● Include a requirement in specifications that contractors and subs review HomeFree.
● Ask for and prefer products that have a Health Product Declaration (HPD).
● Avoid products marketed as antimicrobial and claiming or implying a health benefit.
● Prefer non-vinyl flooring products.
● When vinyl is used: Specify phthalate-free; avoid post-consumer recycled content.
● For rubber flooring: Avoid post-consumer recycled content (crumb rubber).
● For carpets: Look for products that don’t use fluorinated stain-repellent treatments; specify backings that are vinyl-free and polyurethane-free and do not contain fly ash.
● For ceramic tiles, prefer those made in the USA where most manufacturers have eliminated toxic lead compounds from ceramic tile glazes. Avoid post-consumer recycled content from CRTs (cathode ray tubes) which contain high concentrations of lead.
● Prefer paints that meet the Green Seal-11 (GS-11) standard from 2010 or later whenever possible or specify paints known to be free of alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs).
● Specify bases with 10 g/L of VOCs or less and colorants that do not increase the overall VOC content.
● At a minimum, specify paint bases and colorants with a VOC content of 50g/L or less.
● Look for paints that have VOC emission testing and meet the requirements of the CDPH (California Department of Public Health) Standard Method for Testing VOC Emissions (01350).
● Specify boards made with natural gypsum.
● If possible, avoid pre-consumer recycled content (also known as synthetic gypsum or FGD) to avoid the release of mercury in manufacture.
● Specify residential fiber glass batt insulation — it has been reformulated to be free of formaldehyde — or formaldehyde-free mineral wool batts. Unfaced batts are most preferable.
● For blown insulation, prefer cellulose or un-bonded fiber glass.
● Consider alternatives to rigid board insulation whenever possible. If board insulation is required, specify mineral wool boards and look for those that meet the requirements of CDPH Standard Method for Testing VOC Emissions (01350) for residential scenarios. If plastic foam insulation is used, look for those that are halogen-free. Consider upgrading to expanded cork insulation.
● Avoid spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation whenever possible.
● For sealing applications, prefer caulking or sealant tapes to spray foams.
● Think of countertops as a system of products: the surface itself, an adhesive, and potentially a surface treatment, which may need to be re-applied regularly. Each of these elements have different health concerns.
● Sealant products can introduce hazardous chemicals. Specify countertops that do not need to be sealed after installation, such as engineered stone, cultured marble, or solid surfacing.
● Plastic laminate is not a top countertop choice, but if used, specify that the substrate be made with NAF (No Added Formaldehyde) or ULEF (Ultra Low Emitting Formaldehyde) resins. © Healthy Building Network [June 2018]
CABINETRY & MILLWORK + DOORS
● Prefer solid wood products over composite.
● When using composite wood, specify materials that are NAF (No Added Formaldehyde) or ULEF (Ultra Low Emitting Formaldehyde) whenever possible.
● Prefer products that are factory-finished.
● For edge-banding, specify products with veneer rather than vinyl.
The types of building materials you use on your home can greatly affect the sustainability and design for years to come. Here are some high-quality, green building materials to look into for your home.
Solar Reflective Roofing Shingles
Having high-quality roofing shingles on your house is important to help your home stay protected longer. There are many sustainable materials on the market for roofing shingles that you should consider for your home.
One type of sustainable roofing shingles is made up of solar reflective granules with a type of polymer modified asphalt, making your roof tough and long-lasting against the effects of harsh weather. This type of material reflects solar rays that may enter your home and heat up your house which raise your electric bill for A/C. By reflecting the solar rays, the color of your roofing shingles also lasts longer, maintaining the beauty of your home for many years.
The asphalt is strong enough to keep your roofing shingles in perfect condition even during storms with high winds and high volumes of rain. This type of product will have warranties on the roofing shingles, ensuring that they will last for usually at least 12 years and in up to 110 mph wind. Investing in high-quality roofing shingles is something that you are sure to benefit from.
Strong, Sustainable Exterior Siding
When it comes to the exterior of your home, fiber cement siding is a great alternative compared to more traditional materials like vinyl and wood. This type of siding will ensure the sustainability of your home for longer, often with a warranty of up to 50 years. With great protection against the harsh elements of the weather, fiber cement siding does not warp or fade as quickly as other materials, keeping the design of your home looking its best.
This material comes in a variety of textures so you can customize your home with whatever color and finishing look that your desire. Fiber cement siding protects your home from water, frost, and cold weather, keeping you warm and dry. Being a product that has the designation of National Green Building Standard, fiber cement siding is a building material to use when thinking about high-quality, green architecture.
Eco-Friendly Interior Design Material
For the interior design of your home, consider using bamboo panels. Made from bamboo grass, these panels are sustainable and support green architecture. Bamboo panels can be used in many places of your home. From cabinets to tables, and even accent walls, bamboo is an innovative material that will also give your space a modern feel.
Great for designing, this material comes in a variety of designs and textures including chocolate bamboo, natural bamboo, carbonized bamboo, and bamboo veneer. Bamboo panels are very strong and dense, long lasting and may qualify you for eco-friendly construction credits.
Reduce Your Heating Bill with Great Insulation
Insulated concrete blocks are a great material to consider that often outperforms other building materials for the exterior of your home.
This type of material is installed as one continuous system with no breaks in the wall, ensuring complete protection of your house from bugs and elements of the weather. Insulated concrete blocks keep your house warmer in cold weather and can greatly reduce your heating bill, which is also good for the environment.
The core is made up of concrete, making this wall material durable and strong. These concrete blocks are easier and safer to install than other materials, taking out some of the risk of constructing the exterior of your home. With this type of material, you can also design the exterior and interior walls however you would like as insulated concrete blocks come in a variety of finishes.
Materials for Green Architecture
These eco-friendly materials can have a large effect on the sustainability and design of your home. They can increase the lifespan of your home, saving you time and money and the long run. These materials also come in a variety of designs so you can build and design your home how you want, making it the beautiful place to live that you imagined.
Before BIM Building Information Modeling:
Jiayuguan Pass, in Jiayuguan city, is the largest and most intact pass, or entrance, of the Great Wall. Jiayuguan Pass was built in the early Ming dynasty, somewhere around the year 1372. It was built near an oasis that was then on the extreme western edge of China. Jiayuguan Pass was the first pass on the west end of the great wall so it earned the name “The First And Greatest Pass Under Heaven.”
“The building project was assigned to a military manager and an Architect. The Architect presented the manager with a requisition for the total number of bricks that he would need. When the king found out that the Architect had not asked for any extra bricks, he demanded that the Architect make some provision for unforeseen circumstances. The Architect, taking this as an insult to his planning ability, added a single extra brick to the request. When the gate was finished, the single extra brick was, in fact, extra and was left on the ledge over the gate.”
Today with BIM there are no excuses to “not know” your quantities….
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Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook
FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
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