The Holistic Home
Today’s homes require a new approach for creating efficient, healthy and functional spaces that are useful for a full life
In order to design the best quality homes we need to take an innovative approach to new construction and consider the home as a complete interconnected system. Holistic home concepts are applied to the site, architecture, the design of mechanical devices, the layout of the interior spaces and much more. This approach starts at the predesign phase and continues throughout the construction process and the day-to-day operation of a home.
Incorporating green and sustainable design and construction methods at the predesign phase of a new home help make certain that a home takes advantage of its surrounding environment. By using the topography of the site, sunlight and breezes, a holistic home can significantly reduce its dependence on additional heating and cooling sources which saves money on energy bills and reduces the production of greenhouse gases.
The integration of a consistent look and feel is an important aspect of holistic design. Conflicting design elements can throw off the aesthetics of the entire design. In holistic design, the interior spaces should be open, flowing, flexible, and capable of reducing the necessity for major changes in response to future needs. Homeowners should not be burden with extensive indoor and outdoor maintenance.
The state-of-the art framing and construction techniques such as insulated concrete forms are used because of their strength and energy efficiency in creating a tight building envelope. Tight building envelopes create a very quiet home free of exterior noise. The threat of mold growth and the bother of insects are minimized.
The use of energy conscious materials includes windows and doors. These materials must be durable, energy efficient, and maintenance free. Holistic homes embrace energy from the sun. Passive solar design is incorporated and when possible optional solar electric supply systems are used.
Fresh air within the home improves indoor air quality. Traditional forced air systems bring in outside pollutants. The use of highly efficient heating and central air conditioning with an energy recovery ventilator system for fresh air intake creates healthy indoor air. Filtration systems assist in making indoor air quality as pure as possible. Radiant heating has a number of advantages over forced air. It’s more efficient than forced air because no energy is lost when the heat rises. It can be zoned for different areas of the home for different temperatures. People who are sensitive to airborne particles should consider radiant heat to reduce their exposure to allergens.
Reduce the amount of resources used in a holistic home. A holistic home minimizes the use of energy and water by using efficient materials and products. Using water saving strategies and energy efficient appliances in the kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms significantly improves water and energy consumption. The collection of rainwater and the recycling of grey water can further improve water efficiencies.
Use recycled and environmentally friendly building products. The type of materials used can affect the homes environmental impact and the health of its inhabitants. A holistic home that contains healthy materials and finishes throughout with low-VOCs and no-VOCs ensures good indoor air quality.
Over the last decade green and sustainable homes have evolved to a new desired level. People now know how important it is to nurture their mind, body, and spirit in order to live a healthier and sustainable life. The concept of holistic homes acts as an exemplification of the many features home owners are looking for in a home. Holistic homes deliver efficient, healthy and functional spaces that are useful by all for a full life.
Lynn has more than 25 years interior design experience working in architecture and interior design firms nationally and internationally producing Corporate, Commercial, Civic, Hospitality and Prestigious Residential projects for Fortune 500 and celebrity clients, architects and builders. Through her in-depth experience she has developed the design ability to see potential in all spaces, and to create innovative, customized design solutions that meet the highest standards of efficiency, quality and sophistication. She has been a long-time professional advocate for sustainable and environmentally conscious design. Lynn is the principal of her firm LHD located in Stamford, CT.
Lynn is a LEED Accredited Professional with a specialization in interior design and construction (LEED AP ID+ C), certified by the National Council for Interior Design (NCIDQ), and a Connecticut State Registered Interior Designer (RID). She is a professional member of International Interior Designers Association (IIDA) and the U.S. and CT Green Building Council (CTGBC and USGBC). Lynn works with all green programs focusing on Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Awareness and Education.
Lynn Hoffman, Principal
IIDA, RID, LEED AP ID+C