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How Indoor Air Quality Helps Ease Family’s Allergy Issues

indoor air qualityWhen the Keuntz family began planning their move to St. Louis they knew the risk of moving into an older home with dust or mold potential was out of the question because of their son’s struggle with allergy issues. After speaking with some builders from their hometown in Texas they discovered that high performance, green homes was an ideal solution for building a home in which their entire family could thrive.

While there are structural and financial benefits to building a new home using high performance techniques, what was especially important was the cleaner indoor air due to product selection and methods that will not affect their son’s allergies. There are two key points about the Proud Green Home St. Louis that, like other green homes we build, contribute to the better indoor air quality:

VOC’s
Traditional building practices utilize paints, adhesives, stains, and flooring and other materials that release volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) as they cure and will continue to release these chemicals into the air during the life of the materials. VOC’s are what create that “new,” plastic-like smell in homes and cars, and are the smell you detect in a freshly painted room or with new furniture. They will also trigger allergic reactions in the respiratory system and can aggravate asthma conditions, and can be a contributing factor to health conditions that developer over the long term.

In addition to making prudent choices in keeping with green building standards that eliminate VOC’s in the home, the Keuntz family is being given product samples in jars that they can then give to their son to determine if he is at risk for a reaction.

Sealing & Barriers
We are closely controlling the exchange of air in the home from the external environment by using high performance framing, causing and sealing methods throughout the home. By controlling the air exchange the temperature and humidity inside the home is better controlled, and allergens such as pollen and mold are kept from entering the home through ventilation systems or via gaps in the thermal envelope that are found in traditional homes.

Proud Green Home St. Louis is the third high performance showcase home the Hibbs Homes and Verdatek teams have collaborated on, and there are several other high performance practices being employed throughout the home that we will be discussing and documenting on our site as well as proudgreenhome.com. Watch for an upcoming post where we will dive a little more deeply into the thermal envelope of the home and what makes it unique.

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