Bricks were a fitting material for the green home because of the material's low carbon footprint.
Advancements in building technology have made construction processes more efficient and affordable. As building practices have improved, so has the awareness of sustainable construction. Once just a segmented portion of the business, “green” building has become standard in the industry. Efforts to help educate and inspire building professionals and consumers about the benefits of green living led to the development of the Proud Green Home of St. Louis. By driving a level of continued understanding to sustainable building, the Proud Green Home of St. Louis helps spearhead these efforts. Blending the newest developments in green building science with safe and sustainable products and solutions, the home features contributions from Boral®’s Copper Canyon brick and Country Ledgestone Cultured Stone® veneer.
Nationally renowned green construction firm Hibbs Homes worked in conjunction with Verdatek Solutions, Curtiss W. Byrne Architect, and the University of Missouri-Columbia High Performance Buildings Research Center on the home. The homeowners, who are scheduled to move into the home at the end of February, contacted Hibbs to build a structure that would not cause adverse respiratory issues for one of their children (who has asthma and allergies). To accomplish the desires of the family, Hibbs sought out products to minimize volatile organic compounds (VOCs) while integrating an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) to ensure continuous ventilation as well as a comfortable environment for the rest of the family. Because brick can serve as structure and finish material without the need for paints or coatings, it contributes to improved indoor air by avoiding VOCs. In addition, Cultured Stone® by Boral® is GREENGUARD Gold Certified (formerly known as GREENGUARD Children & Schools), ensuring that it is acceptable for use in environments where children and sensitive adults spend extended periods of time.
For the specification of the Proud Green Home’s exterior, builders needed a durable, resilient product that aligned with the project’s overall sustainable direction. In Boral’s Copper Canyon Brick, a best seller from the company’s Union City Collection, they found the perfect solution. Made from natural materials, the brick contributes to the thermal mass of the wall assembly and help the home stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter. As a result, less energy is required to manage interior temperatures, reducing the energy costs..
Because brick is made with recycled material, waste is minimized. And, the materials needed for the manufacture of bricks (typically clay and shale) are abundant throughout the U.S., reducing the need for extensive transportation (and the resulting fuel usage and carbon monoxide output). "After participating in last year’s project at Serenbe, we knew this was the type of venture we wanted to be involved in," said Crysta Thomas, Brand Manager, Boral Cladding Division. “Ongoing participation underscores our commitment to sustainable product development and manufacturing and educating builders and homeowners.”
Cultured Stone® by Boral® also exemplifies eco-friendly features. Incorporating a minimum of 54 percent recycled content in all veneer products as validated by UL Environmental™, Chardonnay Country Ledgestone, part of the Cultured Stone® by Boral® assortment of manufactured stone veneer, was selected for the interior fireplace of the interior fireplace of the home. As the first manufactured stone veneer to be named a Home Innovation National Green Building Standard (NGBS) Green Certified Product and the only GREENGUARD Gold certified product in the industry, Cultured Stone® veneer was the ideal choice for contributing a both stylish and effective low VOC solution to the interior.
Several other high-performance features help the Proud Green Home reach its sustainable goals. Among the products and solutions included were low-flow plumbing fixtures, daylighting devices, geothermal heating and cooling systems, and energy efficient appliances.
As a part of the overall construction partnership, the new Proud Green Home will be featured as part of the green building curriculum for students at the High Performance Buildings Research Center at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Current and future students and faculty will be monitoring and studying the home’s long-term energy and water usage.