What's GREEN Inside?

Philips LED Lighting:
Philips Lighting

Why it's important:
Over 15% of a household's electrical use is typically attributed to lighting.  CFL bulbs while efficient have disposal issues due to the mercury content and many have harsh coloring and can be notoriously difficult to dim.  Philips' LED bulbs have fantastic color warmth, are rated highly, and can be twice as efficient as a CFL bulb as well as up to 80% more efficient than an incandescent bulb.  They contain no mercury and does not emit UV light, hence won't fade fabrics and furniture.  By opting for retrofit LED bulbs rather than LED specific fixtures, there was an astronomical cost savings and also gives us a lot of flexibility in the event we want to swap out a bulb.

Benjamin Moore Natura Zero VOC Paint:
Benjamin Moore- Drive-In Paint Mart (Dorchester)

Why it's important:

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, contribute to ozone and smog formation and are linked to respiratory illnesses and memory impairment.   Worse, studies point to links between VOC’s and leukemia and lymphoma through prolonged exposure to VOCs indoors.  Many household items including furniture, cabinets, office equipment, etc…  can actually off-gas or emit VOCs for years.   Paint can emit VOC’s both during painting and for years after it’s been applied.  Many low-VOC and zero-VOC paints actually have significant VOC’s after the paint has been tinted.  Benjamin Moore’s Natura line of paints are ZERO VOC’s which means it’s good for the environment and more importantly, safe for you.  Because it’s virtually odorless, painting in the winter is a piece of cake. 

AO Smith iCOMM Interactive Remote Monitoring: 
AO Smith

Why it's im
iCOMM allows you to interact with, proactively manage, and monitor A. O. Smith water heaters or boilers from anywhere in the world via the Internet.

iCOMM Allows You To:

  • Access current and historical water heater data
  • Monitor “live” water heater status using a Web browser
  • Respond instantly to a leak detection notification
  • Proactively manage fault alerts sent via text message or e-mail
  • Monitor your fleet of water heaters, regardless of location
  • Have peace of mind

AO Smith Vertex 100: 
AO Smith

Why it's im
AO Smith manufactures some of the most efficient water heaters available today.  Consumer Reports recently rated one of their hybrid heaters as a top pick.  The Vertex 100 will both provide continuous hot water as well as heat our home through a hydroair coil fed into an air handler.  It also looks pretty cool too.  At 96% efficiency it's nearly 40% more efficient than some of the water heaters you can buy at your local hardware store.  Forget about having to wrap or insulate this water heater.  It's got serious insulation and would probably keep your hot water hot in the tank for a week with your gas shut off.  It's not only pretty, Ed Begley Jr. swears by it.

Bosch Built-In Fridge: 
Boston Appliance

Why it's im

The Bosch B36IT71SNS, with an energy consumption rating of 447.86 kWh/year, is one of the most efficient built-ins available today. Even in Europe, where energy efficiency seems to be years ahead of the US, Bosch has been a long standing leader in creating highly efficient appliances.  Having an appliance this efficient and slick looking made this decision an easy one.  Navigating the seemingly well hidden energy ratings on the hundreds of choices available can be mid-numbing.  Take a shortcut and go to the experts at Boston Appliance in South Boston.

Cali Bamboo Fossilized Strand Bamboo Flooring:  
Terrene Cape Cod

Why it's im

Twice the density and strength of almost any other flooring in the world, Fossilized Strand Natural bamboo flooring is specifically designed for high traffic areas and a beautiful, indestructible floor. Cali Bamboo flooring is LEED qualified, eco-friendly (formadehyde-free), has a 10 coat durability sealing system including a UV protective layer, and class 1 fire rating.  Forged in an incredibly unique process of compressing and intertwining the fibers, a dense, "fossilized" bamboo block is formed. This fossilized block of bamboo is then milled using precision laser guided machines before the final scratch-resistant curing phase. Besides the fact that it's amazingly durable, fossilized flooring is beautiful.  Sounds cool too.

Napoleon HD35 Direct Vent Fireplace:  
Russo Products

Why it's important:
Many of today's gas fireplaces, even those supposedly in a manufacturer's "green" product line have AFUE rates of 50-65%.  In other words, there's 35-50% energy lost during the combustion process.  The HD35 has an AFUE of 77.2%.  This unit is 50% more efficient than some of the fireplaces available today and it looks cool.  It's also one of the few units that has an IPI valve which in short turns on the gas supply only when the unit is in use.  In other words, there's no standing pilot light and gas is not being used when the fireplace is off.

Venmar EKO 1.5: 

Why it's im
The Venmar AVS HRV EKO 1.5 has a super efficient design that is one of the HRV's of choice for Zero Energy and PassivHaus homes.  Its innovative design with extremely high performance motors that use the same amount of energy as a CFL bulb not only introduces fresh air to our home but does so with minimal energy.  It also integrates a state-of-the-art programmable wall control which resolves a lot of moisture and freezing issues associated with other HRVs.


Why it's im
We selected casement windows because of their superior air sealing qualities.  With triple glazing, R-5 and 0.2 U-Factor, these are some of the most efficient window available today helping protect the thermal envelope of the home by preventing air leakage and heat loss through thermal transfer.

Other Products:

Panasonic WhisperGreen Bath Fans:
These bath fans are really expensive but super quiet, but more importantly super efficient in minimal electrical use, automated in terms of timed shutoffs, and most importantly efficient in removing moisture from the bathrooms.  In addition to having back draft dampers built into the unit to prevent outside air from entering the house, there's additional layers of protection in the form of louvers on the exterior vent, a CFM mechanical back draft damper and insulation wrapped on the ducts.

Duct insulation:
All of the air ducts to the exterior including the bath fans were insulted with foil faced fiberglass insulation to prevent thermal transfer from exterior air entering the ducts.

Draft Dampers:
Every bath fan and kitchen fan has some sort of louvered or hooded exterior vent.  The bath fans also have backdraft dampers built into them to prevent cold/hot air from the outside from blowing in when the fans are off.  However, as an added measure, Continental back-draft dampers with neoprene gaskets near the exterior to prevent unconditioned outside air from making it into the vent pipe itself.

Water supply insulation:
The hot water supply lines were all insulated with armaflex with seams taped to prevent heat loss through the pipes between the Vertex water heater and the fixtures.