June 29, 2009

The answer to improved indoor air quality is right under our feet!

What's one of the biggest culprits in poor indoor air quality? CARPET.
Much research has been conducted to understand the effects of interior carpeting on indoor air quality, mostly due to it's high content of chemicals and restrictive air-flowing properties. One of the most common emitted chemicals from manufactured carpeting is styrene and 4-PC. Styrene is a well-known toxin and carcinogen, while 4-PC is a latex backing used in 95% of carpets which emits a strong odor, one that is most notable during the first few weeks of the carpet's installation. 
In addition to off-gasing its own pollutants, carpet als acts as a filter, trapping all pollutants from the bottom of our shoes or feet, from animals, etc, and holding them in our living space. Consistent vacuuming and steam cleaning can help eliminate these pollutants but will not eliminate them all. Area rugs are a good compromise, as they can be cleaned and aired out more thoroughly. Fortunately, more and more carpet manufacturing companies are using sealants and adhesives that are low-VOC and less harmful for the environment. 
In The Go Green Home, to help maintain good indoor air quality,  we decided to use cork flooring, a very sustainable alternative to treated lumber or carpeting, due to its rapid regeneration process. The cork floor is sealed with a non-toxic finish, and will not trap pollutants in the way that carpet does. We're also making it convenient to take off your shoes when you first enter the house so that you don't have to track the day's worth of pollutants inside with you.

June 25, 2009

The benefits of indoor plants

Did you know that indoor plants can enhance your life? Plants do not just add to the decor of your home they also make your home healthy and cleaner place for a family. In fact, there have even been studies which prove that hospital patients heal quicker in rooms with living plants! Oxygen is produced by plants when they absorb in Carbon Dioxide and exhale Oxygen. Just by having a couple plants around the house you are filtering the air you breath and decreasing the Carbon Doxide in the air. In The Go Green Home there is a central planter under the skylight so that the plants can grow up the three stories of the house. But a central planter is not the only way to really include plants in your home. A living wall is a great way to welcome more greenery into your home! For more information, click here.

June 23, 2009

Save Energy With Natural Daylight!


Humans are diurnal beings. We live by the light of day, and studies continue to show that exposure to daylight is linked with health and wellbeing. Homes and buildings that are lit with natural light, are not only more favorable to our bodies, but to our energy bills.

Our goal at the Go Green Home was to maximize the full potential daylight since we’re in Southern California, where we average 330 days of sunshine (90%) a year. To do this, we paid particularly close attention to the orientation of the home relative to the path of the sun in its seasonal cycles and designed the home accordingly.

At The Go Green Home, all of the South-facing walls have large glass windows and doors to maximize the daylight that can enter to not only light up the rooms, but also heat up the floors during the winter. On the contrary, in the Summer time, when the sun is higher in the sky, the direct light is blocked by specially designed awnings.

 By taking the time to make these extra calculations at the onset, we’re able to save tons of energy and dollars by limiting our reliance on artificial lighting and heating.

And, it feels so good to know that we don’t have to flip a single light switch when it’s light outside.

June 10, 2009

Keep Your Feet Happy with Warm Flooring Systems

At the Go Green Home, we've installed STEP Warmfloors in, a subfloor heating system, in all of the bathrooms which will also reduce the overall energy consumption of the house and wil offer inceased comfort.
Rolling out of bed on a cold morning, it's easy to turn the warmfloor upon entering the bathroom to warm your toes, instead of needing to raise the temperature of the entire living space.
Through floor heating, the household warmth increases, allowing the thermostat to stay lower, thus saving money on energy consumption. The material is non-hazardous and recyclable and requires minimal maintenance throughout the duration of the flooring.
These systems operate on only a 24 volt mechanism which can be installed under any type of flooring (carpet, hardwood, tile, etc.). In addition, the warm floor material is self-regulating, therefore drawing only the required energy it needs for the entire surface, one of its greenest attributes. For more information you can visit STEP Warmfloor's website .

June 2, 2009

Saving Water With Every Flush... or half-flush

Since bathrooms consume the most water in a home, we carefully researched the most efficient fixtures for the bathrooms at the Go Green Home. First on our list to find was high efficiency toilets since toilets alone account for nearly 30% of indoor water consumption.
By installing High Efficiency (1.28 GPF) and Dual-Flush toilets (.9/1.6 GPF) in The Go Green Home we will significantly reduce the demand for water, ultimately saving thousands of gallons a year!
Local utilities see the value too and are offering rebates between $50-300 for replacing your toilet with a highly-efficient one.
If you want to learn more about High efficiency toilets then visit Toto's website, or click here for rebate info.