WHAT IS A HEALTHY HOME?
healthy home means the materials
inside not only do the least harm to
the environment but to you and your
family's health and proper
Materials should have low volatile
organic compound, or VOC,
content. This refers to the
chemicals and compounds found in
paints, woodwork, furnishings,
adhesives and flooring.
Breath ability also is
important. On one hand, going
green stresses tightening your
home to cut 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 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 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 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 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 give significant
savings afterwards. In addition, the real estate industry
nowestimates that a healthy house is 5-15% more valuable than a
conventionally built home, providing a substantial gain when you
decide to sell. Lastly, and probably most importantly, the
health and well-being of your family members, and avoidance of
costly medical bills in the future, are the best reasons to
build a healthy, non-toxic home.
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 cut.
impacts on human health and the environment.
Building a green home means making
environmentally preferable and sustainable
decisions throughout the building
process-decisions that will decrease the
environmental impact of the home while
being built and over the many years 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 efficiency.
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, offer a
more comfortable living environment with better indoor air
quality, and help protect the environment.
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 address the indoor
environment part of green building. Homes that meet this level
of excellence are first qualified as ENERGY STAR , and then also
incorporate more than 60 more 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
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 not to
build 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 brochure 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 many 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
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.
Homes strives to make the best use of space
in their designs by:
an open floor plan design (eliminating
as many walls as possible).
traffic patterns to cut the
need for hall area.
multiple uses of space where proper (more
than one function per area).
radius walls to improve traffic flow and
create a larger appearance.
interior volume by not wasting available
the interior by building in furniture,
well insulated exterior wall system that
does not eat up interior space due to
its excessive thickness.
Pollutant Free Homes
Responsibility for controlling a
home's pollutant sources lies with both the builder and the
homeowner. Careful choice of construction materials and finishes
inside the house very effective in eliminating the sources of
air pollution from the building itself. However, even if
non-polluting materials used in construction, the occupant may
move in with particle board furniture,
aerosols, and cleaners that will permeate the house in a matter
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
Homes has always evaluated energy-saving features cost
effectively--if it saves more in energy cost than it adds to the
mortgage interest cost 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
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 place,
we offer a
variety of construction methods from which to choose. The CHB
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 specific needs.
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
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 to research and evaluating new products
and construction techniques, incorporating those
we find true value into each new CHB Custom
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
2) Developing traffic patterns to cut the need for hall area.
3) Obtain multiple uses of space where needed (more than one
function per area).
4) Use radius walls to improve traffic flow and create a larger
5) Use the interior volume by not wasting available space.
6) Sculpture the interior by building in furniture, lighting,
7) Choose 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 the interior space use,
while reducing exterior wall surface area.
When we cut the surface area, we reduce heat transfer. Shapes that make good
ratios of surface area to volume are more
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 aCHB Custom
Home with its site to help meet 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.