Breathe Easy in a Healthy Home!

15.05.20

In our cooler Canadian climate we spend a great deal of time indoors. The INDOOR AIR PLUS program by the EPA helps families BREATHE EASY. As we all become increasingly aware of the benefits of a HEALTHY indoor environment, how we build homes and the products and systems we use, need careful consideration. So what is a healthy home? We’ll share some of the steps we take, striving to build homes, inspired by this EPA program with a better indoor environment for your family’s health! The Lakeshore West project is a registered NET ZERO Ready home and also built under the Energy Star Program, both labels guaranteeing energy efficiency and third party verified quality!

Two of the components of the INDOOR AIR PLUS program Radon resistant construction and low-emitting building materials are topics in today’s progress blog.

Radon

As framing is in progress at our Lakeshore West Net Zero project the basement concrete slab is ready to be poured.

Basement Styrofoam insulation and radon poly tarp.

Even though Oakville is considered low risk for Radon we are installing, not only continuous foam insulation under the slab but also heavy gauge plastic sheeting.

Radon, listed as the number 1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, is an odourless, invisible gas that can seep into your home. Besides the plastic poly tarp laid under the basement slab, a rough-in piping system is being installed to deal with any potential future radon concerns.

These measures address the pollutant at the source before it becomes a problem in the home. If necessary, the roughed in system can be completed at a later date by adding a fan where polluted air can be exhausted out from under the slab before entering the building. The next link in the chain, after the source, if radon gas is found in the ambient house air, further measures such as ensuring adequate air changes, provided by an HRV bringing a supply of continuous, filtered, fresh outside air effectively diluting and evacuating the radon particles. A further benefit of the under slab poly tarp and insulation is the reduction of mold causing dampness, a “bonus” helping keep your home healthy!

Low emitting building materials

Many building materials off gas from the glues used or from evaporation of solvents from coatings. Manufactured lumber is used extensively in modern building, from the framing materials such as plywood, wood I joists  and glue-laminated lumber to the MDF used in millwork. At this stage in the build as we see the framing progress as much as half of the framing material used is engineered lumber and therefore glued together. Is the glue “off gas” harmful? Will it affect the indoor air quality for my family once the house is closed in? Questions for anyone looking to give their family the healthiest home. As we inspect the framing we double-check the grading and source of the materials.

If we take a closer look at the joists we see the mill number and after checking the table see they qualify under low formaldehyde emissions! Further the plywood is guaranteed low emissions as it is marked as certified under CSA 0151!

This is one of the many simple but detailed steps that ensure the products incorporated into your new home will provide healthier air for you and your family to breathe easily!

Learn more about our green building strategies.

Are you ready to build a luxurious home that is better for your health and your comfort? Get in touch with us today to book a consultation.