Throughout the course of human history, whole civilizations have been brought to their collective knees by the evolving weaponry of tiny warriors. Be they the rats that carried the bubonic plague, mosquitoes harboring malaria and west nile virus, cockroaches spreading disease as fast as they can scuttle or the microbes that give us everything from E-coli to the flu, our greatest enemies are often entities we cannot see.
And while we may be tempted to hide under our beds until the badness goes away, our homes are no respite from the onslaught of diminutive distress. From air particulates to wily dust mites, toxic cleaning materials to mold spores, the home is a hot bed for things that can make us sick. Would the average American spend 90 percent of their time indoors if they knew that indoor air pollution in our country can be up to 100 times worse than outdoor air quality?
With this in mind, local remodeling company, Grif'N'Hook Construction, has made it their mission to alter the course of the air in the homes they remodel, both through their work and through educating the homeowners who benefit from their work. On a recent job, Master Builders Association and Built Green® member, Grif'N'Hook, spent eight months crafting a whole house remodel designed around both green conservation and allergy sensitivity.
Wool carpeting deters dust mites and is considered an
allergy-friendly alternative to synthetics.
They began by finding and purchasing a 900 square foot 1905 Craftsman in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle, and set about expanding it into a much larger house without compromising the character and charm of the original home. All aspects of the remodel were also to be carried out with respiratory health in mind, and green elements would need to be incorporated from deconstruction through delivery of the finished house. When embarking on this remodel, Grif'N'Hook not only used Built Green's checklist to guide their environmental considerations, but also looked to the American Lung Association's Master Home Environmentalist checklist to ensure the home would be safe for the chemically sensitive and allergen sensitive.
In order to embark on this trifecta of philosophy-driven remodeling, Grif'N'Hook commenced by expanding the footprint in only the back of the house, in order to retain the home's fundamental appeal and not overwhelm the early 20th century character of the neighborhood. Those portions of the home that would not be remodeled were then sealed off to minimize dust and particulates entering the areas. Windows and doorways were tarped off, while heating vents and floors were also sealed, a service continued throughout the course of the remodel to any area not undergoing renovation at the time.