As green builders, we talk a lot about the energy savings and the environmental value of our sustainable, high-performance approach. Now, homeowners are increasingly interested in another aspect of our green home building: the indoor-air quality expertise that enables us to build homes that won’t make them sick.
You see, there’s a difference between green building and just energy-efficiency. Working with a green builder like us means you get the value of our experience in energy efficiency plus our expertise with ventilation, moisture control, and avoiding toxic materials.
So, as we remodel or build a new home, we’re using construction techniques and green building designs that seal up air leaks and insulate against outside temperatures while still letting your home breathe. Keeping your home green is also about choosing the right materials. Certain types of wall board, carpets, paints and other materials can “out gas,” releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxins that are linked to everything from asthma to cancer. Our approach to green home building means we avoid materials that are known health risks.
Does it make a difference? Results from the recent Moving into Health Green Housing study in Chicago show dramatic differences. People moving into green homes had lower incidences of things you’d expect – like sinusitis and emphysema – and things you might not expect like heart attacks.
There is growing momentum toward creating stringent new government and industry health guidelines for homebuilding. In the meantime, we are already using our expertise to build energy-tight homes that are also healthy homes. To see a few examples of the green homes we’ve built, see our photo gallery.