Green home renovation

Kate & Rob, friends of mine here in Ottawa, are undertaking a renovation of an older home in a central Ottawa neighbourhood. They have a real passion for green building which they are bringing to bear on an environmentally friendly upgrade to their house. You can follow the fascinating story of their renovation on their weblog, where they consider, among many things, the ins and outs of good window design, environmentally-friendly 'heatlok' insulation, drain water heat recovery, geothermal heating, tile selection, and 'freecycling'. Here's how it all began:

We were not looking for a house just yet but when the for sale sign was spotted on a favourite street the idea was planted on a Friday afternoon. After a mosquito/rain infested overnight camping trip, Erin was invited to join us at a Sunday showing without a realtor in hand. We explored a house that not only had character but authentic elements of an original home -- smoke stained walls, grimy kitchen and all. While the idea that it "needed a little work" was clear, the house had so much potential with its unique layout (with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms) and incredible location ...

Standing under a tree in the rain, the phone rang 20 minutes later and the house was ours.