A Healthy Home
A green home is designed to be a healthy home. Building materials often emit toxic gases or VOC’s, volatile organic compounds, as well as formaldehyde. Thousands of chemicals have been introduced to everyday products we find in homes resulting in some unintended consequences. The EPA has noted that some concentrations of pollutants are 2 to 100x higher inside the home than outside leading some to suffer from a host of health problems.We choose products that reduce or eliminate these whenever possible. Paints, interior finishes, glues, plywood, carpeting, cabinetry, and furniture all off-gas toxic gases and careful attention is paid in choosing low or no VOC materials with little or no off-gassing hazards.
Fresh Air, Filtration and Ventilation
Homes need a constant supply of fresh air which is expressed as air changes per hour, ACH, or in terms of cfm or cubic feet per minute of air movement. When the home is dependent upon countless leaks in its building envelope for its fresh air supply, the homeowner has no control over how much the house “breathes”. On cold and windy days, the house is over-ventilated creating drafts. On days with no wind at all the house can have almost no air movement, creating a stale contaminated environment. It is therefore important to build the house as tight as possible, theoretically as tight as a submarine, which then gives you control over filtration and ventilation.The “BUILD IT TIGHT, VENTILATE IT RIGHT” method requires a steady flow of mechanical ventilation which produces a healthy indoor air environment. We use a Heat Recovery Ventilator or HRV for all of the home’s fresh air requirements and size and integrate it directly into the HVAC system. HRV’s use heat exchanger coils to heat or cool incoming fresh air with energy that is reclaimed from the HVAC system’s exhaust flows. It is the most efficient way to keep pollution out and fresh air in and does so in a controlled manner. Selecting the highest quality air filtration system is just one more component which is added to the HVAC system.