Tag Archives: healthy home initiative

#USGBC Is at it again with this awesome interactive and innovative website they just launched to promote the global initiatives being discovered and improved around the world. GBIG

Green Building Information Gateway http://ow.ly/fYHml #healthyhomes


What Makes a Structure a “Living Building”?

Green Architecture: What Makes a Structure a “Living Building”?: Scientific American http://ow.ly/fKgHS  #healthyhomes

Buildings: Global Consumption and Sustainability

I wanted to share these thoughts I wrote one night a few months ago when  the thoughts and data which were floating around in my head came together which is the primary purpose for my putting all this new energy into this blog and this career. It is more than a job, It is a mission:

Buildings: Global Consumption & Sustainability

When I was born there were 3 billion people on the earth. When I turned 40 there were 6 billion people on the earth. When my daughters turns 40 there will be over 12 billion people on the earth.

“If undeveloped countries consumed at the same rate as the US, four complete planets the size of the Earth would be required. Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population but consume 24% of the world’s energy.”

At the current rate of population growth and human consumption at some point there is no debate the earth will not be able to supply the resources necessary to meet societies needs and our current rate of consumption.

At this inevitable rate of growth the time to act is now before it’s too late. If we continue to build homes that demand the current resources to build, maintain and operate our homes and commercial spaces the point on the graph where these two points meet will likely be in my lifetime but in most cases in my daughter’s lifetime and I cannot as a responsible parent and as a steward of the planet allow this to happen.

Building Science Digests

The construction and operation of buildings consumes over a third of the world’s energy consumption, and 40% of all the mined resources. Striving to make buildings more sustainable, while saving construction and operating costs and improving health and occupant well being is not only possible and practical, it should be the goal of the building industry. Achieving this goal requires an awareness of the problem and the skills to design, specify, construct, and operate buildings in a manner that is often quite different from current standard approaches. This digest will review the challenge of sustainability, discuss methods of assessing green buildings, and recommend a process by which more sustainable buildings can be delivered.


Consumption by the United States

In the United States:

Reducing consumption without reducing use is a costly delusion. If undeveloped countries consumed at the same rate as the US, four complete planets the size of the Earth would be required.

Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population but consume 24% of the world’s energy.

On average, one American consumes as much energy as

2 Japanese

6 Mexicans

13 Chinese

31 Indians

128 Bangladeshis

307 Tanzanians

370 Ethiopians

The population is projected to increase by nearly 130 million people – the equivalent of adding another four states the size of California – by the year 2050.

Forty percent of births are unintended.

Americans eat 815 billion calories of food each day – that’s roughly 200 billion more than needed – enough to feed 80 million people.

Americans throw out 200,000 tons of edible food daily.

The average American generates 52 tons of garbage by age 75.

The average individual daily consumption of water is 159 gallons, while more than half the world’s population lives on 25 gallons.

Fifty percent of the wetlands, 90% of the northwestern old-growth forests, and 99% of the tall-grass prairie have been destroyed in the last 200 years.

Eighty percent of the corn grown and 95% of the oats are fed to livestock.

Fifty-six percent of available farmland is used for beef production.

Every day an estimated nine square miles of rural land are lost to development.

There are more shopping malls than high schools.

Other Facts:

250 million people have died of hunger-related causes in the past quarter-century — roughly 10 million each year.

700 to 800 million people, perhaps even as many as a billion, don’t get enough food to support normal daily activities

Africa now produces 27% less food per capita than in 1964.

1.7 billion people lack access to clean drinking water, and by the year 2000, the number of urban dwellers without access to safe water and sanitation services is expected to grow by 80%.

0.1% of pesticides applied to crops reaches the pest, the rest poisons the ecosystem.

Each year 25 million people are poisoned by pesticides in less developed countries, and over 20,000 die.

One-third of the world’s fish catch and more than one-third of the world’s total grain output is fed to livestock.

It takes an average of 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat in modern Western farming systems. It takes 5,214 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef.

Each person in the industrialized world uses as much commercial energy as 10 people in the developing world.

source: Paul Ehrlich and the Population Bomb / PBS

To our Healthy Homes. It is more than just a fleeting thought or idea. It is a mission.

Healthy Home in Chicago Gets National Attention

The SF Chronicle ran an article about this Healthy Home in Chicago. If you’re a Healthy Homes maven, you probably know about it, but the Chicago Trib didn’t even do a story–at least that I could find. Here’s a cut and paste from the Chronicle piece (which is really a lift from the PR Release from Sponsor Dwell Magazine).

In a groundbreaking partnership with leaders and advocates in green design, Healthy Home 2012 is a real-life educational model for healthier living, raising the bar on sustainable design by focusing on healthier indoor environments. This one-of-a-kind endeavor is intended to help educate and inspire people to create non-toxic living environments, from foundation to food.

