The Fourth Pig is proud to be a founding member of The Green Building Learning Zone, which brings together leaders from the green building world together in one booth at the Green Living Show! Come and get your questions about green building answered and explore our sample table and booth library, or listen in as we provide talks on everything from building science to health and well-being in the built environment! We look forward to seeing you there!
The Fourth Pig is proud to be a sponsor of the 2019 Ontario Natural Building Conference and to have our own Melinda Zytaruk on the program with the session on “MSDS facts, labelling truths/non-truths, experience from the field” on Saturday.
The Ontario Natural Building Coalition is an advocacy group of designers, builders & homeowners working to promote healthy, high performance natural building strategies in the construction industry. This year's conference theme is "Healthy Homes"
The conference is open to the public, come on out and learn and share about natural building!
We are pleased to once again be participating in the trade show at the Guelph Organic Conference. The trade show is a free event (workshops have a fee) and the whole event is a great opportunity to talk, listen, teach and learn about sustainability.
Come by our booth, #78 in the basement, and talk to us about sustainable building and how farmers can grow a lot of building materials!
Everyone is invited to the 10th Annual EcoFair at the Barns. The Fourth Pig will have a table there, come on over and say hello and talk green building with us.
The EcoFair is a free, family-friendly event that informs and inspires greener choices in our homes and communities. Learn about and celebrate the exciting programs, products and services of over 40 environmental not-for-profit organizations and eco-friendly businesses.
At the EcoFair:
Attend eco-workshops & activities
Test drive an electric car
Have fun at the kids’ activities
Explore solar energy & conservation
Discover sustainable investing
Enjoy healthy delicious food
Note: All proceeds split equally between Senco's Muskoka Traction Grants- Grants for social enterprise development in Muskoka and Muskoka Brewery's Venture Fund.
Doors open at 5:45pm. Enjoy a Muskoka Brewery pint and grab your popcorn
6:15pm Welcoming remarks.
6:30pm Documentary begins. *Finger food will be provided following the screening.
8:00pm Panel Discussion- Led by Elly Green of senco featuring local businesses creating social impact
Panelists will include:
Lindsay Leney of Your Local HVAC Team Inc.
Melinda Zytaruk of Fourth Pig: Green & Natural Construction
Kelly Watson of Muskoka Brewery
Melinda Zytaruk, General Manger of the Fourth Pig Worker Co-op, will be talking about sustainable, low carbon building at "Green Foundations - Shaping a Sustainable Future." Melinda's talk is at 1pm. Register for this free event right here! This event is part of Culture Days.
"With discussions led by influential builders, homeowners, designers, and sustainable gurus, Green Foundations; Shaping a Sustainable Community, aims to inspire you to view your community through a greener, more sustainable lens."
Note the Fourth Pig has another event in the area the same day, the Ontario Natural Building Tour. Come before or after the talk!
It's a 2 for 1 year for the Fourth Pig and the Ontario Natural Building Coalition's Annual Ontario Natural Homes Tour. This year we are inviting the public to visit buildings next door to each other at 1033 and 1031 North Took Lake Road in Baysville. Both of these projects have been done in partnership with Stone's Throw Design.
As a way of promoting natural building, the Ontario Natural Building Coalition coordinates an annual Natural Homes Tour, in the early autumn each year. For the tour, dozens of natural homes and buildings across Ontario open their doors for participants to see examples of straw bale, rammed earth, cob, timber frame, off grid, passive solar, and many other natural building methods and alternative technologies.
At 1033 North Took Lake Road we are once again featuring a straw bale home deep retrofit. We converted this leaky and poorly insulated '60s home in to a quiet, comfortable year-round family haven through a combination of straw bale wrap, dense pack cellulose, an additional exterior wall and straw bale insulated addition. We modeled the home in the Passive House software, PHPP, to help us maximize our energy savings. We used FSC lumber and No Added Urea Formaldehyde (NAUF) sheet goods, zero VOC eco-friendly adhesives, finishes, sealants, and tapes.
At 1031 North Took Lake Road this is a retrofit with a Gutex fibreboard wrap of 80’s cottage. As Terrell Wong says of Stone's Throw Design "Lakeside Hammock was constructed in 1985 by two well meaning if not technically apt men. I describe its original condition as 'an ugly vinyl sided bungalow set atop 2 storeys of concrete block.' The original house had 2x4 stud walls with batt insulation, a roof with animal infested batt insulation and a completely un-insulated concrete block foundation fastened directly to granite bedrock. This project has been slowly chipped away at, initially from the interior and now on the exterior. Every opportunity was taken to increase insulation and air tightness as we moved toward our final goals."
