials and their benefits for achieving a low-carbon future. Could hemp blocks and hempcrete be better than concrete?

Insulation Value: 🔗

  • Concrete: 0.62 ~ 3.3 W/mK (watts per meter-Kelvin)
  • Hempcrete: 0.06 ~ 0.07 W/mK
    (The lower the better. A lower value means less heat can pass through the hempcrete than concrete.)

When consider from R-value perspective, the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness.

  • Concrete: R-value is 0.1 ~ 0.2 per inch (2.54cm)
  • Hempcrete: R-value is 2.4 ~ 4.8 per 2.54cm thickness

Cost: 🔗

Concrete: $85 per square meter
Hempcrete: $135 per square meter

However, hempcrete can provide 50% ~ 80% energy savings over the course of 100 years. Worth nothing both concrete and hempcrete sequester CO2 throughout their lifespan. Hempcrete is acutally carbon-negative — it sequesters more CO2 from the atmosphere than was emitted during production.

Lifespan 🔗

Hemp can last for centuries depending on the weather conditions. Consider that Japan employed hemp for it’s housing from the 17th century. Some of those remaining houses have been recognized as national heritage sites 300 years later.

Material strength 🔗

Concrete is non-toxic (when cured), fire resistant, pest-resistant, can last for thousands of years, and tolerates standing water better than hempcrete. However, a cubic-meter of hempcrete can hold more than 589kg of water-vapor without degrading. It can absorb the water and release it when the sun is out. Hempcrete won’t crack the walls like concrete does over time.

Compressive strength:

  • Concrete: 3000 ~ 4000 psi
  • Hempcrete: 72.5 ~ 507.6 psi

However, hempcrete is 3x more resistant to cracking than concrete during an earthquake where shear loading becomes important. Although hempcrete is exceptionally lightweight and has excellent insulating properties, it’s not as capable of load-bearing by itself. HempBlock® makes “Lego” like blocks that address some of these issues, but still requires additional wood or steel support framing. And, it’s expected to last only 100 years.

video (13:19 minutes) 🔗

5 Innovative BUILDING SYSTEMS for your house 🔗

Learn how your community can simplify and accelerate the process for adding these types of innovative and economical housing options at the Solution Summit for the Housing Crisis.

video (38 minutes) 🔗

This Swiss Building blew me away! All Wood and Concrete - NO Insulation 🔗

The Factory from the last episode - Kung Holz Bau - is building a new office space, and turns out… ITS ALL WOOD, with a Concrete Center for stairs. Its the coolest building Matt has ever been in. From the fully sanded finished 16 inch thick wooden walls, to the grid ceiling and flooring system that allows for killer heating, insulation, and soundproofing - You’re going to want to go ahead and click play… This is Swiss building at its finest!

video (38 minutes) 🔗