Ski to Sea 2022!

Ski to Sea 2022!

Congrats TC Family on 58th Place in the 2022 Ski to Sea event and getting 4th in the Corporate Division!

What an epic team building event. Every leg beat our 2019 time and this is our best record yet – in 2019 we got 107th place! 👏

Big shout out to “mom” and “Brisket Man” for all the amazing organization and the after party. 🙏

#bellingham #tclegend #skitosea2022 #skitosea

Check out this video of the Race Day & After Party!

🎶 Music: Temperatures Rising
Musician: LoveFine
URL: https://icons8.com/music/

Written by: Senna

Video Created by: Senna


Impact of Eco-Conscious Living Series: Ventilation

Impact of Eco-Conscious Living Series: Ventilation

Ventilation

In our last blog about indoor air quality (IAQ), we discussed what influences IAQ, what effects it has on humans and nature, and how to create healthier IAQ in your home.

As a recap, IAQ is measured by the quantity and type of pollutants in the air within a building. The pollutants that decrease the IAQ (make the quality worse) can be anything from biological pollutants such as mold and mildew, bacteria, dust or pollen, to carbon monoxide or volatile organic compounds (VOC’s)4. These pollutants can cause a wide variety of health problems for humans and animals, from mild skin irritations all the way to damaging internal organs and causing cancer.2,5

While ventilation is just one of the many factors that affect IAQ mentioned in our previous blog, it is a multifaceted topic and requires a deeper dive than we were able to give.

We’ve already established that healthy IAQ is important, but how does ventilation impact it and what are the current shortcomings of code-standard ventilation systems?

Firstly, IAQ can be 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air quality6; therefore, it is vital to expel a greater quantity of indoor air and intake more outdoor air to increase a building’s overall IAQ. 

However, not all ventilation systems are made equally. Often, with forced air-heating and traditional air-conditioning systems, the main method of ventilation is infiltration or purely natural ventilation (opening windows)3.

This is problematic, because there will not be a great enough flow of air to expel the polluted indoor air and the outdoor air comes into the building’s envelope untreated. While outdoor air is generally less polluted than indoor air, it would be counterproductive to bring in smoky, smoggy or pollen filled air, for example, and should still be filtered before entering the building.

When mechanical ventilation is installed in a simply code-standard building, the typical system must be manually turned on and off and doesn’t have the capacity for higher airflows or continual airflows. For this reason, conscious builders like TC Legend Homes go above and beyond the less-than-optimal code-standard systems and always uses a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV).

HRV units allow for continual filtered airflow. They are also capable of utilizing smart technology with sensors to detect CO2 and humidity within the house, allowing the system to automatically adjust air flow.

The humidity tracking and management is a huge advantage because it creates a more comfortable environment to people, pets and indoor plants alike and helps keep mold and mildew growth in check. On top of increasing airflow and managing humidity, the HRV also contains HEPA air filters to ensure the incoming air is stripped of as many pollutants as possible.

Of course, the extra benefit to these systems beyond increased IAQ is that they “recover up to 90% of the heat and contribute to an energy savings of up to 50%.”1

This means HRV systems save money by lowering the overall energy bill, as well as decrease the building’s carbon footprint by using energy more consciously resulting in less consumption of energy, fossil fuels and other precious materials.

In all, choosing the best ventilation system can mean creating a healthier home, as well as reducing your wasted energy consumption and having a lesser impact on the environment.


1. Diagram depicting how a Heat Recovery Ventilator transfers heat and air. Source: AttainableHome (https://www.attainablehome.com/the-10-best-heat-recovery-ventilators/).

Sources:

1“Benefits.” Zehnder America, https://www.zehnderamerica.com/ventilation-benefits/. 2/14/22.

2“Biological Pollutants’ Impact on Indoor Air Quality.” United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPA.gov, https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/biological-pollutants-impact-indoor-air-quality. 2/10/2022.

3“Improving Indoor Air Quality.” United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPA.gov, https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/improving-indoor-air-quality. 4/14/2022.

 4“Indoor Pollutants and Sources.” United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPA.gov, https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/indoor-pollutants-and-sources. 2/10/2022.

5“Volatile Organic Compounds’ Impact on Indoor Air Quality.” United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPA.gov, https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/volatile-organic-compounds-impact-indoor-air-quality. 2/10/2022.

Wallace, Lance A., et al. Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM) Study: Personal exposures, indoor-outdoor relationships, and breath levels of volatile organic compounds in New Jersey. Environ. Int. 1986, 12, 369-387. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0160412086900516.

Impact of Eco-Conscious Living Series: Indoor Air Quality

Impact of Eco-Conscious Living Series: Indoor Air Quality

Impact of Eco-Conscious Living Series: Indoor Air Quality

Just as you may think about the poor outdoor air quality on a smoky day or the smog that surrounds large cities, every building has its own body of air with varying degrees of quality and pollution that make up the indoor air quality (IAQ). IAQ is incredibly important for your own health and is, unfortunately, frequently under accounted for by mainstream building practices. It is, however, an attribute of eco-conscious building techniques for its impact on human and animal health, interlinked outcome of house longevity, and subsequent decrease in environmental footprint.

