Bought A Lot, Need Advice On Bulletproof Building Materials

Anybody have any suggestions on  how to build a house that is as bulletproof as possible?


 


I'm specifically looking for:


 


  • suggestions for low/no voc paint
  • thoughts on hardwood vs tile for flooring
  • thought on extruded polystyrene as an insulator
  • thoughts on whether it's worth the added expense of avoiding wood and using steel 
  • thoughts on drywall, anyone know if that cheap poison shit from China is still kicking around or is drywall generally safe now?
  • forced air heating vs radiant in floor heating
  • Anything else at all I should be contemplating to keep the toxicity of my new home as low as possible.

Thanks in Advance


Comments

  • Here's a company I plan on using to paint the inside of my home. http://www.ecospaints.net/about-our-company.html


    Great customer service so far--I called and they sent me over 300 color samples ithin 2 days anf they are overseas. Great selection and I believe they even make a paint that is not only no VOC but actually helps purify the air. Pretty spendy though. I will be ordering the colors I selected very soon.


     


    Here's another site I looked at with other products


    http://www.unearthedpaints.com/collections/paints


     


    and then the original site I found the above 2 companies on:


    http://guides.eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_paints.htm


     


    Hope that helps.


     


    If you have the funds and space go with geothermal heat. And always have trees/plants inside to help keep the air fresh and low toxin.


     


    And of course keep in mind just b/c your home may be built "bulletproof" doesn't mean the furniture you put in it will be. Obviously mattresses and couches, etc put off  massive fumes for many many years. But personally I have decided I must draw the line somewhere and can't be afraid of everything...


  • Forced air heating systems can breed mold and lots of other nasty stuff.  Glass, steel, aluminum, untreated wood, stone, brick, tile all likely good.


  • The china drywall (in the states) is highly watched after now. Florida got hit hard with that garbage and now it is something that they keep a eye on. We couldn't get it if we wanted to. So you should be safe there.


    I personally like real bamboo flooring. It is considered a grass and grows back a lot faster then trees do. When we finally rip the carpet out if my house that's what I'm going with. Only concern with that might be is what chemicals they use to seal it with. I don't know.


    If you have a air conditioner or might work for forced heat, they sell a UV little unit (around $100 usd) that goes into the air handler that is suppose to kill bacteria and help controll the quality if the air. A lot of commercial restaurants I've done work on has installed them.


    Wood studs as far as I know are safe. Only stuff I know of that has Chemicals in it is pressure treated woods. Stuff you would use outside or if it in direct contact with concrete. I do not know what is actually used in it. If you're concerned with the "green" building you have to consider cutting down trees and what it takes to process a board, vs. mining the metals and what it takes to form those. I would think that untreated wood would still be a better option.
  • aegisacres wrote:


     

    If you have the funds and space go with geothermal heat. And always have trees/plants inside to help keep the air fresh and low toxin.

     





    Great suggestion. I know people up north that install these systems. It would be something to look into for you
  • Great topic!  


     


    Related:


    I read polyester blackout fabric will "off gas forever". How true is that? How crappy is it to breathe? I need a blackout lining for my new drapes - what is the best one to get?


  • Also with drywall. Most you buy has a paper backing on it. They do sell a kind that is not paper backed. If I was building I would consider it for my walls. The paper is what can grow mold if it get any moisture. I've done a lot of repairs from leaks and the owners finally figure out why they have been sick when I show them the black paper. It all depends on how sensitive you are and how deep your pockets are. If like most of us, you need to decide what items are most important to you so can decide what you want to splurge on.
  • I've been curious as to whether or not certain flooring materials or building procedures are earthing-friendly; particularly in the basement/ground floor. It would be cool to be able to be grounded while at home!


     


    A while back I did some meager research on it...aka a few google searches and came up frustrated.


    All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. --Arthur Schopenhauer

  • John BrissonJohn Brisson The Legend Formerly Known as Ron Swanson ✭✭✭
    edited November 2013

    It is almost impossible to make a  "bulletproof" house because it is so damn expensive.


     


    That being said, make sure your house has adequate ventilation, HEPA filters, whole house water purification systems, photosensitive fire detectors, use no fluorescent light bulbs, and indoor plants to help remove toxins. Also open up your windows as much as you can. I having a completely sealed house is great for energy savings not so much your health.


     


    I would also suggest getting a wooden bed frame, and a organic latex mattress. Finally, I would purchase a organic couch as much as you possibly could. Bamboo flooring, and natural laminate flooring is the best, carpet creates VOC's and mold. This would be the most beneficial in limiting toxins.


    My book Fix Your Gut, is offered on Amazon for $9.99.

     

    I also offer coaching:  http://fixyourgut.com/health-coaching-information/

     

    Please join or like the Fix your Gut Facebook. Also please add me on twitter @FixYourGutJB.

     

    http://www.fixyourgut.com

     

  • John BrissonJohn Brisson The Legend Formerly Known as Ron Swanson ✭✭✭


    Great topic!  


