This house thinks, drinks and breaths – Toronto Sun

Staff Writer

People who strive for a greener lifestyle are going to love the National Home Show’s model straw bale home.
The 2003 National Home Show runs from Friday, April 4 to Sunday, April 13 at the National Trade Centre, Exhibition Place.

A first for its innovative, sustainable home ideas, this straw bale home demonstrates unique initia­tives that make an immediate environmental dif­ference. The House That Thinks, Drinks and Breathes™ features sustainable construction and living and combines historic building techniques, natural materials and the most state-of-the-art ap­pliance fixtures, monitoring, control and comfort systems for modem living. This display home is

sure to be an enormous draw for visitors seeking ideas and information on how to create more en­vironmentally friendly living alternatives that are affordable and stylish.

“This new environmental concept and educa­tional feature will offer visitors to the show differ­ent ways to think about building and installing and the use of environmental products for con­struction and renovation,” said 2003 National Show manager Christine Nattrass.

Designed and built by Ben Polley of Harvest Homes, with landscape architecture by Brad Peterson, this home is the main feature of the Healthy Living area, a new offering at this year’s show focusing on proactive envi­ronmental responsibility, con­sciousness and earth-friendly prod­ucts for building and renovations.
How this home works

Thinks: Homes have many appliances, fixtures and lights controlled by independent timers, thermostats and wall switches. This home will co-ordinate their use, generate cost savings and implement technologies normally used in large industrial and commercial applications.

Drinks: This home and its landscape will soak up excess water when storage is low and slowly release water and moisture when it is plentiful in an effort to address concerns about both quality and conservation of this essential resource. The residence will also minimize water demand through water reduction strategies and recycling waste-water.

Breathes: A combina­tion of unique air purification systems, materials selected for their inert properties and different lifestyle options will offset the threat of chemical off-gassing common in construction and house­hold materials.

“We hope to capture your imagination and expect that everyone who experiences a tour of this home will discover at least one idea that they can imagine incorporating into their own homes,” Polley said.

Following the National Home Show, the house that Thinks, Drinks and Breathes ™ will be disas­sembled and rebuilt at the non-profit Everdale Environmental Learning Centre. Located just north of Toronto, Everdale provides hands-on public education in sustainable living.

For more information on the House That Thinks, Drinks and Breathes, contact Polley of Harvest Homes at 1-866-231-1100 or visit

For information, on the show call 416-385-1880 or visit