WHAT IS A HEALTHY HOME?
home means the materials inside not only
do the least harm to the environment but
to you and your family's health and
Materials should have low volatile
organic compound, or VOC, content. This
refers to the chemicals and compounds
found in paints, woodwork, furnishings,
adhesives and floorings.
Breath ability also is
important. On one hand, going
green stresses tightening your
home to reduce energy costs, but
that can mean poorer natural
ventilation. To solve this,
install a central ventilation
system. In addition, use
materials with low carbon
emissions and recycled materials
where possible. Making your home
healthy is vital for you and a
great marketing plus for a
WHY SHOULD I BUILD A HEALTHY
New homes are
constructed with products and materials that are either made of, or
have been treated with, a whole host of dangerous chemicals. But you
can build the same home with high-quality, durable, non-toxic
products and materials, at no additional cost!
The EPA has stated
that the air pollution levels inside the average new home in the
United States are 2 to 5 times worse than the air pollution
levels outside. Indoor air pollution from dangerous (and often
toxic) chemicals has been linked to the dramatic rises in childhood
asthma and respiratory diseases, and chemical sensitivity in adults.
Relatively few of the chemical compounds used to create or treat
conventional building materials have been tested for their effects
on humans, and almost none for their effects on children. Many of
the most dangerous compounds (e.g. pesticides, mildew ides, urea
formaldehyde, vinyl chloride, chromate copper arsenate) are commonly
found in conventional building materials. The energy crisis we
experienced in the early 70's lead to the construction of airtight
homes and office buildings that keep heating and cooling costs down,
but also trap these chemicals inside with us! Paints, carpets,
insulation, caulking, adhesives, composite wood products, soil
treatments, and fumes from natural gas appliances all contain toxic
volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In addition, there are a number
of natural VOCs and other toxins, like molds and radon, found in
most homes due to poor construction and design. EPA.gov
DOES IT COST MORE TO BUILD A
Cost has been one of the biggest obstacles to green healthy
materials not any more (and sometimes less!) than conventional
products, thanks to increased demand and production. More
manufacturers of building components are shifting their focus to
green. The cost gap is closing significantly. Labor costs may
rise slightly if the builders are not familiar with the
materials or with healthy building techniques, but even then the
total increase is typically just 1-5% of total cost to build.
Energy savings alone will make up for the extra cost in a year
or two, and provide significant savings thereafter. In addition,
the real estate industry currently estimates that a healthy
house is 5-15% more valuable than a conventionally-built home,
providing a substantial gain if and when you decide to sell.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, the health and well-being
of your family members, and the avoidance of costly medical
bills in the future, are the best reasons to build a healthy,
Green Home Begins with ENERGY STAR Blue:
Homebuilders and homebuyers across the country are increasingly
interested in green building. But what exactly makes a home
green? Green building means improving the way that homes and
homebuilding sites use energy, water, and materials to reduce
human health and the environment. Building a green home means
making environmentally-preferable and sustainable decisions
throughout the building process-decisions that will minimize the
environmental impact of the home while it is being built and
over the many years it will be lived in.
Did You Know?
Did you know that a typical home can cause twice
the greenhouse gas emissions of the typical car?
What should homebuyers look for
first in a green home?
Energy efficiency is the place to start. That's
because the energy used in homes often comes from the burning of
fossil fuels at power plants, which contributes to smog, acid
rain, and risks of global climate change. So, the less energy
used, the less air pollution generated. And the easy way to make
sure a new home is energy efficient is to look for the blue
ENERGY STAR mark, the government-backed symbol for energy
ENERGY STAR qualified homes are independently
verified to meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These homes save money
on utility bills, provide a more comfortable living environment
with better indoor air quality, and help protect the
Did You Know?
Each ENERGY STAR qualified home can keep
4,500 lbs of greenhouse gases out of our air each year.
And because homes have such long life spans, this
environmental benefit lasts for many, many years.
Typical features to look for in ENERGY STAR qualified homes
An Efficient Home Envelope,
with effective levels of wall, floor and attic insulation
properly installed, comprehensive air barrier details, and
Efficient Air Distribution,
where ducts are installed with minimum air leakage and are
for heating, cooling, and water heating;
including fixtures that earn the
ENERGY STAR ; and
STAR qualified dishwashers, refrigerators, and
These energy efficiency improvements save
homeowners money — about $200 to $400 per year on utility bills.
More importantly, monthly energy savings can easily exceed any
additional mortgage cost for the energy efficiency improvements,
resulting in a positive cash flow from the first day of home
ownership. As a result, the cost-effectiveness of ENERGY STAR
improvements can help offset additional costs associated with
other green home features.
What comes after energy
Homebuyers can also look for the
Indoor airPLUS label — a new specification developed by EPA
to address the indoor environment component of green building.
Homes that achieve this level of excellence are first qualified
as ENERGY STAR , and then also incorporate more than 60
additional home design and construction features to control
moisture, chemical exposure, radon, pests, ventilation, and
filtration. Together, these features help protect qualified
homes and their residents from mold, chemicals, combustion
gases, and other airborne pollutants.
Completing the green home
Through ENERGY STAR qualified homes and the Indoor airPLUS
Program, homebuyers can address two critical green home
elements. Then, look to the wide variety of available green home
programs to complete the picture with water-efficient products,
renewable energy technologies, waste reduction, recycling, and
sustainable land development practices.
If you read the information provided below,
you'll be hard pressed to think of a reason
to construct your new home with healthy building materials and
techniques. Most people spend over 90% of their time indoors.
