For most people, their home is their castle, their place of comfort, and the place where they spend time eating, sleeping and entertaining their friends. Unfortunately, a person’s home can also expose them to many harmful chemicals and toxins if they don’t have a say in how it’s built. These days, many designers are shifting their focus to greener building materials, whether they’re new or repurposed, but few are taking the radical approach of North Carolina-based Push Design.

Push is a sustainable design and development company committed to catalyzing a new era in the building, development and furniture industries. By combining new techniques, a discriminating design aesthetic and materials selectively culled from around the globe, Push Design has found a way to create energy-efficient, cost-effective homes where health and style coexist beautifully.

“In our view, the current state of green building nationally has disproportionately overemphasized energy efficiency, at the cost of true resident and environmental health,” said David Mosrie, Managing Partner of Push Design. “I watch ‘green’ homes locally being built of polyurethane SIPs, to save another $12 a month, and it just seems insane. All we see is a wall that is formaldehyde, petroleum and formaldehyde, and that isn’t good for anyone, or the environment.” One of the ways that Push Design combines utility and style is by seeking out materials that are toxin-free, energy efficient and often, recycled. Purepanel Plus, one of the company’s signature materials, is created from 100% post-consumer recycled paper, and when combined with Magnum Board, a pollutant-dispersing alternative to Sheetrock, it creates a fast, lightweight and unusually strong structural interior wall system. Tradical Hemcrete is one of the most sustainable building materials on the market today, and one that Push has incorporated into housing designs to much critical acclaim. Hemcrete is a negative carbon bio-composite product comprised of hemp and a lime-based binder that makes it naturally insect and pest resistant. Hemcrete is breathable, natural and toxin-free, and it actually helps filter the air for maximum indoor air quality. Fifteen tons of carbon are sequestered during the hemp-growing process alone, and the material for one 1,250-square-foot home can be grown in 14 weeks on a mere 2.5 acres of land. It is estimated that one house built with hemp is the equivalent of 10 acres of trees in terms of the carbon sequestered. Push Design’s approach to building healthy, planet-friendly homes is truly revolutionary. As petroleum becomes more expensive and scarce, the company’s innovative use of sustainable, repurposed materials will be a shining example of what’s possible when you think outside the box and off the grid.