Tag Archives: Build

3 Reasons to Gradually Go Green: Healthy Homes Chicago


3 Reasons to Gradually Go Green: Healthy Homes Chicago.

Gramata Development Corporation - DesignBuild ChicagoRecently I posted on the Four Categories to a Healthy Home:

1) food & nutrition 
2) furnishings  
3) finishes & fixtures  
4) systems

If one of these components is not a part of your healthy homes decision matrix then you’re probably not living a fully healthy lifestyle. Most of us are aware of the food and nutrition category but what about your home furnishings? Your couch probably contains flame retardant chemicals used on the upholstery which when absorbed can be harmful and some research indicates cancer-causing. How about your home finishes such as the volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the paint you just bought for the kids bedroom? They may contain ingredients known to cause illness too. Did you know a low or no-VOC paint is available in most cases for the same price which is a healthier option?  And what about your home systems such as your furnace? I am not talking about whether they operate but how can they be improved over time with a healthier indoor environment mind?
Some or all of these are often overlooked but critically important to a fully healthy home lifestyle and the focus of this book. Most people are not aware of this nor what options are available to them.

That is one of my goals. To make you aware of some of the options and then how to begin to implement them into your lifestyle so you can gradually go green towards a healthy home lifestyle. 

Why should we care about making our homes and communities healthy and what questions should we be asking to make sure we are comfortable that the answer is a resounding “yes”? 

It begins with awareness and knowing what important questions to ask.

Some Questions to Ask:

  • What can I do to make my home healthy?
  • How can I define my goals of a healthy home?
  • Who can I trust to help me with those decisions?
  • What resources are available to help me establish and reach my goals?
  • What decisions will have the greatest impact on my healthy lifestyle?
  • What investments or decisions will have the greatest economic return over time?
  • How can they add value to my home in addition to the health benefits?

The association between our health and our homes has been known for centuries. People spend over 90% of their time indoors including both at home and work. If your home environment is unhealthy or unsafe, it can lead to illnesses that can appear immediately or in other cases it can lay dormant and lead to illness or even death in the months, years and even decades to come.

The quality of our housing effects our quality of life. Our home can and should support both our health and our well-being for the benefit of ourselves and our communities.

Why?

According to the US Green Building Council buildings consume 14% of potable water, 40% of raw materials and 39% of energy in the United States alone consuming over 15 trillion gallons of water and 3 billion tons of raw materials annually. 

There are three general reasons to work towards healthy homes and communities.

1) Health Impact: improving our indoor air quality by reducing the emissions and chemical mixtures released by the products, furnishings and stuff we fill our homes with can have a huge impact on our lives and the development of our children. Focusing from the building envelope inwards and down to the finishes and fixtures is the only way to being the steps needed to live in a healthy home. 

2) Savings: “healthy green home systems and materials reduce energy consumption, which in turn reduce your energy bills. They can also increase asset value and profits and decrease marketing time; making your dollar go further for longer.”

3) Environmental Impact: “Implementing green practices into your home or office can help reduce waste, conserve natural resources, improve both air and water quality, and protect ecosystems and biodiversity.” 

Create a list in your daily routine which focuses on one or all three of these components and start going green over time in your life!

 

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Climate Change and Human Responsibility


See on Scoop.itHealthyHomesChicago

It can’t be denied any longer: Sea levels are rising, major droughts are continuing, and record hot summers are being experienced all around the world. Climate change is real and, as residents of Earth, we have a responsibility to our planet to do something about it. A recent study conducted by Yale University and George Mason University finds that, for the first time since the research began in 2008, the majority of Americans believe that global warming is mostly a man-made phenomenon.

As sobering images of catastrophes are making headlines, this graphic looks at how people are recognizing that the effects of their actions aren’t just an increasing danger to the world but are a direct threat to the future for themselves and their families.

Jim Gramata‘s insight:

Decisions have consequences. In some cases irreversible and significant. Changing Tides….great post

See on columnfivemedia.com

Pet-chitecture


See on Scoop.itSustainable Modern Homes

dog houses going green – Sustainable Pet Design #DesignPinThurs (dog houses going green – Sustainable Pet Design #DesignPinThurs http://t.co/d0r89RXf)…

Jim Gramata‘s insight:

Couldn’t help but post this one! Dogs care too you know about sustainable and healthy homes…

See on pinterest.com

New homes planned for NOLA


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New homes planned for Lower 9th WardThe Daily AdvertiserNEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former professional football players are teaming with New Orleans area builders to construct at least three new homes in the Lower 9th Ward — and they’re hoping to have it…

Jim Gramata‘s insight:

More good things happening down in NOLA

See on www.theadvertiser.com

Energy forum opens in Italy to explore affordable green building solutions – Global Times


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Energy forum opens in Italy to explore affordable green building solutionsGlobal Times… not enough,” he said.

Jim Gramata‘s insight:

This post states that from 2020, new European Union laws will require new buildings to be built at net-zero energy consumption. If true very impressive…leading the way.

Topics Include:

Green, healthy homes, healthy homes Chicago, sustainable, sustainable architecture, healthy home owner education, green building energy efficiency, green building preparation and development

See on www.globaltimes.cn

Ways to Save on Winter Heating Costs: 5 Strategies to Help You Spend Less


See on Scoop.itHealthyHomesChicago

Experts predict we’ll use more fuel this winter. Try these energy-efficiency tips to prove them wrong.

Jim Gramata‘s insight:

Some good practical ways to save on your heating bills this year and for years to come. Start small! Think big.

