Healthy Home Remodel – Los Altos


Healthy Home Remodel

Photography by Michelle Lee Willson

“HBS helped to bring everyone (designers, contractor, and homeowners) around the

table to collectively figure out where to go with the green remodel. Each person on the

project brought a critical, unique expertise, plus walked away learning something new.

The collaboration on the healthy material reviews was especially productive. Hopefully,

this model of collaboration will inspire others to remodel or build with the healthiest

materials possible.”

— Homeowners

Healthy Home Remodel – Summary

Los Altos

This project involved an entire healthy home remodel. HBS was brought on board for general

green building consulting and preparation for GreenPoint Rated (GPR) certification. The

primary goal for the remodel was good indoor air quality, so points from this category of

the GPR checklist received the greatest attention.

Healthy Home Remodel Green Building –  Process

HBS lead charettes, or team meetings, with the designers, contractor, and homeowners. Several team members already had some experience with and/or certification from Build It Green. Most of these professionals had many years of experience in their respective fields. The purpose of the meetings was to review the GreenPoint Rated checklists and identify target points. An important result was the determination of realistic and affordable measures. Additionally, we discussed general green building strategies, along with Healthy Home Standard (HHS) checklists. We decided to pursue some suggestions, but not enough to qualify for HHS certification. More emphasis was placed on work toward application for a GreenPoint Rated Whole House Remodel certification.



Los Altos Healthy Home Kitchen - cabinets

Los Altos Healthy Home Bathroom

Los Altos Healthy Home Bathroom

Throughout the project HBS conducted healthy building material reviews and collaborated with all stakeholders. Beyond tracking GPR requirements, resources such as the Living Building Challenge Red List and Perkins+Will Precautionary List were considered. HBS translated MSDS reviews into easy-to-understand terms, and  contacted manufacturers for more information when needed. A large spreadsheet, the “materials matrix”, was updated and maintained throughout the construction process. Of greatest value was the cooperation between HBS and the contractor, the balance of information and experience with product content and performance. For the homeowners, it was valuable to hear from the experts, ask questions, and be a part of the process.




Healthy Home Remodel Green Feature Highlights

HBS team-Alex Stadtner & Kunjan Shah; Wayne Neylan, General Contractor, Walter Chapman, Architect/Designer

HBS team-Alex Stadtner & Kunjan Shah; Wayne Neylan, General Contractor, Walter Chapman, Architect/Designer

* “Materials matrix” (comprehensive list of researched, healthy building materials)

* Construction indoor air quality plan

* Energy recovery ventilator

* Low VOC caulks, adhesives, paints

* Hardwood flooring

* Vapor barrier in crawlspace

* Tightly sealed between garage and living space

* Built-in shoe storage

* Low emission insulation

* Energy Star bathroom fan

Before and After - Los Altos Healthy Home Kitchen

Before and After – Los Altos Healthy Home Kitchen

* Energy-efficient lighting

* Strategic placement of electrical panels

* High efficiency toilets, sinks and showers

* Cleaning product suggestion list


Healthy Home Remodel – Team

HBS team included: Kunjan Shah, Alex Stadtner and Melanie Loftus

Before and After Los Altos Bathroom

Before and After Los Altos Bathroom

Special Thanks Walter Chapman of Chapman Design Associates

Kirsten Flynn of Sustainable Home

Patrice Greene at Dzignit

Wayne Neylan of Neylan Construction