Select projects by the Fourth Pig Green & Natural Construction
The scope of our work includes custom homes, additions and renovations for residential and commercial clients. See our portfolio here (PDF) and the projects below for samples of our work.
Highly energy efficient Home renovation
The Fourth Pig are acting as consultants on a home renovation project where the owner is looking to renovate to very high energy efficiency standards. We are assisting with Passive House design and practice and materials choices. This project was featured in a Globe and Mail article.
Energy efficient and environmentally sound community food store
The Fourth Pig is the project manager to build Muskoka North Good Food Co-op's community-owned grocery store and food hub. Using an integrated design/build process we are working with Terrell Wong, architect from Stone’s Throw Design and Granite Engineering Services. The design for this amazing project is still in development.
Green Renovation of cottage
The Fourth Pig recently fixed up a cottage in the Muskoka region of Ontario. As with all of our work we emphasized the use of more environmentally sound choices for adhesives and sealants, reclaimed wood, as well as natural plasters and a strong emphasis on quality insulation.
Straw bale wrap and straw bale addition, super energy efficient
Lake of Bays, Muskoka region
We 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 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 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.
The interior walls are finished with a clay based earth plaster. The exterior walls are finished with a clay-based plaster with lime stabilization. Lime Crete (crushed granite and lime) was used for slab floors in basement (treated with hemp oil, citrus solvent, and carnauba wax floor finish). Interior retaining walls were made with rammed earth. Lath and Plaster were used for all interior walls to improve sound quality, improve durability and avoid toxins, mold vulnerability and embodied energy of drywall.
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.
Steel Roofing and sheet metal chosen for longevity, durability and recycling. Light colour roof reflects heat and is ideal for water collection for future rain barrel use. Wherever possible materials from the deconstruction aspects of the project were kept and re-used elsewhere in the project. Examples include lumber, chimney bricks in mechanical room floor, plywood for form work.
The addition and retrofit were designed by Stone’s Throw Design.
Deep-energy renovation with straw bale ADDITION AND high ENERGY EFFICIENCY
This project was a deep-energy full renovation and addition on a single family home in the beaches area. Durability, quality, energy efficiency, comfort and long lasting beauty were priorities for this extensive renovation and addition on a historical home in dire need of repair. We worked with Terrell Wong, architect from Stone’s Throw Design, structural engineer Tim Krahn from Building Alternatives, and mechanical engineer Stewart Fix from ReNü Building Science.
This project involved a deep energy retrofit of all but two rooms and a modern large two story rear addition. The historical front facade was restored. The addition is insulated with straw bales and has a superinsulated ICF foundation. Perlite was used for the underslab in the addtion. Along with straw bales, the house is insulated with soya based spray foam and dense pack cellulose. A combination of infloor radiant heat and re-used original cast iron radiators were installed in new locations. The roof was done with Enviroshake Shingles and a white rubber membrane on the flat roof.
The project includes passive house windows and an energy recovery ventilator. We used FSC certified lumber and wood products and more environmentally sound choices for adhesives and sealants. Many of our green building supplies come from Eco-Building Resource.
The straw bale walls are finished with lime plaster, all other interior walls are finished with veneer plaster (lime and plaster of paris). Limewash paints were used on the straw bale, and we used zero VOC paints on the rest of the house. LED lighting is used throughout the house. We used materials from the original home including radiators, some lumber, and indoor doors and trim.
Straw bale ground and second story addition, super energy efficient
We completed the first straw bale second-story addition on an existing structure in Toronto (and maybe Ontario, maybe Canada). This project also involved a ground-level straw bale addition, the use of reclaimed and FSC wood, clay plaster finishes, high efficiency windows and more.
Green house renovation, energy conservation
Early 20th century home in need of repair, lacking insulation, kitchen in disrepair. On the second floor we installed three south facing recycled windows for passive solar heat, and energy star windows throughout house, installed new ceilings, super-insulated top floor with cellulose, and denim insulation on ground floor, complete bathroom, kitchen, and living room renovation using reclaimed wood, conservation wood, lime and earth plasters, LED lighting and more.
From a basement to a community store
We worked with the West End Food Co-op to turn a basement into a store. Along the way we worked with their members to finish walls with earth plaster (doing a training on the approach), built shelves and counters using, recycled barn board and rough sawn pine from local sources, and used eco friendly finishes. Read a news story about the project here.
Off-grid Solar install for LED lighting
The Fourth Pig installed a solar powered lighting system on a bridge for a small community in Muskoka. The solar system is off-grid, with LED lights that provides festive dark sky friendly lighting for the community. Steel poles and light shades fabricated by Reynolds and sons metal fabricators. This project was completed In partnership with Backup Electric. A Baysville Community Group project.
Framing and siding for energy efficient build
Riverdale, Toronto, Ontario
The Fourth Pig performed the framing and siding for this energy efficient renovation and addition on a home in Riverdale. Designed by engineer and homeowner, Russell Richman, the project included many green renovation details and worked toward passive house standards.
Five day intensive solar training
Nipissing University, Muskoka Campus
We hosted a five day intensive solar training workshop, October 18-22 2010 at Nipissing University Muskoka Campus, Bracebridge, Ontario and partnered with world-renowned Solar Energy International (SEI) for their first Canadian solar training. SEI literally wrote the book on solar install and design.