Durisol wall blocks, which are an insulated concrete form (ICF) building envelope product, create an incredibly strong, high thermal mass wall that is still 100% breathable. That's a very positive thing for your health, and the health of your house, as it means that moisture can always escape (rather than being trapped, and potentially wreaking havoc on your house and health).
Durisol blocks are alkaline, so organic matter won't grow...more
You may have already thought this, but sheet rock isn't a great product to have in our homes. If it gets wet, it's ruined - or it's mold food. Plus it's not breathable, it's filled with toxins, and about half of the gypsum that is being used in sheetrock (drywall) is synthetic gypsum, using a process called FGD, which can offgass vapors well after it's installed.
MgO board is an amazing alternative. It's been around for thousands of...more
Most people don't know it, but after most paint dries it will release low level toxins in the air for years!
We used ROMA's completely zero VOC, toxin-free, odorless, asthma-free, and naturally mold-resistant mineral paint in our home. The benefits of using non-toxic paints include reduced allergies and better health for people with chemical sensitivities, it's better for the environment, durable, easy to clean, low odor, no...more
We love to use wood in a second - or third, or fourth - life. Not only is it likely to be cleaner, but it leaves so much less of an environmental mark. We are resourceful sourcers (not sorcerer's - those don't exist) - and use products like old basketball courts (for flooring), reclaimed hardwood (for decking), and repurposed 2x4's (for stair treads).more
Mineral wool insulation, like the kind made by Roxul and CertainTeed, is much better than regular fiberglass insulation, as it won't deform if (when, inevitably) it gets wet. It's also much healthier than Icynene or Polyurethane spray-in foam insulation, as it doesn't off-gas. And although there is some controversy as to how safe spray foam insulation is after it cures, there are many reported instances where people develop (or exacerbate)...more
Let's face it - the air ducts that in our most of our homes are just horrible places to look into. Filled with big clumps of dust, hair, fuzz, and unhealthy particulate, most people pretend they never saw inside of a duct (if you happen to be up next to one changing a filter, or otherwise). They serve a simple purpose - to transport air from your heater or air conditioner to each room.
But central HVAC systems make the whole house the...more
Stucco is a wonderful material to create a vapor barrier on the exterior of a building. It's breathable (so moisture can escape from the inside), yet waterproof (so rain and moisture doesn't get through the exterior wall). It's been around for thousands of years, so it's tried and true, and yet you can make it a variety of textures and colors. You can put a rain screen on top of it (for both aesthetic and functional reasons), or leave it...more