Note that Melinda Zytaruk, General Manager of the Fourth Pig will be speaking at 1pm in Bracebridge nearby as part of Green Foundations -- Shaping a Sustainable Community. Come by before or after the tour!
Climate change, indoor environment quality and ecosystem depletion are three major issues for the building industry and Chris Magwood has spent his career working toward practical, affordable solutions. Come and learn how the answers to these pressing concerns overlap nearly perfectly, solving any one of these issues conveniently creates solutions for all three.
Chris Magwood is currently the executive director of The Endeavour Centre, a not-for-profit sustainable building school in Peterborough, Ontario. He is co-editor of the Sustainable Building Essentials series from New Society Publishers, and is a past editor of The Last Straw Journal, an international quarterly of straw bale and natural building.
This talk is part of Toronto Public Library's Civil Society series and part of the Fourth Pig's speaker series "Pig Tales".
On Saturday June 16th you can find staff from the Fourth Pig Green & Natural Construction at our booth at the Muskoka Life Show! Stop by our booth and learn about how a green reno or build can promote a healthy you and a healthy planet.
The Summer Muskoka Life Show is a free, annual Home, Garden, Cottage, Food & Decor Show organized by the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Muskoka Life.
Visitors will not only be drawn to the Summer Muskoka Life Show, for the almost 100 vendor exhibits, but will be entertained with interactive “Muskoka Lifestyle ” workshops, cooking demos, and presentations, scheduled on 2 stages throughout the day!
In a collaborative presentation, the GTA Co-op Network, The Big Carrot, and the Local Food and Farm Co-ops will discuss the impact of food and farm co-ops in Ontario, including the basics of starting and maintaining co-operative and worker owned businesses. Learn how the cooperative model can address food system problems and strengthen local economies. Panelists include: Reba Plummer (Urbane Cyclist Worker Co-op), Kate McMurray (The Big Carrot), Sally Miller (Local Food and Farm Co-ops) and Matt Adams (Fourth Pig Worker Co-op).
Carrot Common Room 212. Stair access only. Entrance beside Book City on the Danforth
We are excited to be returning to the Guelph Organic Conference. There are strong connections between sustainable farming and sustainable building and we look forward to talking to people about building using materials that can be found in farmers' fields.
Find us at the trade show Saturday January 27 and Sunday January 28. Our booth is in the basement area. Note that while there is a cost to attend workshops and talks, the trade show is a free event! As the conference organizers say:
Food lovers will enjoy the samples and shopping.
Gardening enthusiasts will enjoy shopping amongst multiple organic seed suppliers, as well as browsing gardening tools and books.
Farmers can network with certifiers, grain traders and small equipment suppliers.
And we say everyone can come and talk sustainable building with us!
The Fourth Pig is acting as the air tightness consultants on this Passive House project.
Please bring warm clothing for the site tour and RSVP by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parkdale Landing is the first building Passive House building under construction in the Hamilton region and includes 57 affordable apartments with ground floor retail space. Parkdale Landing includes the renovation of the former George and Mary's Tavern along with an addition of new construction. As part of International Passive House Days, you are invited to come learn about the project and what energy-saving, innovative elements are planned in the building's design.
This interactive discussion will be led by members of the architectural team (Invizij Architects), mechanical engineer (CK Engineering), Air tightness consultant (Fourth Pig: green & natural construction), Owner (Indwell), and the Construction Manager (Schilthuis Construction). The team is also currently beginning construction on two other Passive House projects in Hamilton and Woodstock and will share briefly about these different construction types as well.
At 2:15pm we will shift gears and travel 2km NE to the actual construction site for Parkdale Landing at 205 Melvin Ave. Note that this building is under construction with only the foundations and partial ground floor completed. Please bring certified work boots and a hard hat, if you have them, otherwise there will be some available to borrow.
The Fourth Pig is returning to the Eco Fair at the Barns this year and we hope you will come out to this free admission event to talk low-carbon energy efficient building with us.
EcoFair at the Barns is a fun family oriented event that informs and inspires people to make greener choices in their homes and communities. Last year, over 1,000 people came out to learn about green initiatives and achievements in our neighbourhood and in our city, to explore new ideas, and to share green tips and tricks.
Is your cottage climate change ready?
Scientists are telling us that we are already facing more extreme weather. The National Research Council is currently updating the national model codes to adapt to this new reality of intense precipitation and drought, longer and more extreme heat waves, more significant flooding and more.