Taking a deeper dive into what IAQ actually is, IAQ can be anything from biological pollutants such as mold and mildew, bacteria, dust or pollen, to carbon monoxide or volatile organic compounds (VOC’s)5. Each pollutant effects humans, animals and the environment differently and the effects on humans can also vary depending on personal sensitivities. Exposure to just biological pollutant could lead to “skin irritation, sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, shortness of breath, dizziness, lethargy, fever, and digestive problems”1. Other pollutants, such as VOC’s, can cause more severe symptoms such as “eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination and nausea, damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system,” with some VOC’s known or suspected to even cause cancer in humans or animals6. For information about all the individual indoor pollutants and their sources, visit https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/indoor-pollutants-and-sources

Many of these pollutants are unavoidable as they can occur naturally, but we can take steps to reduce them to levels that will be less harmful or eliminate them almost entirely. If you hire TC Legend Homes, then before you even step into your house, we have already been working on increasing your home’s IAQ by using low toxicity products such as SIPs, low/zero VOC paints and finishes, low toxicity flooring and more. The SIPs we use eliminate the ozone depleting chemicals HCFCs and CFCs, as well as reduce moisture in between the walls that lead to mold growth.2 This, accompanied by the superior heating and ventilation installed, will set your home up for much healthier air. The next blog post in this series will discuss the details of ventilation and its impact.

Once moved into your new home, it is still important to take daily steps to maintain a healthier IAQ. Be sure to vacuum and dust regularly, clean fabric items frequently, reduce household clutter3, avoid harsh cleaning products, maintain a lower humidity level, repair leaks, run your exhaust fan during and after showering, maintain your ventilation system and change the filters frequently4

Many eco-conscious building methods and results are interconnected, including IAQ, house longevity and environmental footprint. The nature of obtaining and maintaining good IAQ, means ensuring your home is being fixed of any issues which will result in the deterioration of your home and therefore cause indoor pollutants such as mold and mildew. Immediately fixing smaller issues that come up, like leaks or a filter in need of changing, will decrease the likelihood of the issues becoming so large that it is irreversible or will require more replacements to the system or surrounding area in the future. To this same note, upkeeping your home regularly and fixing issues as soon as they turn up, means using less resources in the long run, as replacement will be less frequent. As we know, using less resources helps to lower your overall carbon footprint. Moreover, maintaining good IAQ requires use of less toxic materials including those containing toxins and pollutants that are harmful to the environment such as greenhouse gases like VOCs or potent chemicals like pesticides. This in turn reduces the negative impact on the environment.

Taking all these steps to obtain and maintain your IAQ, will not only help you and your family’s health, but help reduce pollution outdoors and increase the longevity of your home.

Written by: Nicole Miller


Sources:

1“Biological Pollutants’ Impact on Indoor Air Quality.” United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPA.gov, https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/biological-pollutants-impact-indoor-air-quality. 2/10/2022. 

2“Building With Sips Creates Healthier, More Comfortable Interiors.” Insulspan, https://www.insulspan.com/advantages/health-comfort/. 3/2/2022.

3“Easy ways you can improve indoor air quality.” Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/easy-ways-you-can-improve-indoor-air-quality. 2/10/2022.

4“Improve Indoor Air Quality to Set Up a Healthier Home Environment.” AAFA, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, https://www.aafa.org/healthier-home-indoor-air-quality.aspx. 2/10/2022.

5“Indoor Pollutants and Sources.” United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPA.gov, https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/indoor-pollutants-and-sources. 2/10/2022.

6“Volatile Organic Compounds’ Impact on Indoor Air Quality.” United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPA.gov, https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/volatile-organic-compounds-impact-indoor-air-quality. 2/10/2022.

Welcome New TC Family & House-in-a-Hollow Net Zero House Wrap-Up

Welcome New TC Family & House-in-a-Hollow Net Zero House Wrap-Up

The TC Legend Family is growing! We have hired two new Carpenters and two new Draftsman trainees! Big welcome to Miles, Lee, Talia & Amber! Check out ‘Our Team’ to learn more about them.

We are always excited to grow our team and hire on other passionate individuals who aim to create a carbon neutral future and affordable housing!

The Bellingham Barn House is coming to an exciting end, and it was a great opportunity to get Senna and Talia out of the office and on-site! (And finally get some headshots of our new crew!)

Talia, our first TC Draftsman Intern, got to get her hands on the house plans and review her first TC Legend Home in action.

Here’s what Talia learned and noticed about this exquisite home:

“Visiting the Bellingham Barn House site was a great way to see the paper plans come to life in a real home. It was fascinating to see HVAC and water heating setup in person as well as all the design details that the on site crew carefully constructed.

I was particularly excited to see the positioning of the stairs in the middle of the house, serving as a visual and physical separation of the upstairs while keeping a cohesive design and smooth flow of traffic throughout the house.

It was also great to meet the crew and chat about the solar system with Jeff. I walked away having learned and seen a number of new things and I am really excited to be a member of this team!”

Talia has always been interested in building design, architecture, the environment, and renewable energy. When she had the opportunity to combine those interests in the form of an undergraduate course called Energy Efficient and Carbon Neutral Design, she jumped at the chance. After that course, she caught the net zero building bug.

Talia will be graduating in June, 2021 from Western Washington University. One of the incredible things that she did in her undergraduate studies that impressed the TC owners was her participation in an extracurricular competition, the DOE Solar Decathlon, where she designed a functional Net Zero Home for the Tri-cities.

“I’m excited to be making an impact on people’s lives and our environment through designing comfortable, affordable, and efficient homes as a member of the TC Legend Homes team!”