New Backyard Pool House, Outdoor Kitchen & Gym – Los Altos
Healthy Home New Construction – Summary
This property had a big backyard with a pool, but the ambiance was lacking. The owners wanted something beautiful and healthy. They knew something about healthy materials and EMF, but really wanted a top-notch, safe and healthy building. HBS was brought in during design and saw the project through to completion.
Green Building – Process
“Very early on we established overarching project goals that helped steer future discussions and decisions throughout the project. HBS worked closely with the architect, interior designer, and general contractor the whole way through. Team members would frequently have questions about materials or EMF mitigation techniques and HBS was always available to field their questions without slowing things down. Several times HBS found mistakes during construction and alerted us and the general contractor; we’re lucky these pitfalls were identified before it was too late.”
Throughout the project, HBS conducted healthy building material reviews and collaborated with the contractor, designer, and homeowners. 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.
Green Feature Highlights
- EMR mitigation measures for RF, low-frequency electric and magnetic fields (EMF), and dirty electricity.
- Designed to be a net-zero water backyard. Nearly 100,000 gallons of rainwater storage buried underground and used for landscape irrigation.
- Alternative water filtration doesn’t require adding chlorine to the pool.
- Solar panels (PV)
- Solar thermal (hot water) collection via pipes buried in the hardscape
- Healthy material specification
- Magnesium oxide wall paneling
- Low and Zero VOC adhesives, sealants and primers
- Low EMF electric radiant heating system
- LED lighting
Healthy Home Remodel – Team
HBS team included: Alex Stadtner, David Sasse, Kunjan Shah, and Melanie Loftus
Landscape Architect & Building Designer: Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
General Contractor: Steve Spratt, Home Preservation Services Special Projects