A new, green, custom home that has been built in Webster Grove, Missouri, is the work of Active House USA, a team of designers, builders, and materials manufacturers who are pooling their experience in environmentally conscious and sustainable building practices to construct homes around the world that utilize their Active House specifications, which combine focus on energy efficiency, healthy indoor climate, and minimal impact on the environment. To date, Active Houses are located in Portugal, Austria, Norway, UK, Italy, Netherlands, and Russia. The Webster Grove residence for the Smith family is the first Active House to be built in the United States and recently held its first open house.
Principal architect on the Smith residence is Jeff Day & Associates Architecture and interior design is by Lusso at Home, both of St. Louis, Missouri. The interior space makes generous use of natural finishes, including locally-sourced stone that is made from recycled materials and high fly-ash cement, custom shale, and flagstone. Local remnants of granite, marble, and Silestone were used for countertops.
Wood features are Northern red oak and repurposed wood that is made from reclaimed timber. Water-based, formaldehyde-free stains were used on the flooring. Custom cabinets were locally constructed of maple, walnut, and bamboo using low-VOC plywood and hardwood components; stain and sealer is also low-VOC. The open, three-level pine staircase channels light from rooftop Velux skylights. Other green choices for the interior include Green Label carpet and padding, Sherwin Williams no-VOC Harmony paints.
Energy efficiency in the Smith home is made possible by solar orientation, solar energy collectors, airtight building envelope, HVAC and water heating design, use of daylight, and natural ventilation.