Links & Resources

Books & Reference Material

Endeavour’s Chris Magwood puts his knowledge of sustainable building at your fingertips through his books:

Essential Sustainable Home Design bookEssential Sustainable Home Design, Chris Magwood

It’s all here. Everything you need to know about designing a sustainable home, for you, your family and the planet. Easy to read and understand while tackling a myriad of complex subjects. Martin Hammer, architect, co-author of the Straw Bale, Light Straw-Clay and Tiny House appendices in the International Residential Code

Finally! An up-to-date overview of the most important approaches and questions to address when making a more sustainable home. Ben Falk, author, The Resilient Farm and Homestead and Whole Systems Design, LLC

An intelligent synthesis of all things “green,” presented in an easy-to-understand format to help future homeowners make the best choices for every stage in creating their new home. Paula Baker-Laporte, co-author, Prescriptions for a Healthy House and The EcoNest Home

Both comprehensive and concise. –David Eisenberg, Director, Development Centre for Appropriate Technology

I will be referring prospective clients and colleagues alike to Essential Sustainable Home Design. Tim Krahn, LEED AP, P. Eng, Building Alternatives

New Carbon Architecture book coverThe New Carbon Architecture: Building to Cool the Climate (Edited by Bruce King, featuring chapter contribution from Chris Magwood)

Truly, what a fantastic, timely, important book! – Paul Hawken, author of Drawdown and Blessed Unrest

We must go beyond building operations and address embodied carbon – phasing out carbon emissions in building materials and construction by mid-century; this book illustrates how. –Edward Mazria, Founder/CEO Architecture 2030

I recommend this book as a primer for anyone interested in combatting global climate change via building science. Jerry Yudelson, author, Reinventing Green Building

That same carbon atom that’s wreaking havoc in the atmosphere is a building block for many great traditional and new building materials. The New Carbon Architecture shows us how in ways that are both practical and imaginative – truly a resource for our times. – Nadav Malin, President, BuildingGreen, Inc.

Essential Hempcrete ConstructionEssential Hempcrete Construction, Chris Magwood

Essential Hempcrete Construction is an informative and easy to read guide/instruction manual to building with hemp-lime. This book is a time (and money) saver – worth every penny. –Greg Flavall, Hemp Technologies Collective

Magwood has years of experience of natural building and sound construction practice and this book provides excellent, well-illustrated guidance. – Tom Wolley, author, Low Impact Building Materials and Hemp-Lime Construction

In a field that is often beset with more wishful thinking than honest appraisal, Essential Hempcrete Construction stands out as a well-researched investigation into the potential and promise of hemp-lime systems in the contemporary built environment. -Tim Callahan, co-author, Building Green

Hemp as a building material is one of the most important uses of this plant. Essential Hempcrete Construction explains this new technology in a clear and concise manner. With this information anyone wanting to use this material will have a great starting point. -Steve Allin, Director, International Hemp Building Association and author, Building with Hemp

Magwood has combined his deep understanding of building science with some fortuitous hands-on experience of working with hempcrete to craft this timely and detailed guide to the essentials of hempcrete construction. -Kelly Hart,

Essential Prefab Strawbale ConstructionEssential Prefab Straw Bale Construction, Chris Magwood

The next generation of straw bale buildings is coming, and now we have a guide for builders, designers and would-be manufacturers – from one of the best sources anywhere. As always, Magwood brings enthusiasm, experience and solid science to the subject, so buy this book! Now! And prepare to learn, smile, and be part of a cool new generation of building. – Bruce King, Ecological Building Network

Straw bale building has just grown up! Magwood has just shown us how to build sustainably for the masses. – David Lanfear, Bale on Bale Construction

Essential Prefab Straw Bale Construction is a jumping-off point both for professionals pondering unique, turn-key business opportunities and for novice owner-builders seeking an easier DIY approach to straw bale building. Accelerate your own research and development by several years in an easy weekend read. -Ben Polley, Evolve Builders Group

This essential guide covers it all, from the why and how to the nitty gritty details. Having explored a variety of modular and prefab delivery methods, with the help of this book, we foresee prefab straw bale becoming a favorite go-to solution. -Anni Tilt & David Arkin, Arkin Tilt Architects

Essential Building Science, Jacob Deva Racusin

Getting the building science right in a house – so your home is healthy, durable and energy efficient – can be a daunting and complex process, but Jacob has distilled this down to principles that are easy to understand. Racusin provides clear guidance for putting this principles into action, including details of building assemblies that work. The contents of this guide are essential for builders and architects, as well as for future homeowners to know what to look for in good design. – Andrew M. Shapiro, Energy Balance, Inc.

