Why Proud Green Home St. Louis?
When Hibbs Homes and Verdatek Solutions had an opportunity to team up with Proud Green Home to build a high performance showcase home in the St. Louis area we immediately knew which upcoming project would be an ideal fit.
We were in the early stages of planning a home for clients that had high performance requirements that aligned perfectly with the research and educational goals the Proud Green Home team had set forth, and when we approached our clients they were enthusiastic about being involved.
The Kuentz family was planning a move to St. Louis from Texas, and needed to build a home that would provide a comfortable living environment for their son who struggles with allergy and other health issues aggravated by chemicals and airborne allergens.
After doing their research the Kuentzes decided a high performance, green home was their best solution. There were two key indoor air quality factors inherent in a high performance home that moved them towards this solution.
|The Kuentz Family, Hibbs Homes and Verdatek Solutions team meet at the site to see the home being framed. (Photo Credit: Times 3 Photography)|
That “new house smell” is an indicator of the presence of VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) in traditional building materials. Paints, adhesives, stains, and flooring all release VOC’s into the air over time. In the short term, these compounds can worsen breathing conditions, like asthma, and trigger anything from watery eyes to itchy throats in some people. They also can aggravate larger health conditions in the long term.
The Kuentz family’s home is being built to minimize and/or eliminate the use of VOC’s. As the family gets further into the selection process, and during construction planning, the materials and finishes used in the home will be influenced by the VOC content. Because of the nature of their son’s sensitivities, prior to a final selection being made a sample of the material is given to the family so they ensure all materials will not cause a reaction.
Sealing & Barriers
By replacing the traditional building practices for framing, caulking, sealing, and insulating create a home with high performance methods and materials the Kuentzes home’s air exchange is tightly controlled.
A thoroughly sealed home with a controlled system for air exchange has two major impacts on what happens to the air inside: the temperature and humidity inside the home is better controlled so it is more energy efficient, and it prevents allergens such as pollen and mold from entering the home.
Their requirement for better indoor air quality was a major factor in how the home’s systems are designed to operate together, and will continue to be one of the guiding factors in the decision-making process. Working closely with architect Curtiss Byrne, the Kuentz family has designed a home where each building system works in tandem to support their better indoor air quality needs and perform at peak efficiency.