Design Potential with Ultra Thick Walls

We love to talk about the "thick ass walls" in our homes, just made for net zeroing. They also offer great design inspiration.

We love to talk about the “thick ass walls” in our homes, just made for net zeroing. They also offer great design inspiration.

Thick wall cavities in a net zero home

Our pre-certified passive house kit comes with a 20-inch thick wall assembly. We like to call them “thick ass walls”.

These thick walls are the foundation of the home’s incredible building envelope, which acts like a thermos, retaining the home’s temperature at a comfortable level even as the temperature drops or rises outdoors.

The passive windows that we use are part of this envelope, and allow us to go for huge windows, usually on the south-facing side of the home (that’s optimal).

This deep wall assembly also provides great design inspiration, with natural ledges that can serve as additional seating, be finished in a variety of ways, and provide the jumping off point for how you live. Think of a window filled with glass shelves and plants. Gorgeous and healthy.

Our Ottawa, Canada based net zero model home uses our Pine Valley design (1,634 square feet, four bedrooms, two bathrooms). The main living space is anchored by a window wall with five floor to ceiling windows. The middle three are fixed, while the outer two in the run open.

An interior picture of the large run of windows in our net zero home's great room.
This photo of our net zero model home shows how the outside windows open in the run of five floor to ceiling windows. The middle three are fixed pane windows and don’t open. This offers unique design opportunties.

Design for efficiency, design for life

We recently made a short reel showing the 20-inch wall assembly that EkoBuilt uses in its passive and net zero homes.

Every new home is a journey that involves choosing the right base floorplan (we offer more than 50) or creating one from scratch, and pairing it with our passive house kit.

There are abundant options to tailor the home to exactly how you plan to live. More and more recently, we’ve realized our ultra thick wall assembly naturally lends itself to additional seating, so we’re often placing them at that height.

It would be so easy to expand on this natural seating by building out a bench top over additional under seating storage. We’re all about clever storage options and design features that fill multiple roles.

Kitchens and dining nooks are natural places to build in this type of seating, but what works for you?

These thick window sills can also simply be finished in whatever way makes sense in your home. The steel threshold piece can be custom painted, drywalled and painted, or a wood surface can be added to echo cabinetry or furnishings in the home.

A live edge piece of wood could be added for a natural visual statement.

Click to watch or listen to this video reel on EkoBuilt's 20 inch thick wall system.
Click to learn more about this EkoBuilt home in the Chelsea Highlands of Quebec.
This EkoBuilt home is in the Chelsea Highlands in Quebec.

The details of your home’s design

In this EkoBuilt home, there are banks of windows on two walls that look onto a wooded area. In this photo, you see the corner of the main living space and the feel this creates.

These home owners went for tall windows and placed the sill at a level where they could place plants and other treasured objects, while leaving sightlines to the view outside unobstructed.

The resulting room is layered, natural, and exactly what these home owners were looking to create.

If your new home or addition will be in a busier urban or suburban area, some of your windows might not have great views. In that case, we look at placement options (e.g. high up the wall). A natural wall of plants can provide a great screen. Check out this recent post on an EkoBuilt addition in a mature neighbourhood.

Create the space you’ll call home

If you’re ready to discuss yours, please feel free to reach out. We talk to folks from across the US and Canada every day about using our passive house kit to achieve the home of their dreams, and to become net zero.

Ready to explore your project? Give us a shout!

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