Your New "Recycled" Home

By Mike Hickman

Mike Hickman - Polk County, FL Go Green BuilderImagine throwing a party at your home for 100 of your best friends, business associates and public officials. It is the middle of summer, 5 p.m., 95 degrees outside and you don’t have air conditioning. Crazy? Yes, but that is just what we did for our “Behind the Walls” reception at the Polk County Builders Association Foundation “go Green” Home.

The unusual timing of this reception gave everyone an inside look at all of the Green features that make this home unique. And, the fact that everyone not only came, but stayed for the two hour reception, without air condition, is a testimonial to how well the design and the products are working to keep the home cool.

On display were such things as the “Icynene” foam insulation in the attic. Icycnene is an open cell, flexible foam that is sprayed on the underside of the attic roof and walls. The foam will expand up to 100 times its size, curing to a soft and flexible insulation that will seal the attic from the summer heat or the winder cold. This foam looks like and acts like the inside of your beverage cooler … without the liner.

With the same idea in mind the exterior block walls were filled with “Foam Core”, an expandable insulation pumped in to small holes drilled around the home. Covering the inside of the Foam Core walls, we had an “M-shield” reflective insulation. This product, in a striking blue color on the inside, and shiny space age silver foil on the outside, acts to reflect heat away from the iside of the home and back to the outside. This combination of Foam Core and M-Shield gives us a dramatic R-15 value (heat resistance) for the exterior wall.

Equally colorful, were the interior walls, sprayed green with Bora-core termiticide. This environmentally friendly termite treatment protects the home where it needs to and keeps harmful chemicals out of the ground.

Another chemical friendly product is the Uponor plumbing supply lines in the home. The red and blue lines, respectively colored for the hot and cold water that runs through them, are compression fit lines. That means no toxic glues to work with or to be exposed to your drinking water.

A less glamorous, but extremely important Green feature of the home is the air conditioning system. The home is so energy efficient that we were able to provide all of the air conditioning needs with a two-ton system – less than half the size it would normally be. In fact, the home is so snug that we have installed a dehumidifier and outside air exchanger to maximize the efficiency and comfort of the home.

These are just a few of the items featured “behind the walls” of the “Go Green” home in future articles, I’ll be talking about all of the things, inside and out, that will make this home a very special place to live.

The “Go Green” Home, located at Morgan Creek Preserve in South Lakeland, is for sale. All of the proceeds will go to the Polk County Builders Association Foundation, a 501(c)3, for the support of their Future Builders of America program and student scholarships. For additional information about the Green features and our upcoming open house dates, contact the Polk County Builders Association at 863-665-08744 or Hickman Homes at 863-646-1166, or look us up at www.hickmanhomes.net.

Mike Hickman is President of Hickman Homes Inc. and 2009 Chairman of the Future Builders of America.