Healthy Living Magazine

7 years ago
Home Sweet Home!

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Your home should be your refuge, but could it actually be making you ill? Babyfoot Developments, based in Richmond Hill, takes a holistic approach to house design. As a result, the homes being built under its new Next Generation Living program could be the healthiest, most eco-friendly and most economical you’ve ever seen! HL’s publisher, Don Flynn, recently saw this revolutionary housing concept for himself.

Over the past several decades, modern house building has gone a long way towards improving energy conservation, security and durability, but somewhere along the way the concept of ‘a healthy home’ has been largely overlooked. And no matter how clean we may think our houses are, the disturbing fact is that some of the materials with which they were built – and the living environment they create – can have a detrimental impact on our health.

Babyfoot Developments is determined to change all that. Its Next Generation Living concept makes the most of natural light and open spaces in affordable, contemporary homes that put residents in control, all at the touch of a button. The result is savings of up to 90% on heating bills and up to 60% on electricity bills – an increasingly important consideration these days – as well as a healthier living environment.

The Problem

Did you know that cases of asthma rose by over 75% between 1980 and 1994 alone? Today some 3,000,000 Canadians are asthmatic, with the highest concentration of the condition being among children: a worrying 13.4%. Could our homes be contributing to this widespread problem?

Babyfoot thinks so. As the company points out, due to our more severe weather, Canadians tend to hibernate indoors for much of the year. This means subjecting ourselves and our families to poor air quality, as well as unavoidable dust particles and other nasty things for long periods of time.

What the Research Shows

Several recent studies suggest a link between housing conditions and respiratory health. Although speculation remains as to the causes of asthma and other related illnesses, correlations have been found between a home’s indoor air quality and the wellbeing of the children living there.

One particular study, conducted in Manitoba back in 2008, found that 65% of kids’ bedrooms had presence of mold; moreover, it revealed a strong association between reported domestic mold and persistent colds and asthma in children.

So What’s the Solution?

Designed with the Canadian climate and lifestyle in mind, Babyfoot homes will appeal to health-conscious homeowners and people of all ages with a predisposition to air-borne allergens, dry skin, chemical sensitivities and respiratory irritation. The unique architecture of these dwellings maximizes solar heat gain in winter, reducing heating demand by up to 90%. In fact, these homes are so highly energy-efficient that they surpass all North American building code standards.

Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) materials have been specified, as well as state-of-the-art heat recovery ventilation, solar passive radiant heating, triple-pane windows for even temperature control, and dimensionally stable Rockwool insulation which is fire- and water-resistant.

For starters, all bedrooms and living spaces benefit from a constant supply of fresh air: the air is highly filtered to ensure pollen, bacteria, particulates and air-borne allergens are removed.

Moisture control is also an important factor: these homes can maintain 40% relative humidity all year round without risk of condensation or mold, while the innovative windows and doors provide the finishing touch, harvesting solar energy via their high performance glazings. The new tailored coatings on these windows reject over 75% of the unwanted summer solar radiation while absorbing up to 50% of the sun’s winter energy on southerly exposures.

When Will These Homes Be Available?

Babyfoot has recently constructed a 3,000 sq. ft. model home, certified to Energuide 87 (http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/new-homes/upgrade-packages/4998), in Richmond Hill. The company has also been contracted to complete several Next Generation Living homes by the spring of 2014.

And that is just the beginning: as the saying goes, watch this space!

For more information, visit www.babyfootdevelopments.ca.

17 thoughts on “Home Sweet Home!

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