What can cottage owners do to A) prepare their cottage for extreme weather? B) reduce the climate footprint of their cottage? Both steps are key to insure the safety and security of buildings and to reduce the effects of climate change for generations to come.
Melinda Zyataruk is the General Manager of Fourth Pig Green & Natural Construction and a board member of Lake of Bays Renewable Energy Co-op. A frequent presenter on energy efficiency and renewable energy, Melinda is a Passive House Certified Builder and a member of the Canadian Association of Women in Construction.
This presentation is part of the Fall Cottage Life Show. You can find The Fourth Pig in Hall 5 booth 646.
In celebration of our 10th anniversary the Fourth Pig Green & Natural Construction invites you to: BUILT TO LAST: What does the next 10 years hold for green building? with Lloyd Alter, Terrell Wong, Melinda Zytaruk.
Join us for great conversation, snacks and a cash bar!
Melinda Zytaruk is the General Manager and a founding member of the Fourth Pig Worker Co-op. Melinda is a PHIUS Certified Builder and in 2010 was trained as a PHI consultant. She has completed the Net Zero Home Building Science Training. She has a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University with a focus on community renewable energy and sustainability and is a graduate of the Renewable Energy Education Program of Solar Energy International located in Colorado. Melinda’s career has merged her passions for green construction, community organizing and education. She has worked as a builder on straw bale houses, designed and installed solar electric and hot water systems, and has been the general contractor for eco-renovations since 2007.
Lloyd Alter is design editor of TreeHugger. He has been an architect, developer, inventor and prefab promoter. He contributes to MNN.com, The Guardian, Azure and Corporate Knights magazines, and is Adjunct Professor teaching sustainable design at Ryerson University School of Interior Design. Lloyd is a Past President of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario.
Terrell Wong is an architect with over 25 years experience. In 2006, Terrell lead the winning team to the National Archetype Sustainable House Award. In 2009, Terrell was a founding member and President of Passive Buildings Canada, a national membership-based, non-profit organization that promotes the Passive House concept. Terrell is the principal architect at Stone’s Throw Design.
Mississauga straw bale house tour with Ontario Natural Building Coalition and Green Energy Doors Open
The public is invited to tour a straw bale eco home as part of both Green Energy Doors Open and the Ontario Natural Building Coalition's Home Tour!
Situated on a property with an eco-friendly, biodiverse half acre garden with rare native wildflowers and grasses, this post and beam building features straw bale insulation, Unisolar panels on roof (with 20 NiCad battery storage) along with solar thermal. The home has a steel roof and a green roof adorns the carport. The home was built for someone with multiple chemical sensitivities and materials used are non-toxic. The home also features in-floor heating and a masonry stove.
Originally designed as flexible co-housing with 3 semi private units and about 1000 sq common area with main kitchen, the 4500 square foot house is currently being prepared for sale with renovations and repairs from the Fourth Pig Green & Natural Construction.
- Plastered straw bale wall infill main floor wall construction
- Veneer, lime gypsum plaster used throughout the interior walls, no mudding and taping
- Integrated solar panels 2.6Kw system with battery back up.
- Solar how water
- 20 NiCad batteries in the basement connected to critical bypass panel
- LED lighting used through out
- Skylights through out for natural lighting and ventilation.
- Triple Glazed fiberglass windows
- Roof insulated with mineral wool to R60
- Standing seam steel roof
- Soap stone window sill internally
- Wisa Board used extensively inside and out
- Strawboard was used for cabinets
- Maple kitchen, trim and doors
- Bamboo flooring used in some locations.
- PSL (parallel strand lumber) load bearing beams and posts used throughout
- Durisol (now Nexcem) used for the foundation
- Shoji Panels made with handmade paper panels on plexiglass
- green roof on carport
- unpaved driveway
- paths in garden are made of coregravel and gravel and 100% permeable
- Viessmann gas boiler
- infloor heating in all floors - mostly concrete and some bamboo
- house has one masonry wood fireplace in living room, and 2 soapstone wood stoves in the wings
The Fourth Pig is excited to partner with the Lake of Bays Renewable Energy Co-op (LOBREC) and host an eco-home open house as part of both Green Energy Doors Open and the Ontario Natural Building Coalition's Home Tour!
Come tour a straw bale highly energy efficient eco home (renovated by the Fourth Pig Green & Natural Construction) and get information on the local Lake of Bays Renewable Energy C0-op. LOBREC is a not-for-profit renewable energy co-operative. LOBREC’s goal is to bring community owned renewable energy projects to Lake of Bays for the benefit of the community as a whole.
