NORTH PEAK GETS 5-STAR AUSTIN ENERGY GREEN BUILDING RATING
APRIL 20, 2012
With 207 points out of 165 required, the ecological goals of the North Peak House went above and beyond the standards of the Austin Energy Green Building program. Spearheaded by the client, the primary focus of this project was to push the limits of “healthy house” construction. The client is a professor of environmental health economics at the University of Texas; she is writing a book using this house as a case study demonstrating the principles of an innovative “healthy house”.
Challenging the conventional definition of sustainable architecture, this house has been a laboratory for research; every product and procedure used in construction was carefully reviewed by the design team for its effect on indoor air quality and environmental health. Standards such as the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) list of substances of very high concern (SVHC) were cross-referenced with the chemical and material components of each specified product to verify they were toxin free.
Other sustainable strategies include solar orientation, deep overhangs, recycled & reclaimed materials, natural ventilation, native planting and geothermal heat pumps.
The finished home is not only an energy efficient, low impact building; it is also a safe and healthy environment in which to live and grow up for future generations to come.