HGTV Green Home 2008: Eco-Friendly Features

Seven basic areas of sustainability were targeted in the building of HGTV's Green Home 2008. Find out about all seven areas and get eco-friendly ideas for your own home.

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Materials and Resources

An important aspect of a sustainable house is the selection of materials that can be locally made; do not release dangerous fumes; and can be rapidly regrown or recycled.

Local materials - Most of the materials used to construct the house will be manufactured or harvested within 500 miles of the site. This reduces transportation costs and associated greenhouse gases, while encouraging a healthy local economy.

Waterproofing - Providing additional thicker flashing around windows and doors helps prevent moisture problems.

Extensive recycling - The contractor is separating and recycling construction waste to reduce the volume of material going to the landfill by nearly 25%.

Rapidly Renewable Wood Flooring - Bamboo flooring is a rapidly renewable resource that provides excellent durability and beauty at a low cost.

No Tropical Hardwoods - The project uses no tropical hardwoods that might endanger rainforests by encouraging unsuitable harvesting practices.

Synthetic Drywall - Several manufacturing processes create synthetic gypsum as a by-product. This gypsum has the exact same chemical composition but does not require mining to extract. All gypsum wallboard in the 2008 HGTV Green Home is synthetic.

Low -VOC and Microbial-Resistant Paints and Sealants - The sealants and paints used do not have volatile organic compounds that can off-gas and release chemicals into the air. These products also have special additives that help resist mold growth.

Quartz Countertops - The countertops are made from manufactured quartz which are durable, stain resistant and anti-microbial.

Water Resistant Materials in Showers - All of the material concealed behind and under showers and wet areas are made of a cementitious product that is extremely decay resistant.

Indoor Environmental Quality

It's important to control the quality of the air inside a home. This can be done by sealing off or exhausting unwanted dirt and fumes. The indoor air quality also requires reducing incoming moisture and improving ventilation.

Ventilation and Moisture Control - By controlling the amount of air, how it's filtered and its temperature and humidity, the air in house can stay fresh.

Balanced System - The design and construction team carefully sized the mechanical system and ductwork to deliver the appropriate amount of air to every room. This eliminates areas that are too cool or hot in a room. The system also balances humidity to avoid sweaty grilles that can support mold growth.

Efficient Bathroom Exhaust Fans - The exhaust fans are tied to occupancy sensors so they run only when needed to quietly remove unwanted moisture and odors from the home.

Dirt Control - Providing a place for people to take off and store dirty shoes helps keep a clean environment. 2008 HGTV Green Home also has a central vacuum system in order to control dirt inside the home.

Sealed Garage - The garage is sealed and exhausted separately from the house. This prevents carbon monoxide, water vapor and other contaminates from migrating into living areas.

High Efficiency Filters - The system uses high efficiency filters that can remove even the smallest particles from the air. It also includes an ultra-violet air purifier that removes nearly all bacteria from the house.

Awareness and Education

An often overlooked aspect of a new home is owner training. Every car comes with a detailed instruction annual. Houses should too.

Homeowner Education - Tradition will provide a detailed walk-through of the house and an owner's manual. As with any complex machine, a home requires proper maintenance and management.

Public Education - Tradition and Dawson Wissmach Architects feel strongly that one of the benefits of 2008 HGTV Green Home is the opportunity to educate the public of the benefits of a green home. Through public events, websites and other educational sessions, 2008 HGTV Green Home can be an inspiration for all of us to be better stewards of our environment.

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