As we prepare to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day (April 22, 2020) while sheltering in place from COVID-19 (coronavirus), Jones Pierce Studios Project Delivery Director Frank Wickstead has designed and is in the process of building a sustainable home for his family, believing every day should be Earth Day.
Wickstead’s sustainable home, designed for his fiancé and their blended family, is located in North Buckhead in the City of Atlanta. The home will earn a number of green building certifications including the National Green Building Standard from the National Association of Home Builders, Southface Energy Institute’s EarthCraft House and Wellness Within Your Walls.
“Earth Day was meant to highlight how our everyday actions and need for natural resources are affecting our beautiful planet, Wickstead said. “It was not meant to be the one day that we slap ourselves on the back as we clean a stream or swap out a few incandescent bulbs.
“I look at Earth Day the same way I look at Valentine’s Day. If I only romance my partner one day a year, I bet that things won’t go as planned. Instead, I choose to look at Earth Day as every day and take the steps I can to protect our earth.”
According to Wickstead, this time of social isolation has amplified the idea of finding a “place” for everyone in the home. With or without a next pandemic, family isolation has exposed potential weaknesses in our homes and has inspired new plans for spaces. Jones Pierce Studios is planning for spaces for distance learning and virtual meetings in the Wickstead home.
“The coronavirus serves as a reminder that we don’t want to introduce toxins within our homes,” Wickstead said. Indoor air quality begins with the building envelope and ends with filtration.
“Liquid house wrap is the best product on the market to seal a home. It is like a rubber glove over a house, that prevents nearly all outdoor pollutants, and insects, from entering a home. Once the building envelope is complete, mechanical ventilation introduces de-particulated and dehumidified air into the home. HEPA filtration eliminates 99.7% of particles greater than or equal to 0.3 microns.”
Coronavirus virions are as small as 0.125 microns, according to Wickstead. Adding supplemental UV and plasma filtration kills this virus as well as other viruses, bacteria and mold.
The Wickstead home will also utilize renewable energy. A 9kW solar array with a Tesla Power Wall battery backup will charge vehicles and supplement the electricity to power the home. This will dramatically offset energy demand and will also earn a tax credit.
In addition to his work with Jones Pierce Studios, Wickstead is a professor at the Georgia Tech College of Design, School of Building Construction. The Wickstead home will serve as a teaching device for Wickstead’s construction, architecture and engineering students, as well as members of the sustainability community. The home shows that Earth Day can be every day and, more importantly, that sustainable design is attainable.
The Wickstead sustainable dreamhouse demonstrates the best in class of how modern design and implementation combine to best serve home occupants from perspectives ranging from health, to comfort, to energy and water efficiency, to high design and a sense of place.
To learn more about residential and commercial services offered by Jones Pierce Studios, including custom homes and sustainable remodels, visit www.JonesPierce.com.