Recently my son (an aspiring architect) and I had the amazing opportunity to tour the Green House featured in the Los Angeles Magazine, DesignHouse, 2005. This gorgeous, state-of-the-art house was designed by architect James Chuda and is located under the “H” of the Hollywood sign.
The moment we crossed the glass bridge over the lily pond to the front door, we knew we were entering someplace special. James, who led our tour, designed the home as an example of using natural, sustainable, and healthy products in building. He is concerned because the building products currently being used in most residential and commercial design contain chemicals that produce volatile gasses. According to Chuda, “The use of these products, in conjunction with additional solvents and glues, can create an unhealthy living space—especially for children, pregnant women, and the elderly.”
I couldn’t agree more!
Many of the chemicals are known to be able to increase the risks of cancers, neurological problems, and birth defects. Kids are especially vulnerable to toxic chemicals. Thankfully, safer products are now available for most things found in homes, from the paint on the ceiling to the rugs on floors.
This house is a beautiful example of how an ordinary home could be a green home. Everything is low maintenance, energy efficient, kind to the planet, and clean.
Almost 15 years ago, James and his wife Nancy lost their only child to a non-hereditary form of cancer called Wilm’s Tumor. Chuda says, “We believe her cancer could have been prevented.” In 1992, along with their best friend, Olivia Newton-John, the Chudas founded the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition (CHEC).” With the Green House, Chuda proved that using healthy materials did not mean sacrificing design or esthetics.
Unfortunately you may not be able to take a tour of The Green House, but you can take a virtual tour of the HealthHouse at www.healthychild.org.
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