Client Quote:
"When we built our straw bale home Nick helped steer us and our architect to practical solutions, saving money in materials and labour. He sourced recycled and reused materials, as he solved problems no one else saw, before they occurred. Ten years later the integrated moisture meters show very dry conditions within the wall system. Nick's BCIT Building Technology background as well as being a carpenter and contractor were essential to the success of our straw bale home."

Nick's Wall System details The NLC Indoor Air Quality Wall System describes a superior method of building and insulating that I feel is particularly suited to Salt Spring Island's climate, life style and topography. This is a code plus system that emphasizes the quality of the insulation and vapour barrier detailing while keeping the system simple to work with. Simpler means lower cost and a better job.

Western Frame construction (our normal residential building type) is a great system, it can be super strong in a seismic event, has good insulation values, and in general it warehouses green house gases as opposed to creating them. It is a sustainable, renewable system, it just needs to last longer then it has in recent years. Our wall system is a simple variant of Western Frame. It is warmer and dryer and will therefore last longer, be more comfortable and will handle changes better. A lower cost over time with a better result.

With the conventional system we do too much in too little space. Having two walls for two separate tasks allows the construction process to be more successful. Having a vapour barrier that does not leak controls heat loss from within the house and moisture gain in the wall. Bringing fresh air into a house is good, leaking air through the exterior wall is bad.

With this system there is a:

  • Great thermal break with an all mineral wool layer. This prevents cold spots and ups overall insulation.
  • Vapour barrier that is not penetrated by plumbing, wiring or other services so is left in good shape. Good for occupant and building health.
  • R-20 wall system as opposed to the current system that has R-20 insulation batts used within an R-13 system. This saves energy.
  • Well insulated crawl space without having unsealed fiberglass in the interior air space. This saves energy and allows you interior air to be healthier.
  • Mostly fiberglass or mineral wool insulation used and foam insulation is minimized. Fibre insulation is better for the environment and costs less.

Client Quote:

"Paul and I wanted to write and tell you how happy we are in our home. It has been twelve years now since you completed our October to April building (when people come into our home, they still can't believe the efficiency with which you conducted our construction) and everyday we are thankful for the care you put into our sustainable project. One of the things that drew us to you over other contractors, was your attention to the materials used and your interest in maintaining the environmental integrity of our site and home. We were pleasantly.... surprised actually, that you took the time to drive us to a nearby salvage company to source 80 year old fir doors and jams! Total character! We loved that you removed only the trees that were required, milled the ones that had to go right on SSI, and used them in our home. Our lumber was acquired locally, our trades were all on island carpenters, electricians, plumbers and masons. Paul has proudly told many people that even the rock for the fireplace came right off our property. I also learned in our pre-construction discussions that the air quality inside a home can be affected by toxins in building material resins, consequently you stayed away from fibre boards and utilized products that wouldn't leach out over time.

We firmly believe that this care that you took on our behalf, and the sustainable choices that you made in the construction of our home are why we continue to have the comfort, peace of mind and contentment in our home today. You helped us see the possibilities of our NE facing site realize them!"

Judith and Paul