If you’re a consumer living in Ottawa, and you’re looking for healthier building materials than the norm, The Healthiest Home is the place to start. When I was in Ottawa a month ago, Josh Gallant, the general manager of the store, gave me a tour and explained how The Healthiest Home works. It turns out that their retail location is the tip of the green iceberg. In addition to the store that supplies a very wide selection of green building materials, it also has:
- the retail store including architectural design services;
- HH Commercial, a commercial group that supplies and installs interior finishings for condo developments and works on industrial, institutional and commercial projects;
- HH Greenbuild that specializes in renovations and green builds of residential projects; and,
- MD Ottawa, one of the oldest and largest millwork shops in Ottawa, that builds healthy cabinets and countertops.
Each business ensures that each project it undertakes includes waste minimization through the best use of design and materials. It uses materials that are lower impact on the earth and that also contribute to a healthier indoor air quality.
The store also installs all of the products it sells from flooring to paint and guarantees its workmanship and materials. I have written about many of the finishes they carry in flooring (Nadurra bamboo and hardwood, Marmoleum linoleum), paint (Mythic Paint), counter tops (Paperstone and Icestone), and even structural (Durisol). There were, however, a few brands I wasn’t familiar with, the most interesting one was a “new-to-me” product called K-tect Sustainable Building Systems.
K-tect Sustainable Building Systems is an insulated light-weight structural building material similar to Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs). The structural panel consists of expanded polystyrene (EPS) which provides insulation, sound dampening and structure, and light-weight steel framing providing strength. Like ICFs it combines structure and insulation into one package so there is no thermal bridging and fewer materials are needed. Unlike ICFs, it doesn’t use concrete and the product is 100% recyclable at end of life. It has an R value of 4 per inch which never degrades over time. It is easy to install and can be customized for your building. Further, and perhaps most surprisingly considering the use of EPS, there is no off-gassing from the product so it has been GreenGuard certified.
Josh told me that it has become a favourite product of their build/design group and that they have now used it on many of their projects. Their clients are particularly happy with their exceptionally low heating and cooling bills.
Because The Healthiest Home believes that to be a good business is also to be a part of the community it offers free yoga classes on Saturday mornings in its warehouse.
Healthiest Home hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm.
1523 Laperriere Ave. Ottawa, ON K1Z 7S9
(417 Exit – Carling Ave.)