March 6, 2017 | Green Living
Why an energy efficient home must be toxic-free
Christopher Phillips of Greening Homes provides insight into building a healthier home
Good news! Houses are becoming more energy efficient than ever before due to government regulations. The bad news? For decades, thousands of chemicals have been incorporated into building materials and other products that enter the home.
At one time, air was exchanged once an hour in a typical house. Today it’s exchanged once every five hours. When you consider that the typical North American spends approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, this toxic brew can be debilitating.
Greening Homes, a local Toronto home renovation company, consults the International Living Future Institute’s Red List and Declare, which identify toxic chemicals lurking in building materials, and attend product expos for the latest in non-toxic innovations.
This consideration in material selection is one of five core values that Greening Homes abides by. They’re also committed to reducing material waste, improving energy efficiency, optimizing air quality and travelling fossil free. This commitment to reducing the environmental impact of home renovations while adopting the latest low impact building materials truly sets Greening Homes apart.
The following are some of the non-toxic products that are now part of Greening Homes’ standard practice.
Prosoco R-Guard AirDam is a Red List-free wet-applied adhesive. It’s an excellent subfloor adhesive and can be used as a standard product in all renovations. For interior paint, caulking and adhesives, choose zero-volatile organic compound (VOC) options with a third-party certification, such as Greenguard.
CertainTeed AirRenew drywall encapsulates formaldehyde molecules into its matrix, literally cleansing the air! This product helps reduce future impacts of aldehydes that may be contained in materials brought into the home, such as furniture.
Thermory Ash is a chemical-free, Forest Stewardship Council certified durable wood. It’s ideal for decks in place of pressure treated wood. Thermory Ash is slowly heated, which releases natural preservatives to create an environmentally preferable alternative to chemically-treated lumber.
Dense-packed cellulose insulation for walls, including those below grade, has a high-recycled content, low embodied energy, and emits no VOCs.
And of course, an Energy Recovery Ventilator to deliver fresh air indoors while removing stale air is a must for any high performance building.