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Grand Designs healthy house has toxic-free flooring

In the 2018 season of the television program Grand Designs, a couple is featured whose house building project is designed to protect their two sons who suffer from many allergies. These include allergies to dust, pollen and chemicals, including those in cleaning products.

The couple purchased a plot of land in Richmond and used a “healthy building specialist” to adapt their architect’s plans to create a “hypo-allergenic home”. The house is a one-storey building with an excavated basement.

The paints used in the house are solvent-free. Many floor coverings contain volatile organic compounds (VOC) that can release chemicals into the air over time. This is not an issue for most people but can be harmful to allergy sufferers. The ‘healthy house’ has flooring that is very low in VOC. The bedrooms have carpets made from natural bamboo that has no added chemicals or adhesives.

Sofas can also release chemicals into the air, which is why second-hand sofas were chosen for the project as they will have already released chemicals.

After the home was completed, a VOC monitor lent by the University of York found that the home had 70% less VOC chemicals than most new build houses.

People choose solid flooring in their North Wales homes for their looks and long-lasting qualities. If a member of the household suffers from allergies, ask the floor installer about chemical-free flooring choices. To keep the floor free from dust and pollen, choose one that is easy to clean.

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