Style, Sustainability, and a Breath of Fresh Air!
The concept is so remarkably obvious it's almost criminal that we must pay special attention to it.
The air that we breathe in our homes should be healthful.
It seems so self-evident: the one place we should be safe is where we live. Yet, too often, the air in our homes is poor enough that it will literally make us sick. According to Greenguard, people face significant health risks--both immediate and acute--from exposure to indoor pollutants. The EPA advises that the most effective way to reduce indoor air pollution is to reduce or eliminate the sources harmful chemical emissions.
Thus was the motivation behind Healthy Home 2010, a designer showcase house that focuses on a higher standard for indoor air quality and puts human health first. This groundbreaking project is a partnership between Healthy Child Healthy World and a number of contributors who worked from a list of guidelines developed by an advisory panel.
Full disclosure: I was on the panel and can attest to the rigorous development process led by Victoria Di Iorio of Healthy Child Healthy World--be sure to watch their compelling video--and Jill Salisbury, the president of el: environmental language. Participants included designers and indoor air quality experts.
Debate on the guidelines had to bridge the gap between adhering to strict protocols and being respectful of modern culture and conveniences. For example, the group discussed banning self-cleaning ovens because of the extremely high levels of formaldehyde emitted upon first use. (Solution: run the self-cleaning feature for the first time outside the home or get all people and pets out and run the HVAC system on high for several days to flush the house.)
Victoria and Jill challenged the panel and the contributors "to push the envelope and raise the bar on green living to reach new distinctions in the design industry... an example of all that can be accomplished when our passion and heart is engaged and we are inspired to go beyond the ‘checklist.'"
The result of this thoughtful and comprehensive process is a home that is literally a breath of fresh air and quite gorgeous. Designed by Susan Fredman Design Group and Dior Builders, it features an impressive list of product contributors led by First Point Technologies, Kohler and Cambria. The above photo gives you a glimpse. More next week.
Residents of and visitors to the Chicago area, Healthy Home 2010 is open for public tours through October 10. Check the website for directions, tickets and the event calendar. Greenbuild attendees will also have an opportunity to tour the home.