Welch Design, LLC announced today that Flexhouse, 33160 N. Cove Rd. in Wildwood, IL., has been awarded LEED Gold Certification.
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. A home can achieve LEED certification under the LEED homes program after undergoing a technically rigorous process, including the incorporation of green strategies to achieve efficiency and healthy indoor environments. The home is tested and measured using tools like a home energy (HERS) rating and onsite inspections.
Patsy Welch, its designer, stated, "I designed Flexhouse to blend in with the existing homes in Wildwood, while adapting passive solar and passive geothermal techniques to create a modern energy efficient home. The home's orientation and bays of triple pane windows on the south side enables the sun's rays to hit an interior two story wall filled with a phase change material (Bio PCM) that stores and releases heat as needed."
The home also features an isolated and un-insulated basement room with no heat or air conditioning, which stays at a relatively constant temperature (like a root cellar). When outside air is drawn through this room it naturally heats or cools to the room's temperature before entering the furnace or air conditioning system. As a result, it saves tremendous amounts of energy at a low cost. A heat recovery ventilation system further saves on heating.
Flexhouse achieved LEED Gold homes certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Great care was taken to insure that none of the materials, paints or varnishes used in the home's construction release toxins or volatile organic compounds into the air insuring a healthy indoor environment.
"We spend 90 percent of our time indoors, so where we live greatly impacts our health and well-being. By achieving LEED certification, Flexhouse has become a place that a family will truly love to call home, not only because it is energy and water efficient, but because it is designed with the health of its inhabitants in mind," noted Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council.