The contemporary home, built and designed for a growing family, is located in the prestigious Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago and features an outstanding display of sustainable design, furniture, lighting and accessories – and showcasing the highest standards of environmental integrity.

Spearheaded by sustainable experts and green design leaders, Victoria Di Iorio and Jill Salisbury, the project has brought together a standard of healthy and stylish living that is unsurpassed. From construction to design to lifestyle choices, the home showcases the best in sustainable design, innovative technologies, green building materials and healthful living.
“We are going beyond the notion of what is sustainable to create a home that has health and wellness at the heart of our objectives,” noted Di Iorio. “This project seeks to raise awareness on all the ways we can achieve a healthier environment – from cleaning supplies and food choices to how we construct and decorate our homes – so anyone can aspire to cleaner, greener, healthier living.”

The Home
Designed by architect Joe Trojanowski, this modern home with large expanses of glass boasts the advantages of natural light and views of the neighborhood and the Chicago skyline. The exterior is clad in dark colored brick and large cast stone panels, and is designed to accommodate outdoor living with an enclosed yard, raised dining terrace, a large roof deck on the top floor designed for entertaining, and a private green roof for the Master Suite.
The homeowners desired a contemporary living space designed for entertaining while meeting the lifestyle needs of their family. The family’s consideration for environment, health and balance are reflected throughout all the interior spaces and in every selection made for this home. The unique double volume space in the living room and open floor plan allow for the entire first floor to illuminate with daylight with the incorporation of an open staircase and sliding glass doors. The basement and third floor are designed for family activities, entertaining and includes a private office, while the second floor is tucked away for privacy. The home reflects a neutral and earthy palate with clean lines and contemporary details that flow from the exterior spaces throughout the interiors of the home.

Green Highlights
The house employs a number of materials and technologies that are environmentally friendly by doing a number of things – conserve energy, use less water, improve its indoor air quality, reduce the ‘heat island effect’ in the city and utilize sustainable building materials.
The heating system of the house is 98% efficient, meaning nearly all of the energy consumed is converted directly to heat, rather than wasted
The insulation envelope of the house is very high performing with insulation that exceeds the standards set by the City of Chicago Green Homes Program Guidelines
The windows in the house are constructed of thermally broken aluminum frames, which prevent ‘thermal bridging’, or the direct transfer of heat through the window frame
The glass in the house is 1” thick insulated glass manufactured by PPG, with ‘Solarcool Grey’ reflective coating, which not only provides daytime privacy, but further reduces the heat loss and heat gain through the glass areas. This reduces the home’s energy consumption.

The home is designed to maximize greenspace and is extensively planted, which reduces the stormwater load, and helps to reduce the ‘heat island effect’ of buildings in the city

  • The metal roof has a high solar reflective index (SRI) which reflects much of the suns heat and helps to reduce the cooling load.
  • The house is enclosed in a continuous insulation including under the basement slab, which reduces the heating demand.
  • The house includes mechanical connections for future solar thermal and solar photoelectric systems.
  • All appliances are energy star-rated
  • All structural floor systems are constructed of engineered lumber which are manufactured from sustainably grown forests
  • All wood flooring in the house is FSC certified sustainably harvested bamboo
  • Renewably harvested cork flooring is used in the basement
  • All water fixtures are low water consumption
  • All interior paint finishes are no VOC
  • All adhesives are minimal VOC
  • Roof decking surfaces are made with composite wood decking, which is made from scrap wood and recycled products

Healthy Child Healthy World Healthy Child Healthy World is the nation’s preeminent nonprofit organization that advocates for and protects children’s health—to help create cleaner, healthier indoor environments for children and their families.
Healthy Home 2012 in collaboration with Healthy Child Healthy World is a residential prototype for best practices in healthy living and improved indoor air quality. By meeting some of the world’s most stringent indoor air quality standards — the house will serve as a model for safe, healthy, and breathable indoor environments for millions of children and families.
Greenguard Environmental Institute 
Healthy Home 2012 features dozens of GREENGUARD Certified low-emitting products and building materials—including paints, wallboard, flooring, countertops, tile, and certain furnishings. By meeting some of the world’s most stringent indoor air quality standards, these GREENGUARD Certified products help reduce the number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxic contaminants in the home’s interior, thereby creating healthier indoor air.

Dwell magazine is the exclusive sponsor, giving Healthy Home 2012 in Chicago a national platform to educate the public on how truly green and healthier living can be achieved in a hip and design-forward way. The showcase home offers modern design enthusiasts innovative and stylish solutions for healthy living.

Here are some links from other groups that covered this very cool event.