Continuing with the same credit from my previous post, LEED for Homes awards points for selecting materials with low emissions. You know that new home or office smell? It’s not good for you! Many people report head aches or respiratory illnesses after moving into new homes, so it was very important to us to make sure we did not choose materials that could make us or the workers sick. This could go under the section of Indoor Air Quality; I put it under the overall category of healthy home, which was our number one goal, regardless of the related LEED points.
Archive for the ‘Materials’ Category
This credit by itself could put an interior designer to work for a while. It incorporates the showier, meatier essence of green homes. We spent a majority of our time on these decisions, and most questions I get from friends revolve around materials choices. (Well, I should clarify that: my female friends ask me about material choices. My male friends ask me about geothermal heat pumps, solar energy, and furnaces.) In LEED for Homes, an environmentally preferable product is a material or product that causes less environmental damage than the conventional alternative.
This LEED for Homes credit is a prerequisite, requiring that if any tropical wood is used, it must be FSC-Certified. Wood is considered tropical, in the LEED for Homes definition, if it is grown in a country that lies between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The purpose of this prerequisite is to discourage the use of tropical woods, because poor forestry practices have been destroying tropical rain forests, which causes irreversible harm to biological diversity and contributes to global climate change. If tropical wood is used, then, it needs to be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which is the seal of approval that the forest is sustainably managed.