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Healthy Living

Refreshing home

Learn how this home uses the chimney effect to draw in fresh air through the lower skylights and release warm, stale air from the upper skylights—an energy efficient way to cool the home.

Tim O'Brien Homes takes a sustainable approach to home designs, so the VELUX No Leak Solar Powered "Fresh Air" Skylight was a natural fit for "The Birchwood" model.

The No Leak Solar Powered "Fresh Air" Skylight uses solar power to bring daylight and fresh air into this Germantown, Wisconsin home. A solar panel charges a concealed battery that powers the skylights, so they don't require any electrical wiring.

"Every home that we build has a third-party green certification and a third-party energy certification," said Tim O'Brien, founder of Tim O'Brien Homes. "The Birchwood model focuses on four aspects of green: energy efficiency, indoor air quality, water conservation and resource utilization. On the indoor air quality side, we've been able to use the VELUX skylights to capitalize on fresh air being drawn into the house and exhausting stale and contaminant air out of the home without mechanical ventilation.

The home has four skylights over the living room and kitchen areas: two in the lower roof and two higher up in the clearstory. By opening all four skylights, the home uses the chimney effect to draw in fresh air through the lower skylights and release warm, stale air from the upper skylights—an energy efficient way to cool the home.

Additionally, the skylights fill the living area with natural light, creating a cheery, open feeling.

Next: Replacing an old, bubble skylight

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