Velsen Homes

15 years designing and building homes for healthy living CHBA

Green & Healthy

Overview

Sharing knowledge has a rippling effect in our Community and beyond. We believe in making healthy choices and taking responsibility for personal health as well as the health of our planet.

Many “Green” environmental products are available to us, to discover a healthier alternative is exciting. It all makes a difference. We are not to focus on devastating facts but to create a future with a focus on vitality and health.

Velsen Homes is a responsible and sustainable company that follows LEED environmental high standards.

Velsen Homes focus is on architectural design and continuity of thoughtfulness throughout the project. Reflecting Nature’s ideals: Building for Today and Tomorrow- Integrated design- Home profile- Sanctuary.

Building with a conscience for healthy people and a healthy planet.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a common chemical hidden in numerous products form adhesives, paints and sealers, particle board, plastics and textiles, cosmetics, detergents and more.

One symptom of formaldehyde exposure is insomnia, which can be cured by removing polyester/cotton or no-iron sheets, both of which are covered with a permanent press formaldehyde resin. Washing with baking soda and borax will help.

The National Academy of Sciences estimates that 10 to 20% of the general population may be susceptible to irritation from exposure to formaldehyde at extremely low concentrations.

If you suspect a formaldehyde problem you can get more information online at

www.epa.gov/iaq/formalde.html.

EMF Electromagnetic Field

Magnetic Fields exist when appliances are being used; electric fields are present as long as the appliance is plugged in. Keeping appliances unplugged when they are not in use, especially in the bedroom, will reduce the electric field and the risk of fire. If building a new house, using metal-shielded cable (BX) will greatly reduce the electric field, a great idea around the bedroom and family room. All motorized equipment found in homes will generate magnetic fields when in operation; design your house so that major appliances are located at a safe distance from sleeping areas, at least 12 feet away. Magnetic fields travel through walls, for instance a bed behind the fridge wall will expose the sleeping person continually to magnetic fields. Because fridges generate large fields, wiring should also be shielded if possible.

Avoid using extension cords especially around beds and areas your family spends a lot of time in. They tend to emit high elective fields when they are plugged in. Use a battery operated windup clock in the bedroom, stop the use of electric blankets, clock radios that glow red at night and baby monitors. It’s a good idea to have your TV out of the bedroom and your body at least eight feet away while watching.

A control switch to turn off all power in and around our bedrooms at night to become a field free space while we sleep because the presence of high electric fields are most commonly associated with sleep disturbances, this is a healthy feature in electric field reduction.

Magnetic Fields are measured with a gauss meter; it also detects wiring errors and determines safe distances from various home appliances, and can be used to periodically check to ensure that no new magnetic fields are entering the home through utility lines.

“The earth has its own electro magnetic field (EMF) that pulses at the rate of 7.83 beats a second; our body’s own bioelectric system also pulses at about the same rate. The Earth’s natural pulse is essential to our health and well being. A problem in everyday life in the home is the masking of the Earth’s pulse by non-natural electronic smog”

Prudent Avoidance of Electromagnetic Field Exposure

Reduce your Electromagnetic field exposure as much as you can without inconveniencing yourself unduly or unsafely. Don’t sleep near a refrigerator and try to arrange your Kitchen so that the work space where you spend a majority of time is at least three feet from any operating appliance or machine. Turn off appliances that are not in use, including computers; sit a foot away from your computer, six feet away from the TV. Microwaves produce the strongest EMF’s, get rid of it, your body can NOT digest the food heated in it.

Run the dishwasher when you are away form the kitchen, keep away from operating appliances as possible. Change fluorescent lights to incandescent ones, position electric clocks three feet or more away from your head and do not use an electric blanket.

Source: The New Natural House by Dave Pearson

Kitchens

Kitchens are a very important part of the home, much of our time is spent in the kitchen preparing meals and entertaining. It is important to have a beautifully designed space that works well for the whole family.

When it comes to cabinet construction we recommend solid wood or formaldehyde free plywood with low VOC glues. Kitchens can be the most toxic place in the house; cabinets are usually built with particle board which is soaked in formaldehyde, this wood and toxic glues can off gas for years causing many health problems.

Flooring

Flooring is a big decision, deciding what will look and feel great in our home, and will also cause the least amount of damage to the environment and ourselves. Carpet is nice and cozy but unless it is natural wool it can have over 100 different chemicals off-gassing for over seven years, long after that “new smell” is gone.

In recent Natural Homes article by the EPA an estimated 4.7 billion lbs. of carpet equal to a 2 lane highway, circling the globe three times, is discarded annually and only about 4% of that amount is reused or recycled. Most of it creates enormous gluts of landfill and releases toxic chemicals such as poly-vinyl chloride (PVC), a cancer causing chemical that can also cause birth defects years later. In landfills it leaches into the ground and into ground water. If the carpet is incinerated, chemicals are released into the air.

Alternatives are available: natural wool carpets, cork flooring is stylish; marmoleum is another flooring option (natural lino) made from natural and biodegradable ingredients.

Many are choosing concrete etched floors, and of course wood flooring is very beautiful with a water based finish.

Other

“Our second skin (our clothes) must also be able to breathe, as must our third skin ( our homes) if they are to provide a healthy indoor environment for us all”

Source: The New Natural House by David Pearson

The Velsen's own home has many green and healthy features.