This eco home was converted from a leaky and poorly insulated 60’s home into a quiet, comfortable year-round family haven through a combination of straw bale wrap, dense pack cellulose an additional exterior wall and straw bale insulated addition. The home was modeled in the Passive House software, PHPP to help maximize our energy savings. The use of natural materials helps to offset embodied carbon energy in the home.
The house features a wood fired boiler which also heats domestic water and water for space heating. A solar hot water heater was also installed for hot water and supplement radiant heating. Insulation included denim batt and cellulose. Perlite was used for under slab basement insulation and to insulate block walls. The house contains an Energy Recovery Ventilator – a high efficiency fresh air supply, ventilation and whole house HEPA air filtration system. Energy efficient lighting and electrical were used including LED lights, BX wiring to reduce Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) and Electrical Magnetic Fields.
At the Fourth Pig we are exited to be renovating a barn and turning it into a brewery at GoodLot Farmstead Brewing. GoodLot makes hyperlocal beers, growing their ingredients on their organic farm or getting them locally.
This barn-to-brewery tour is part of #GEDO17 (Green Energy Doors Open) and the public is invited to see the farm and the brewery in progress. The barn features a 10KW solar array (with a 9KW one coming soon). No fossil fuels will be used to in production of the beer. The brewery will be highly energy efficient (no leaky barn here!).
Come out and meet Fourth Pig and GoodLot staff!
● Ontario’s (perhaps Canada’s) first 100% electric, solar powered brewery
● Organic hops and other ingredients grown on and around the farm (hyper-local, farm-raised beer)
● Reuse of an existing barn
● Board and batten siding kept to preserve imbedded carbon investment
● Super insulated walls and roof R40 walls and R80 attic
● Super air tight to meet passive house standards
● Generally low carbon construction
● Durable non toxic finishes on the interior
● Triple glazed wood aluminum clad passive house windows and doors
● Simplified heating and cooling system due to air tight super insulated construction
● Recycled and recyclable materials used wherever possible
● New shallow ICF foundation frost protected by perimeter insulation.
● On site well water for brewing and general use
● All LED lighting to be used
● Tasting room to be in reconditioned 100 year old post and peg beam barn beside brew barn, utilizing and exposing existing post and beam structure
Join the Fourth Pig at the Summer Muskoka Life Show. The Summer Muskoka Life Show is a free, annual Home, Garden, Cottage, Food & Decor Show organized by the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Muskoka Life.
Visitors will not only be drawn to the Summer Muskoka Life Show, for the almost 100 vendor exhibits, but will be entertained with interactive “Muskoka Lifestyle ” workshops, cooking demos, and presentations, scheduled on 2 stages throughout the day!
Melinda Zytaruk, General Manage of the Fourth Pig will be speaking on "Healthy home and cottage renovations - for you and the environment!" at 1:00pm. Plus we will have a table there, stop by and talk green renovations!
The Fourth Pig is excited to be participating at Let's Live Green. Our General Manager, Melinda Zytaruk will be presenting "Building for a low-carbon future, naturally." at 4:35. Plus, come by our booth and talk low-carbon, energy efficient buildings with us!
Let's Live Green is an engaging and educational event to help you reduce your environmental impact at home and on the go. The event has exhibitors, electric cars, presentations and more. See you there!
Green building and beers, a naturally great pairing!
Please join us for a free talk by builder, writer, teacher, author Chris Magwood at the wonderful Shacklands Brewery!
Chris Magwood is the Executive Director of The Endeavour Centre, a not-for-profit sustainable building school also based in Peterborough he is also the lead instructor for the Sustainable New Construction program at Endeavour. Chris is the author of a number of books on building including his most recent Making Better Buildings: A Comparative Guide for Sustainable Construction.
Buildings today are becoming more energy efficient thanks to changing building codes and a wealth of innovative building products. However, using these modern, cost-saving materials isn't enough when you consider a building's embodied carbon levels (found in its materials) and its operational carbon footprint.
Thankfully, there is a win-win solution to the carbon problem when it comes to buildings, and it's easier and cheaper than you think.
Special thanks to our business sponsor:
Glen Byrom is a founding member of the Fourth Pig Workers Co-op with over 20 years of experience in natural construction, renewable energy and related training programs. He has worked on over 30 straw bale houses, commercial buildings and as many Photovoltaic (PV) installations, in Canada and the US. He has taught natural building workshops with the Fourth Pig and at Solar Energy International in Colorado, specializing in hands on instruction in natural construction and finishing including straw bale, cob, rammed earth, earth bag, passive solar design and adobe.
