PRODUCTS recently sat down with Nicole Tysvaer, co-founder and principal of both Galaxy Homes and Symbi Homes, to find out what five things she could not live without if she were designing her dream home.
"For a lot of conditions, we do not need to build—stick build—in the in the field anymore," Tysvaer says regarding prefab and SIPs. "We can save materials. We can build shells that are more energy efficient, tighter, and last longer by going into the systems world."
This is part of a new PRODUCTS series, My Favorite Things, where we ask experts in the industry to give their top picks for the best products and designs for residential builds.
So, if I were building my house today, the five things right I could not live without...Number one is an energy efficient wall system. People are using now today prefab. They are using structurally insulated panels, and there are lots of other variations. But for a lot of conditions, we do not need to build, stick build, in the in the field anymore. We can save materials. We can build shells that are more energy efficient, tighter, and last longer by going into the systems world.
Number two is whole house ventilation system. Now that we are building such tight houses, we have to think about how do we bring fresh air in and how do we maintain optimal humidity levels? So things like an energy recovery ventilator and ERV humidity control systems like the April Air, things that bring ventilation in and also filter the air as well. Super important.
Number three is extensive glazing. If we are going to be connecting the outdoors where we live inside, we have to have lots of beautiful views and lots of beautiful windows.
And number four, and it is sort of fun thing, is vertical gardens, interior vertical gardens. So the idea that you can have in your kitchen for example, all of your herbs growing on a wall you know. and having them irrigated and lighted properly, and bringing again the outdoors in, is something we call biophilic design. You know, the idea that people thrive when they are connected to nature, but also you can grow something that you are going to eat someday.
And number five is a luxury vinyl tile. Believe it or not, these days there is no reason to actually have to install hardwood floors when you can get such beautiful ones that mimic patterns and wood, and the colors of wood, at a fraction of the cost. And they're much more sustainable. That's it! Those are five.