HGTV Green Home 2009: What Makes it Green?

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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 re-grown or recycled.

Local materials – Most of the materials used to construct the house were 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 – Construction waste has been separated and recycled to reduce the volume of material going to the landfill by nearly 75%.

Flooring and Tile – Both the flooring and a portion of the tile used (from sponsor SHAW) are made with recycled content.

Countertops – The countertops (from sponsor CAESARSTONE) are not only gorgeous and durable, but also made with recycled glass.

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

Metal Framing – The interior walls are framed with metal studs, which not only are more durable, but also are fabricated with recycled materials and are recycleable.

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 Westcliffe Residence is synthetic.

Low VOC and Microbial-Resistant Paints and Sealants – The sealants and paints used (from sponsor SHERWIN WILLIAMS) have reduced volatile organic compounds that can off-gas and release chemicals into the air. These products also have special additives that help resist mold growth.

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. This improves durability in case of a water leak and reduces the potential for mold growth.

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