Glen is a skilled general carpenter, and plasterer, as well as having work experience as a plumber and electrical apprentice. He brings his expertise in natural and solar building techniques, renewable energy system design and installation and a passion and creativity for beautiful, healthy and functional spaces to the Fourth Pig. He will speak about green construction with an emphasis on straw bale walls and natural/traditional plasters, and different types of green construction and why we need to build this way.
We are pleased to be involved with the 36th annual Guelph Organic Conference and Trade Show at Guelph University Centre January 26-29th. During the (free) Trade Show (January 28-29th), come on over to the Fourth Pig booth and talk low-carbon building with us.
Our General Manager, Melinda Zytaruk will also be presenting at the conference. Melinda is part of the "Living the Green Dream" panel on Thursday the 26th and on Saturday the 28th she is presenting "Sustainable Building Materials for Every Dwelling." Registration is required for workshops and presentations.
Hope to see you there!
At the Fourth Pig we believe that there needs to be more women working in construction. We are excited to have two Fourth Pig worker-owners (Melinda Zytaruk, Jen Vandrie) presenting at this YWCA Muskoka event to talk about women in the construction trades.
Once again the Fourth Pig will be happily staffing a table at the EcoFair at the Barns in Toronto. "EcoFair at the Barns is a FUN, family oriented event that informs and inspires people to make greener choices in their homes and communities. Last year, over 1000 people came out to learn about green initiatives and achievements in our neighbourhood and in our city, to explore new ideas, and to share green tips and tricks."
Admission is free, come by and talk green and natural building with us!
Natural building construction uses locally obtained and renewable materials, to produce homes and buildings that are visually unique and healthy to live in, while striving to keep energy consumption and its’ associated emissions as low as possible. As a way of promoting natural building, the Ontario Natural Building Coalition coordinates an annual Natural Homes Tour on the first Sunday of October each year.
We are once again participating and if you missed our open house for Green Energy Doors Open, come on by to visit our home tour. We converted this leaky and poorly insulated '60s home in Lake of Bays, Muskoka, to a quiet, comfortable year-round family haven through a combination of straw bale wrap, dense pack cellulose, an additional exterior wall and straw bale insulated addition.
Location: 1033 North Tooke Lake Rd , Baysville Ontario.
Do you want to learn more about green building? On Oct.1st Sustain in Huntsville Ontario will host an experienced panel of local green builders, available to answer your questions! From non-toxic finishes, green design, and straw bale building to rammed earth construction, passive house and net zero.
Each presenter will give a short introduction to their practice and then we will open the floor to our guests to ask their questions. Our list of presenters include Jonathan MacKay owner of Sustain, Viktor Buzora a classically trained European cabinet maker, Melinda Zytaruk a PHIUS cert. builder from the Fourth Pig Builder Co-op and James Blackman of Tapial Homes and Muskoka Sustainable Builders.
Once again we are pleased to participate in Green Energy Doors Open. On Saturday September 10th we are hosting a tour of a straw bale home (and sharing information about the Lake of Bays Renewable Energy Co-operative).
The Fourth Pig converted this leaky and poorly insulated 60’s home in Lake of Bays, Muskoka, to a quiet, comfortable year-round family haven through a combination of straw bale wrap, dense pack cellulose an additional exterior wall and straw bale insulated addition. We modelled the home in the Passive House software, PHPP to help us maximize our energy savings.
We used FSC lumber and No Added Urea Formaldehyde sheets, zero VOC eco-friendly adhesives, finishes and sealants. The house features a wood fired boiler which also heats domestic water and water for space heating. A solar hot water heater was also installed for hot water and supplement radiant heating. Insulation included denim batt and cellulose. Perlite was used for under slab basement insulation and to insulate block walls.
Join us a the Muskoka Summit on the Environment (MSE) May 27-28 at the Rene Caisse Theatre in Bracebridge. The Fourth Pig is a proud sponsor of this event and will have an info table. Come on by and talk about construction and climate change. Please note that registration is required.
The Muskoka Summit on the Environment is organized by a committee comprised of representatives from:
Muskoka Watershed Council,
Friends of the Muskoka Watershed
The District Municipality of Muskoka,
the Town of Bracebridge,
the Ministry of the Environment, and
MSE is a biennial event that promotes the use of research to ensure healthy ecosystems in Muskoka and beyond. Summit participants advocate for open dialogue between science and policy so that environmental understanding can be applied to improve management actions.
The MSE Organizing Committee believes that presentation and debate of science-based environmental research will constructively lead to strengthened government environmental policy.