Too many of us are suffocating in a stew of mold and toxic chemicals as our buildings disintegrate around us. In this essential book, Jacob Deva Racusin distills the basic tools builders and homeowners need to make efficient homes that start out light on the planet and last a good long time. – Tristan Roberts, Editor,


Making Better Buildings bookMaking Better Buildings, Chris Magwood

Quite possibly the most valuable book ever published on green building! – Dan Chiras, Director, The Evergreen Institute

Chris Magwood has saved us all thousands of research hours with Making Better Buildings. This book is not only a tool for the builders of today, but is a marvelous textbook for the young, emerging building professionals of tomorrow. –Emily Niehaus, Founder, Community Rebuilds

If you’re drilling deep into sustainable building and want more than superficial details, let Chris Magwood be your guide. Making Better Buildings will help builders and homeowners quantify the green building process, and better understand the impact of their decisions. –Scott Gibson, Green Building Advisor

We’re often asked to recommend books to guide people along the path to building their own natural home. The list of books is quite short, but with Making Better Buildings it just got one important book longer. – Oliver Swann,

It’s a tall task to make the complex set of green building choices accessible and interesting – and Chris Magwood has done it well. As a teacher, and a systems and building consultant, I’d say this book ranks up there as one of the top three green building reference books. –Gord Baird, Eco-Sense

This book is a must-read for anyone trying to demystify the myriad of green building options. Chris Magwood packs this book with scientific data plus his unique hands-on experience. The result will leave every reader with a clear understanding of the benefits and challenges for a variety of super eco-friendly building methods. – Sigi Koko, Down to Earth Design

Essential Cordwood Building, Rob Rob








Essential Light Straw Clay Construction, by Lydia DolemanEssential Light Straw Clay Construction book cover








More Straw Bale Building, Chris Magwood, Peter Mack, Tina Therrien








Former Students

Students who have worked with us in the past are doing all sorts of amazing things. Check out what they are up to! And if you should be on this list and aren’t, let us know!

Jeremy Clark and Dan Haan, Simple Life Homes,

Kara Holzmiller, Build. Sow. Grow, 

Nathan Ferguson, Lanark Build/Design Team,

Melissa Furukawa, Peel Passive House Consulting Ltd,

Amber McRae, Muddy Girl Taping and Plastering,

Chris Phillips, Greening Homes,

Ryan Hughes, Hughes Timber Craft,

Dave Kodama, Kenichi Woodworking,

Christine Carracciolo, EcoCentrix Design,

Melanie Dee Martin, Flow Environments (Interior Design & Construction),

Sean Harris and Dave Conroy, Little Building Company,

Chris Johnston CET, C&D Services,

Leslie Doyle, Restoration Gardens (Living roofs),



We have had the great fortune to work with remarkable collaborators in our projects. Check out the following folks:


Blackwell Bowick Partnership, structural engineering,

Building Alternatives, structural engineering,

Dale Brownson, design,

Centre for Alternative Wastewater Treatment, constructed wetland design,

Elfstrom Engineering, HVAC engineering and design,

Geo-Logic, geotechnical investigation,

The Greer Galloway Group, geotechnical investigation,

Colin MacDougall, Dept of Civil Engineering, Queen’s University, structural testing,

