Interior planning pays off for indoor air quality at Proud Green Home (video)
Story by Steve Arel.
Weighing the exterior factors that can influence the design of a high-performance home is just part of the equation. Internal considerations have as much impact on the ability to design a home that achieves superior sustainability and efficiency as anything outside does.
Functioning as systems within the makeup of a home, interior and exterior elements provide balance in terms of functionality.
“If it fails (with the interior), the home is just another pretty face,” said Jodi Laumer-Giddens, co-architect of the Proud Green Home at Serenbe and whose specialty is interior design. “Who wouldn’t want both?”
The Proud Green Home was constructed with interior features as a key component. And as the home is eventually occupied and furnished, other pieces – like drapes and wall hangings – will come into play.
Flooring. You'll find no carpet in the Proud Green Home; no cloth coverings that emit harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In addition, carpet and rugs have been known to collect dirt, harbor insects and mites and become dingy over a short amount of time.
The concrete first floor aims to eliminate those potential issues. It is covered with a non-toxic sealant that enables easy and quick cleaning.
The second floor of the home is laid in bamboo hardwood. Bamboo was chosen because of its durability, soft color that promotes light and the fact that bamboo is a renewable resource that grows rapidly.
Paint. PPG supplied low-VOC interior paints that coat the walls in light green and brown earth tones, colors that blend with the exterior design of the home and also contribute to projecting light from room to room.
Plumbing fixtures. The Proud Green Home features several Kohler faucets that use low-flow technology, requiring less water to run through the pipes. In the bathrooms, high-efficient toilets contribute to the low levels of water usage – and potentially smaller water bills – by employing technology that requires less than a gallon per flush.
Daylighting and open spaces. An abundance of windows allows light to freely brighten the Proud Green Home, requiring less of a need for artificial illumination. That, in turn, contributes to smaller energy bills.
The finishes and colors of the floors play roles as well. With large, open spaces around the home, such as the eye-catching, two-story open area over the foyer and staircase, there are few dark corners in the home. The shiny sealant on the foundational concrete reflects the sun’s rays into potentially deficient spots, and the light-colored hardwood teams with the white ceilings to promote brightness.
Read more about the Proud Green Home at Serenbe.
Photo by James Moses, Bisig Impact Group, © 2013