Greenbuild kicks off next week with lots of anticipation and excitement. If you are going to be in Chicago, please take the opportunity to visit the Healthy Home 2010 for a CEU and a tour of a beautiful, healthy, green home. Hop on the bus and receive CEU credits from Cambria and Benjamin Moore during your ride to and from the home.
Tuesday’s tour will feature a presentation by Penny Bonda, the founding chair of LEED for Commercial Interiors, ASID’s Sustainable Design Council, and one of the key developers of REGREEN, the USGBC/ASID green residential remodeling program. The home is located in Palatine, Ill., approximately 20 miles from McCormick Place West. Transportation will be provided with pick-up and drop-off at McCormick if you RSVP as follows: Email [email protected] to catch the bus out to the house on either Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, from 10:30 am–1:30 pm or Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, from 10:30 am–1:30 pm.
Now on to HH10 Part 3, where we explore the top ten products used that support healthy indoor air quality. I asked the project team leaders, Jill Salisbury and Victoria Di Iorio, for their choices, and they said “…it was very difficult to come up with a short list of our favorites because there are so many great products in the home.”
Here’s their top ten, along with my summary of the products:
- 1. Bonded Logic Ultra Touch Insulation
UltraTouch is made from 85% renewable cotton from post-consumer recycled fibers. This product passed the CHPS Section 01350 Emission Test for low VOC content, including no chemical irritants such as formaldehyde, asbestos, or fiberglass. It meets ASTM testing standards as a Class-A insulation by using boric acid for fire and smoke ratings.
- 2. Holiday Kitchens Cabinetry
In the kitchen, the cabinetry has no added urea formaldehyde and uses low-VOC paints and stains; plus, it is manufactured in Wisconsin. The cabinet boxes are CARB 1 compliant, and all the adhesives are formaldehyde free.
- 3. el: Environmental Language for Custom Millwork and Furniture
Environmental Language is GreenSpec listed and has been reviewed and scored by EcoScoreCard. In the master bedroom, the table uses a reclaimed granite top; palmwood, a by-product of the coconut industry, for the body; along with locally harvested walnut from a sustainably managed forest; and a natural lacquer finish. The chair frames are FSC-certified wood with a natural lacquer that is zero-VOC, derived from tree sap with no added urea formaldehyde. The fabric is organic.
In the family room, the Chicago-made cabinetry uses FSC-certified cores and natural lacquer derived from tree sap. Reused bronze pulls offer a polished accent complemented by a Cambria quartz top. For the mantel, the team used reclaimed locally harvested black walnut from an urban forest in Chicago with an FSC core material and zero-VOC natural lacquer derived from tree sap.
- 4. American Clay
In the nursery, the walls are earthen-based clay with post-industrial aggregates crushed into sand and pigments. The product has zero-VOCs, and the finished walls are durable and exhibit no off-gassing, supporting a healthy indoor air quality. Plus, American Clay is shipped dry. Just add water and celebrate that the lighter shipping weight uses less fuel for less of a carbon footprint.
- 5. Colonial Bronze Antimicrobial Cabinet Hardware
In the kitchen, Colonial Bronze hardware is antimicrobial, stamping out germs and more than likely eliminating the need for chemical cleaners.
- 6. Cambria Quartz Surfaces
In the kitchen, the quartz countertops from Cambria are GREENGUARD and NSF certified. As the finished surface is nonporous, additional sealers are not needed, eliminating the potential use of topical chemicals. A radon-free surface material, Cambria is ISO 9001:2000 registered and ISO #17025 accredited for indoor air quality. Cambria natural quartz surfaces have zero emissions. For more information, check out Cambria Green.
- 7. Kohler Kitchen and Bath Products
Kohler is used throughout the kitchen and baths, as it is certified by EPA WaterSense.
- 8. Hartmann & Forbes Window Coverings
In the master bedroom, the shade fabric is made of 100% natural fibers that are sustainably grown and harvested. Hartmann & Forbes is GREENGUARD certified and GreenSpec listed for being rapidly renewable, reducing heating and cooling loads, and incorporating minimally processed, natural materials. Plus, H&F takes back and recycles used shades.
- 9. O Ecotextiles
In the kitchen, the Quilcene River Otter fabric is made from organic materials and all-natural dyes. O Ecotextiles is also GreenSpec listed, making the Top Ten Green Products list in 2008. One of the company’s mills is wind powered and completely carbon neutral. Plus, the baseline production requirements set a high standard, eliminating the use of halogenated solvents or any organic solvent containing benzene; chlorine compounds such as TCP, PCP and sodium hypochlorite; heavy metal dyestuffs including antimony, arsenic, lead, chromium, copper and mercury or AZO colorants; PBDEs or BFRs; formaldehyde; dieldrin and brominated or chlorinated compounds.
- 10. Miele Induction Cooktop and Steam Oven
The kitchen’s Miele electric cooktop and steam oven are both Energy Star appliances. Instead of a microwave, the team used a steam oven, which is a healthier alternative, eliminating radioactive waves.
Jill and Victoria summed it up with two parting comments: More than 80,000 chemicals, most of which did not exist 50 years ago, are registered for use in commerce in the United States, and approximately 700 new ones are introduced every year. No-VOC content or low-VOC content is not a reliable predictor of a product’s potential to off-gas, or emit VOCs.
As responsible design professionals, it’s vital that we vet products by tracking down Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) from manufacturers in order to analyze ingredients, especially hazardous chemicals. When dealing with manufacturers, work hard to avoid chemicals listed in Perkin+Wills Precautionary List and the Red List from Version 2.0 of the Living Building Challenge. And for in-depth analysis, go directly to the Healthy Building Network and its Pharos Project, which provides a framework for evaluating building materials and chemicals, merging the use and study of a product’s impact on human health and the environment.
Thank you, HH10, for providing us with insight, observations, and a beautiful home—demonstrating that a healthy, green home is not only a possibility but a reality.
See you in Chicago next week!