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The Home As A Body

Architect Bill Boehm of Boston teaches homeowners about greening their home at 'g' Green Design Center in Mashpee.

Recently, a group of eco-conscious homeowners came together to discuss and learn practical ways to green their homes.

The workshop, “Creating the Green Home: The Home As Body” was part of the 'g' Green Design Center of Mashpee’s homeowners and small business remodeling workshops. The 'g' store, located in Mashpee Commons, opened in 2007 to provide interior design, energy efficiency, green building materials and healthy living products to homeowners and businesses. 

Owner Nicole Goldman explained, “We try to present different opportunities for home owners and small businesses to learn how to green their spaces.”

Bill Boehm is a registered architect with over twenty years of experience in a wide variety of settings, including the Sea Ranch in northern California; Lilongwe, Malawi, as a Peace Corps volunteer; the City of Boston as a design review architect for affordable housing; and the Boston Architectural College as the director of a research center and advanced design studios.

Boehm shared a unique perspective on how to treat and think about the home as a whole system, much like the human body.  He took the audience step-by-step through this analogy, comparing the frame of a house to the skeleton, the envelope to the skin, heating and cooling to circulation, ventilation to respiratory, lighting to optical and a brain for operations. 

Boehm explained that, “Comparing the home to the human body is a way to help people understand how to approach their home.”

The analogy can be applied to renovations, additions and new construction.  Boehm also mentioned that he is against the "tear-down" mentality. 

For reasons ranging from protecting the environment to preserving the original character of the house, Boehm stated that “I’ve never been involved in a tear down project and I don’t want to be.”

The next workshop in this series will be held on March 26th from 11 am - noon in which Phil Haglof, a certified energy specialist, will talk about the steps to ensuring your home improvements are energy efficient and cost effective. 

If you are interested in greening your home and making it a healthier environment in which to live, the 'g' Green Design Center in Mashpee is full of wonderful resources to help you along the way.

For more information about the center and their workshops, visit them online

brian hickey March 13, 2011 at 06:10 PM
Tearing down an older home that is functionally obsolete or full of environmentally harmful asbestos and/or mold, as well as an infrastructure (sewer system, electric, heating and cooling) that is inefficient and ineffective can be "reborn" with a new structure that offers new technologies and green systems becoming an enhancement to the community. Even the human body can reject and under-perform through transplant and renovation. Every situation is different and needs to be considered independently. Being "against" teardowns paints a very broad paint stroke. Thanks, Brian Hickey teardowns.com 630-654-4100

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