Your home is a very important environment where you and your family
may spend much of your time. This
offers ways to make your home a healthy place. It includes
information on indoor and outdoor air quality, pesticides, toxic
household products, mold, tobacco smoke, radon, drinking water
contaminants and making your home “green”. It has a little
information about a lot of different topics and links to web sites
to learn more. You can try the web links throughout the brochure or
go to the federal agency web sites listed below to learn more about
a particular topic that interests you.
Space Efficient Green Homes
The days of
bragging about how big of a home you own we think is over.
Incorporating efficient use of space within a home design comes
with years of experience. The less square footage needed, the
less construction cost and less heat loss.
CHB Custom Homes strives to make the best use of space in their
Creating an open floor plan design
(eliminating as many walls as possible).
Developing traffic patterns to reduce the
need for hall area.
Obtain multiple uses of space where
appropriate (more than one function per area).
Use radius walls to improve traffic flow and
create a larger appearance.
Use the interior volume by not wasting
Sculpture the interior by building in
furniture, lighting, etc.
Choose a well insulated exterior wall system
that does not eat up interior space due to its excessive
Pollutant Free Homes
Responsibility for controlling a home's pollutant sources
lies with both the builder and the homeowner. Careful selection
of construction materials and finishes inside the house can be
very effective in eliminating the sources of air pollution from
the building itself. However, even if non-polluting materials
are used in construction, the occupant may move in with particle
board furniture, aerosols, and cleaners that will permeate the
house in a matter of hours.
There are other pollutants generated by occupants that cannot
be eliminated at the source. Carbon dioxide and moisture have to
be managed by either dehumidification or exhausting to the
outside of the building. Exhausting warm, moist, house air,
however, has obvious energy penalty.
Controlled ventilation maintains indoor health and comfort.
Air quality in homes has become poor as builders strive to make
CHB Custom Homes realized it is not practical to try to build a
home so it leaks just enough but not too much.
Custom Homes approach is to build as tight as economically
possible and include controlled, heat-recovery ventilation. This
assures healthy air quality, reduces heat loss, and keeps homes
cleaner and more comfortable.
Affordable Green Homes
Custom Homes has always evaluated energy-saving features cost
effectively--if it saves more in energy cost than it adds to the
mortgage interest expense per year, do it! Don't settle for a
standard constructed home when you can receive more value for
less cost with the right choice of energy saving features in a
CHB Custom home.
CHB Is Leading in Energy Efficient Homes
Custom Homes has been the leader in designing and building cost
effective energy efficient homes since 2005. A house is a system
of interconnected elements. CHB
Custom Homes strives to combine all the parts with careful
emphasis on economics, durability, maintenance and comfort and
Custom Homes success in designing and building homes depends
upon understanding the physical forces that create a tug of war
between the outside and the inside environments.
Custom Homes applies the latest in building science to its
homes. Our “total concept” approach seeks to enhance living
comfort and home sustainability through every one of our energy
saving features, including proper insulation, heat recovery
ventilation, alternative heating and cooling systems, earth
sheltering, new window technologies, advanced framing, and more.
Since heating requirements vary depending on location, we
provide a variety of construction methods from which to choose.
CHB design considers not only climate but also utility cost as
factors when determining construction standards. This gives our
clients the ability to choose conservation methods for their
Custom Homes use only as much wood framing as is structurally
necessary, leaving more room for insulation. This construction
method eliminates structurally unnecessary wood members and
replaces them with insulation.
Advanced framing conserves wood, reduces heat loss and saves
money without compromising the structural strength of the
The definition of modern is a home design for today’s home
owner providing the latest in cost effective, energy efficient,
comfortable, healthy, green, sustainable technology.
Green Home Design Concepts
Besides energy efficiency, there are other key elements
unique to all of our designs. Affordable means just that.
Starting the first year, properly chosen features should return
more dollars in energy savings than they will cost you annually.
Style is enhanced through the utilization of open designs, and
low maintenance exteriors. Protecting against rising energy
prices adds to your security and your home’s future value.
Our ongoing commitment is to research and evaluating new
products and construction techniques, incorporating those we
find to be of true value into each new CHB
Custom Home design.
Space Management in Green Homes
The days of bragging about how big of a home you own we think
is over. Incorporating efficient use of space within a home
design comes with years of experience. The less square footage
needed, the less construction cost and less heat loss.
Custom Homes strives to make the best use of space in their
1) Creating an
open floor plan design (eliminating as many walls as possible).
2) Developing traffic patterns
to reduce the need for hall area.
3) Obtain multiple uses of
space where appropriate (more than one function per area).
4) Use radius walls to improve
traffic flow and create a larger appearance.
5) Use the interior volume by
not wasting available space.
6) Sculpture the interior by
building in furniture, lighting, etc.
a well insulated exterior wall system that does not eat up
interior space due to its excessive thickness.
Building shape is also a major concern for a good, energy
efficient, modern home design. Our goal is to design an
attractive home with the least amount of exterior surface area
without sacrificing good aesthetic appeal.
The shape of a home can play a considerable role in how
energy efficient it is. A more compact, open-design concept can
maximize interior space use, while reducing exterior wall
When we reduce the surface area, we reduce heat transfer.
Shapes that achieve good ratios of surface area to volume are
more energy efficient.
Earth Sheltered Home
Earth sheltering is a significant benefit if your lot is
conducive. The sun and earth combined for comfort! This is the
blending of a
CHB Custom Home with its site to help achieve a low profile, in
addition to providing energy savings.
Smart planning and design leads to improved comfort, better
livability, and money and energy savings and a home that will
serve your enjoyment for years to come.