Buildings affect the environment in many ways - from the resources used, to the energy required to transport materials, to the quality of the indoor air.

Our experience in Green Design - an ecological approach to building - offers the most up-to-date information on practices used in the new construction, renovation and restoration marketplace. Our mission is to provide comfort and quality while minimizing the environmental impact of each Solterre design.

Passive Solar Design and Energy Efficiency

The most direct environmental impact that any building has is the energy used to heat it. The initial steps in reducing this impact is to use energy efficient construction techniques and to choose an appropriate heat source. Solterre brings extensive experience and expertise to bring long-term value and savings to our client’s projects.

Many people are surprised to know that Nova Scotia boasts one of Canada's best locations for utilizing passive solar energy. As the sun is a free and readily available energy source, Solterre Design strives to use passive solar design techniques wherever possible.

For those wanting to live outside of the established electrical service range, off-grid living is feasible in many applications.  Working with wind, sun and energy-efficient design, buildings occupants can limit their long-term dependence on fossil fuels and offer alternative energy options for producing heat, domestic hot water and electricity.

Sustainable Building Certification

Passive House (PassiveHaus), a German engineered certification that is the world's most stringent energy efficiency building standard. Passive House (PassivHaus) provides energy savings of up to 80% over conventional construction while improving comfort and air quality. We've designed several Passive House buildings including - the Solterre Concept House.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is North America's most popular building certification, which covers a broad range of environmental and occupant health issues. We are proud to have designed the Bullard House, the first LEED for Homes Platinum level home in Atlantic Canada. Solterre’s Concept House will be the second Platinum project from the firm.

Healthy Materials and Systems

We know the importance of a healthy environment in your building.  Many people suffer minor effects from a poor indoor environment without even knowing it.  Our experience will guide you through design choices that can improve indoor air quality. Many of these choices will have little or no effect on your project cost.

Resourceful Use of Building Materials

Recycled Material

As more and more manufacturers 'go green', materials choices become easier yet the selection can still be intimidating.  There are many issues to consider -- sustainability, health, adaptability, life cycle, embodied energy, resource efficiency and energy consumption. We design with these issues in mind.

Salvaged Material

Jennifer Corson is also the President of Renovators Resource Inc., a used building material store in Halifax which reclaims pieces from buildings destined for demolition. Incorporating salvaged materials can often save money while retaining our architectural heritage. Often these salvaged items can become the focal point in a renovation or a new construction.

Take a look at our work

  1. selected projects

  2. new construction

  3. renovations

Concept Sketch

Concept Sketch