Nexterra LivingHome (RKLH 6.2) Environmental Program
LivingHomes aspires to build homes that are as healthy for their inhabitants and the environment as possible. Inspired by the “Cradle to Cradle” ethic, we consider our homes’ ecological footprint, from the first stage of planning and construction, through a lifetime of operation and change, through the end of its lifecycle when the home or parts of it must be deconstructed or salvaged. We use the LEED® Canada for Homes Program as an external, third party measure of our performance, but internally we have developed a program we call “Z6” which clarifies and quantifies the design decisions we make. We haven’t achieved all our environmental goals for every LivingHome yet, but every LivingHome has a far smaller ecological footprint than typical homes, and we’re working hard to reduce our footprint further still.
As with all LivingHomes, the RKLH_6.2 was designed according to our Z6, and we believe it should achieve a LEED® Platinum level of certification. (LEED certification is not officially calculated until a home is completed on a specific site.)
A “Zero Energy” home produces all the energy it consumes. To make every LivingHome as self-sufficient as possible, we find ways to dramatically reduce the demand for energy (insulation, low energy lights, appliances, etc.) and integrate technologies that produce the majority (or all) of the power it needs.
Dwindling water supply is an increasing problem in many parts of the country. To conserve water, all LivingHomes use low-flow water fixtures and are grey-water ready, which means that bath, shower, washing machine and dishwasher waste waters can be used for irrigation.
LivingHomes eliminates waste from every stage of the home-building process. Modular design and fabrication processes reduce the waste from 40% for a standard site-built home, on average, to just 2-10%. Almost all materials used in LivingHomes are from recycled materials and/or can be recycled.
Indoor air pollution from mold, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and Formaldehyde/Urea is a growing problem. Getting to zero indoor air emissions means eliminating the sources of harmful gases and compounds that are often off-gassed in indoor environments.
We take many steps to reduce each home’s carbon footprint by using reclaimed and recycled materials, and by sourcing materials locally.
We integrate systems and training to insure our homeowners have information on how their lifestyle choices impact their resource use. With that information, we hope and assume they’ll make better choices.