Weighing In on the Creation of Sustainable Home Design

From choosing plumbing fixtures to avoiding harmful chemicals and toxic materials, sustainable home design starts with the first choice you make.

According to In Habitat, when selecting materials, finishes or furnitures, we try to specify products with low VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to reduce the exposure to off-gassing from toxic chemicals over time. We encourage the use of low-emission paint, varnishes and cleaning products that do not contain harsh chemicals. It is also recommended to air out new products, such as carpet, prior to their installation and use adhesives that are formaldehyde-free or made from sustainable and eco-friendly materials.

For bigger-scale projects, we consider environmentally-friendly materials and non-toxic siding that minimize the release of toxins at high weather temperatures. We avoid PVC, (commonly used in building materials such as pipes, flooring and vinyl siding) given that it can release toxic chemicals when exposed to heat. Instead, we try to use alternatives such as charred wood siding, a method that not only helps to preserve the cladding by maintaining its waterproofing and making it insect and fire-resistant without the need to apply protective coatings, but also provides a unique and appealing aesthetic.

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