See on feedproxy.google.com

What Makes Radiant Flooring Sustainable?


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What makes radiant flooring so green and such a smart home heating solution? Why has Warmboard heated flooring been green since inception? (What Makes Radiant #Flooring #Sustainable?

Jim Gramata‘s insight:

I usually don’t promote articles that are from manufacturer’s unless I see some actual value or potential value in the product or services. This warmboard idea is something to tuck away for that next radiant flooring project requiring a LEED certified system.

See on blog.warmboard.com

British construction companies amongst keenest to invest in sustainable buildings


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Green building practices are becoming the norm across the globe, with Singapore and the UK setting the best examples, according to a new poll.

Jim Gramata‘s insight:

Is the US willing to shift our building practices towards a more healthy sustainable design path? We can do better than 65% but Britain is moving it forward. Let’s get going here at home.

See on www.colorcoat-online.com

Master of Science in Sustainable Construction: 4 MS Programs for Green Building – Green-Buildings.com


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Master of Science in Sustainable Construction: 4 MS Programs for Green BuildingGreen-Buildings.comRoger asks: I’m working a LEED HC/NC construction project in Taiwan for almost 2 years, and with 5 years in sustainable civil engineering experiences.

Jim Gramata‘s insight:

A nice collection of programs available for those interested in advanced degrees in Green Building Sustainable Construction programs.

See on www.green-buildings.com

A Sleek Pre-Fab Design For The Modern Homesteader


See on Scoop.itSustainable Modern Homes

Many high-design concepts for sustainable housing remain just that: concepts. We see them on blogs, but they’re either too expensive or impractical to make it to our neighborhoods.

See on www.fastcoexist.com

Rugged, Sustainable Architecture at Shoal Bay, New Zealand


See on Scoop.itChicago healthy homes

The owners of this small weekender in Shoal Bay New Zealand wanted a getaway that was rugged, rural in character and felt unpretentious. Architect Gerald Parsonson responded with the design of a beautiful cedar clad bach in the form of two offset pavilions.

Architects Statement:

“Shoal Bay is a remote settlement on the rugged east coast of southern Hawkes Bay. The building is designed to be part of the rural setting, raised off the ground and sitting beside the original woolshed, which has served the bay since the early 1900’s. The bach is rugged yet welcoming and offers unpretentious shelter, it is the type of place where you kick off your shoes and don’t need to worry about walking sand through the house.
The bach is formed of two slightly off-set pavilions, one housing the bedrooms and the other the main living space. Decks are located at each end of the living pavilion allowing the sun to be followed throughout the day. Sliding screens at the north-west end provide adjustable shelter for the different wind conditions, offer privacy from neighbouring campers and act as walls for outside sleeping.”

The sustainable, passive design features an interior spatial arrangement oriented for solar gain, shaded in the summer by the sliding shutters, which also provide shelter from the prevailing northwest winds. Also increasing the efficiency are high levels of insulation, along with solar panels that sit between the two pavilions…

Visit the link to view more images of this contemporary passive design that responds to its site and rural context…

See on www.designhunter.net

Seven ways to a healthy home: Make well


Seven ways to a healthy home: Make wellness a priority this winter – Houston Chronicle http://ow.ly/fZ3ti #healthyhomes

The First Net-Zero-Energy Stadium Will Be In The Next World Cup


See on Scoop.itHealthyHomesChicago

Brazil is about to do double-duty hosting international sporting events–first, the 2014 World Cup and then the 2016 Olympics. That means some serious sports center remodeling is in order.

See on www.fastcoexist.com

Home Performance: The Importance of Home Testing


Home Performance: The Importance of Home Performance Testing in… — CHICAGO, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — http://ow.ly/fWnqB #healthyhomes

Organic = Healthy: Who Are You Kidding? – Huffington Post UK (blog)


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Organic = Healthy: Who Are You Kidding?Huffington Post UK (blog)Ok, before we get started, I’m all for the environment, I’m totally against the abhorrent treatment of animals, and as my profession would suggest, I’m very much up for people eating…

See on www.huffingtonpost.co.uk

Sustainable homes for Earth – Earthship Biotecture


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By Caitlin Howlett G Magazine Looking like something Tolkein’s hobbits would reside in, the quirky Earthship homes are in fact some of the greenest ki…

See on earthship.com

American Homes Filled With Fire Retardants | Care2 Healthy Living


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Spare change isn’t the only thing hiding in your couch cushions. Fire retardants are surprisingly common in everyday furniture items.

See on www.care2.com

The incredible origami house that can change shape depending on the weather


See on Scoop.itHealthyHomesChicago

This new incredible folding house is able to, in the words of its creators, ‘metamorphosize’ into eight different configurations to adapt to seasonal, meteorological and even astronomical conditions (The house that is EIGHT homes in one: The incredible…

See on www.dailymail.co.uk

Shooting hoops for healthy hearts at HMS – Helena Independent Record


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Shooting hoops for healthy hearts at HMSHelena Independent RecordAbout 50 Helena Middle School students took to the basketball court Friday morning to keep their hearts healthy, learn basketball skills and celebrate their contribution to the…

See on helenair.com

Homes go from blight to energy efficiency – Toledo Blade


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Toledo BladeHomes go from blight to energy efficiencyToledo BladeThat’s the goal of NeighborWorks Toledo Region, which launched construction Friday of two new houses on the 300 block of Toledo’s Chapin Street.

See on www.toledoblade.com