Tag Archives: healthy design and 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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Illinois’ Third Passive House built in River Forest


The home’s cobalt blue siding sets it apart from older brick houses in its River Forest neighborhood. But the color of the house on Jackson Avenue is the least of its distinguishing factors.

 

As northern Illinois’ first certified passive house, Corinna and Rodrigo Lema’s new house is a celebrity in architectural circles. Originated in Germany, a passive house has maximum indoor air quality and is super energy-efficient.

 

The Lemas’ house is the third certified passive house in Illinois, according to the Passive House Institute U.S., which certifies them. The other two are in Urbana and Champaign.

 

“If it were a car, it would be getting 300 miles per gallon,” said Mark Miller, executive director of the Passive House Alliance United States, which advocates for these homes. “Europe has embraced this for years. In the U.S., we’re just catching up. There are only 34 certified in the U.S.”

 

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

How Healthy You Are Also Depends on Where You Live


See on Scoop.itChicago healthy homes

Care2.comHow Healthy You Are Also Depends on Where You LiveSeattle Post Intelligencer (blog)A report titled “America’s Health Rankings” is annually issued by the United Health Foundation under the sponsorship of the UnitedHealth Group to identify…

Jim Gramata‘s insight:

December nights in Chicago remind me there are other (warmer) cities to call home.

See on blog.seattlepi.com

How to get ahead in sustainable living.


See on Scoop.itSustainable Green Real Estate

The GuardianHow to get ahead in … sustainable livingThe GuardianAdvising tenants on how to reduce their carbon footprint and cut their energy costs is becoming part of the core skills expected of frontline housing officers.

Jim Gramata‘s insight:

Sustainable living starts with healthy homes and having these core sustainable principles to all aspects of our built environment.

Post Topics:

green, healthy homes, healthy homes Chicago, sustainable, Smart buildings, green building, green energy, carbon footprint, housing

See on www.guardian.co.uk

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


See on Scoop.itHealthyHomesChicago

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

What Makes Radiant Flooring Sustainable?


See on Scoop.itHealthyHomesChicago

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


See on Scoop.itHealthyHomesChicago

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

Build Green to Save Green: The Lure of LEED in Senior Housing – Senior Housing News


See on Scoop.itHealthyHomesChicago

Build Green to Save Green: The Lure of LEED in Senior HousingSenior Housing NewsThe healthy building trend can be seen almost anywhere nowadays.

Jim Gramata‘s insight:

Building senior housing with healthy sustainable concepts and a look at why.

See on news.google.com

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


See on Scoop.itHealthyHomesChicago

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

Congress Creates New Water Heater Energy Efficiency Ratings


See on Scoop.itHealthyHomesChicago
new water heater energy-efficiency rating system for the US

Jim Gramata‘s insight:

From my last post about making no small plans to this post about the smallest of common housing systems; the domestic hot water heater and the congressional rating system about to be established for our country. Small plans too are just as important as the larger ones.

See on feedproxy.google.com

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

More British homes to stay warm with heat pumps or solar | Greenbang


See on Scoop.itChicago healthy homes

If winter is making temperatures drop to frigid levels where you live, you’re likely grateful for a functioning home furnace … but dreading the coming heating bills. Wouldn’t it be wonderful not to have to worry about those, …

See on www.greenbang.com

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


See on Scoop.itHealthyHomesChicago

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


See on Scoop.itChicago healthy homes

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


See on Scoop.itChicago healthy homes

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


See on Scoop.itChicago healthy homes

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


See on Scoop.itChicago healthy homes

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

Former President Carter and wife to build homes in Denver neighborhood – Denver Post


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Former President Carter and wife to build homes in Denver neighborhoodDenver PostFormer President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, will visit Denver next year to help build 11 new townhomes and repair up to 15 existing homes in the Globeville…

See on www.denverpost.com