The following award for my eco-broker reminded me to put together this “green housing” report with information from my email files. Chris helped me communicate with the builders to make my home as healthy as possible for the planet and for me.
St. Louis Green: GREEN BUSINESS OF THE WEEK
Chris Andrews, St. Louis EcoBroker
“Chris Andrews, is an example of the quality real estate professional the EcoBroker designation continues to attract.”
Eco-friendly and Allergy-control Housing Options
furnace is high-efficiency with ultra-violet filter to kill mold
insulation — Spider inside walls, hard foam in openings of unfinished basement
Beam vacuum system, venting to the outdoors
cork flooring, best for allergies, renewable resource
floor joists no formaldehyde
no formaldehyde cabinets — solid maple — I like them!
** Accessibility — levers for door handles (also useful when hands are full),
wider doorways for master bedroom, closet, and bath, and reinforcement in
shower in case support bar is needed later.
Chlorine filters for shower and bath and a water filter in the refrigerator (I’m intrigued now by something called reverse-osmosis filtering for all the water in the house).
Better Life cleaning products to keep things healthy. I’ve started washing most dishes by hand because I don’t like commercial dishwasher products, and I’ve not called in exterminators, preferring to deal with the occasional ant, mite, spider, etc. rather than toxic chemicals.
I didn’t roof or enclose the back deck because the plants that spend the summer out there prefer sunlight. Open access also makes it convenient to throw food out into the yard for the birds and squirrels on snowy days. I don’t put out food normally, but I think a bit of extra food is a good idea in snow.
*** Critters! I saw three raccoons peeking in at me from a tree my very first morning in residence. A red fox once walked right up on the deck and scurried off twice as fast! Rabbits, woodchucks (AKA groundhogs), squirrels, geese, and of course FROGS are regulars. I have seen the resident deer twice, and have also seen their prints in the snow. ***
(I would have loved the geothermal heating/cooling systems, solar panels, fancier countertops, on-demand hot water instead of a tank etc. etc. but we did what I could . . . some compromises always needed).
Better, more technical, descriptions from eco-broker Chris Andrews:
Lennox heating and air conditioning systems equipped with variable speed
blower and 2-stage compressor for greater comfort, humidity control and
improved energy efficiency.
Lennox Pure Air System is a filtration system with a state of the art filter
and ultra-violet light to kill mold and capture unhealthy dust and other
Tom Johnson High Tech Insulation package consisting of added caulking and
sealants to prevent unwanted air infiltration and pollutants into the home
and upgraded Spider Insulation for improved energy efficiency.
Highly efficient expandable foam insulation in the basement perimeter band
board area for better insulation and to seal all utility holes.
The standard windows are very efficient double pane thermal windows.
The cork floorings provide a healthier environment for those with allergies
and are a sustainable material choice.
Formaldehyde-free materials used for cabinets, sub-floor, floor joists and
Low and No VOC paints and caulks were used for better indoor air quality and
a better breathing environment.
The Beam central vacuum system is very powerful in removing the dust and
dirt in the home and is vented to the outside. The quieter vacuum option was
Future-proofing the home by installing lever door handles, wider doorways to
the master bedroom, bathroom and closet and installing additional supports
for the installation of future grab bars in the shower.
The microwave range vent was vented to the outside of the home to remove
cooking odors and pollutants from the home*.
Energy Star appliances were selected including the highly efficient and easy
to use front loading washer and dryer**.
A radon mitigation system that vents any possible radon from under the
basement slab out of the home was also installed.
Soffits were installed above the kitchen cabinets to prevent dust build up
in a hard to clean area.
This home is equipped to be healthier and more comfortable to live in.
A side benefit of that effort also adds to the home’s energy efficiency.
* Good idea for air quality, though a bit chilly on really cold days, when I place large magnets over the openings to lessen the draft (and ribbons hang down to remind me to take them out when using the microwave.
**Chris carefully attended to the placement of these appliance hook-ups so the doors don’t get in the way of transferring clothes from washer to dryer.