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Low VOC materials are changing the way we build new houses

Posted by on in Green Living
As I often state, the environment is a big deal to me – because a green home is a better, healthier home for you and your family. I extend this philosophy to the actual construction of the home, as I’ve alluded to in the past. Aside from lowering energy consumption, and aiding in your families water conservation efforts, I also use alternative building materials with lower VOC levels whenever I can. VOC is short for volatile organic compounds, which are carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature.

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Although some VOCs are natural – such as plant volatiles – other VOCs are more dangerous to human health and/or cause significant harm to the environment. Cigarette smoke, household products like air fresheners, furnishings and building materials such as paint, varnish and glues are all examples some things that may release harmful VOCs into the air. Exposure to elevated levels of VOCs may cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat. Headaches, nausea, and nerve problems can also occur – among more potentially serious issues.

I’ve tried to create a living space that maximizes the amount of fresh air you and your family breath. All Sean homes are fitted with high performance heating ventilation systems and filters. I also use – as I already mentioned – materials with low VOC such as less polluting paints, adhesives, solvents, cleaning agents, caulks, wood products, carpets and sealants (where possible). This is important, as some studies have shown that new homes and commercial buildings generally have VOC concentrations that are two to ten times higher than comparable older structures – due largely to the materials they choose.

Cleaner indoor air quality makes for a more comfortable and productive environment. Wondering what you can do? Here are some additional tips for reducing VOCs in your home.

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