     


    Related:


    I read polyester blackout fabric will "off gas forever". How true is that? How crappy is it to breathe? I need a blackout lining for my new drapes - what is the best one to get?




     


    Crack open your windows every so often until you can replace them.

    My book Fix Your Gut, is offered on Amazon for $9.99.

     

    I also offer coaching:  http://fixyourgut.com/health-coaching-information/

     

    Please join or like the Fix your Gut Facebook. Also please add me on twitter @FixYourGutJB.

     

    http://www.fixyourgut.com

     

  • Bare concrete is grounded. I finally looked into it she I noticed my phone or tools batteries would drain faster when I sat them down on concrete. So a unfinished floor in a basement would be the easiest method, but not as nice as walking barefoot in the grass. Didn't do too much digging but this was top of a google search. No nothing about the source through.


    http://www.heartmdinstitute.com/ask-dr-sinatra/q-a/208-grounding-q-a
  • John is right though. A sealed house is great or energy savings, but recirculated air has greatly decreased the indoor air quality. I've seen lot of reports showing indoor air being quite scary. I try to make it a habit if every week or so, letting the house air out.


  • Crack open your windows every so often until you can replace them.




     


     


    I just bought cotton curtains, they are just cotton and don't need to be replaced... but I need to add blackout lining! What does one use for blackout lining?

  • Evan BrandEvan Brand Writer and Explorer

    Dr. Kruse had some insight on "bulletproofing" his house as far as eliminating wi-fi, grounding all electrical outlets etc.


     


    While I think that building materials are important for chemical leeching into the air etc, I think electropollution is just as bad.


     


    Avoid anything with fire retardants is what would be advised, but then your house will burn like a box of matches if (god forbid) something were to happen.


     


    I will get Kruse back on the show and discuss it more in-depth this time.


    Evan Brand, NTP, CPT

    Functional Medicine Practitioner and Podcast Host at NotJustPaleo.com

    Author of REM Rehab and Stress Solutions

  • Holy crap! Evan Brand commented on my topic! I love your podcast man. I have listened to every single one since I discovered it and am slowly working my way through the backlog now.  As far as electropollution, I am not fully on board with this being a problem yet, whereas I am fully on board with doing everything possible within the budget to ensure mold never grows and vocs aren't released. It would be really useful for me to know inexpensive choices I can make during the build process so that, in the event I get on board the electropollution bandwagon in the future, it is easy to implement later (or cheap things to do during build that will help, since I will likely do cheap things for the chance of benefit).


     


    Thanks.

  • forevermalone, To achieve a warmer basement, I am likely going to insulate the slab before I pour it, will this make the concrete not grounded? if so, will doing something like running a piece of rebar into the ground and into the concrete, or some wire or something ground it again?


  • aegisacres, 


    As far as I have been able to determine, in Calgary it is  not cost effective to go geothermal vs super cheap natural gas. I am leaning towards a double boiler gas system with in floor radiant heat in the basement, bathroom and kitchen and forced air hydronics for the rest of the heat with an insulated hot water tank also run off the double boiler. My plan is to change out the boiler with geothermal if gas gets really expensive. I was originally planning on doing in floor hydronic with a product called warmboard but the numbers I've seen on the internet make that look pretty expensive.


  • I would assume that at some point the slab will still be in contact with ground. So you have any problems. What I was referring to was painting that concrete floor will lessen or make it lose it's ability for you to ground through it.


    Or you could save lots of money and go hardcore by buying land with a cave on it. Solves grounding, voc and emf issues.
  • Dr. Kruse had some insight on "bulletproofing" his house as far as eliminating wi-fi, grounding all electrical outlets etc.

     











    Actually he took it a lot further than that by scouting out the whole country for locations with the least emf in the area, choosing a location and then moving and building there.
  • I think it's a good idea to increase the strength of the grounding of the concrete with rebar sunk in the concrete if you insulate the slab. It's Cheap!


     


    I would assume that you would orient the house for the sun(as few do). Make sure every room has light from two sides(from the book A Pattern Language). Think about Feng shui. If the ground water is not too high(all year long), think about using the earth under the house as a seasonal heat sink(google umbrella insulation and PAHS). The closer the ground water gets to the slab, the less heat storage you will have. Think 15' below. I was not able to do this due to spring run off and clay soil.


     


    I built a straw bale house that has Lime plaster sprayed on the bales with a clay plaster finish coat on the interior walls. Let's see mold take hold on that! Not the cheapest build,but we enjoy it!


     


    An in-ground float tank would be nice. Built in flow forms would be cool(wasn't able to do this with ours(yet)). Incorporate a greenhouse attached near kitchen with aquaponics(working on it!). Room for infared sauna? Over-engineer an HRV system. Big overhangs, direct water away from house, hi-density foam to insulate roof, solar hydronics......OK, not what you asked for but....

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