Our Cool Blue Architects, architectural design,

Rivercourt Engineering, water and waste systems design,

Soma Earth Architect, architectural design,



Merrett Home Hardware Building Centre

Builder Trend- Construction Managment software

Bubble Action Pumps, non-electric solar hot water pumps,

Chisholm’s Lumber, lumber,

Eco Building Resource, insulations, LED lights, finishes and more,

Eco Ethic, composting toilets,

Eco-House Paints, silicate mineral paints and tints,

Eco-Safety Products, SoyCrete floor stain,

Evolve Building Group, paints and finishes,

Fibretech Windows, fiberglass triple pane windows,

Foam Concept, recycled foam insulation,

Haliburton Forest, timber and lumber,

Homestead House Paint Company, milk paints and stains,

Inline Fiberglass, fiberglass triple pane windows,

Lutes Cedar, milled cedar tongue and groove and trim,

Mar-Co Clay Products, plastering clay,

Mitsair, Mitsubishi Zuba air source heat pump,

Murphy Lumber, lumber,

Silk Road Bamboo Flooring, bamboo flooring,

Upper Canada Forest Products, FSC certified plywood,

Upper Canada Stone Company, quarried limestone and marble dust,

Wilson’s Forest Products, lumber, 613-473-4724

Windy Ridge Studio, lumber, 705-457-1596


Green Building Stores in Ontario

ECO Building Resource,

Living Rooms,


Artech Studios, blown glass truth windows,

CA Peters Crane Service, crane service,

Camel’s Back Construction, plastering,

Churko Electric, electrical contractor,

Danford Construction, excavation and trucking, 613-473-2468

Donovan Plumbing, plumbing,

Eco-Options Geo Solar, direct exchange geo thermal heating,, rainwater harvesting,

Electric by Nature, electrical contractor, renewable energy, 613-539-6010

Flanagan and Sun, solar hot water and renewable energy,

Generation Solar, PV and solar hot water design and installation,

HavenCraft Natural Homes, geothermal heating, radiant floor heating,

James Howe Builder Ltd, crane service, 705-286-2707

Leslie Doyle Restoration Gardens,

McClouds Water Treatment, potable rainwater treatment,

Nurse Crane Rentals, crane service, 705-742-0488

Orville Thertell Electric, electrical contractor, 705-932-2698

Whippletree Post and Beam, timber frame design, build and teach,



There is a wild abundance of sustainable building information online… here are some of our favourites:

Building Science is a great place to learn both basics and details of leading edge building science.

Environmental Building News is one of the most trustworthy sources of information about green building products, as well as home of a great online newsletter featuring a wide range of useful articles and blogs.

The Development Center for Appropriate Technology works to enhance the health of the planet and our communities by promoting a shift to sustainable construction and development through leadership, strategic relationships, and education.

EBNet promotes, fosters and catalyzes the transformation of building to favor intelligent design, clean energy, and healthy materials. EBNet finds and disseminates ways to conserve scarce resources, to make intelligent use of abundant waste materials, and to thereby slow the destruction of the natural systems upon which we depend.

The Ontario Straw Bale Building Coalition is a great place to learn about straw bale building in the province and beyond. Links exist to most of the important testing documents, and the professional member’s list is comprehensive.

The Last Straw Journal is an important natural building resource with a great resource page.

Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC) library contains thousands of research papers, from mainstream to alternative construction, most of them available for free.

Passive Buildings Canada serves as a Passive House Information Group that provides a network for the Canadian Passive House community to connect, share knowledge and experience, and empower the delivery of Passive House projects.

The Healthy Building Environmental Learning Centre’s mission is to be an instrument for environmental change, helping to create healthy homes, schools, and workplaces, free of toxins in the indoor air and tapwater, and electromagnetic pollutants.

Natural Building Network is a not-for-profit membership association promoting natural building principles, materials and practitioners worldwide. We support ecological regeneration, social justice, the building of community and economic opportunity, and the recognition of indigenous wisdom as essential in creating healthy, beautiful, and spiritually-uplifting habitation for everyone.

Living Building Challenge is a remarkable sustainable building rating system. Endeavour will be attempting certification under the Living Building Challenge on all our projects.

Eco-Sense is the first residential project to be certified to Living Building Challenge standards. There is lots of great information here on the project, research that has been completed on the building and insights from the builders. 

Natural Building Resources is an international resource listing of natural building materials suppliers, related products and services 

Natural Builders Northeast is a group of builders, designers, consultants, educators, and professionals practicing the art of natural building and design. Their members are located throughout the northeastern United States and offer a wide range of building services and lively discussions. 

The eco-Energy program is a Canadian government initiative that provides grant incentives for energy efficient retrofits to existing homes.

The Micro-FIT program from the Ontario Power Authority offers homeowners and businesses wishing to generate renewable energy a contract to feed their energy into the grid at terrific rates.