Here in Maine, it’s not uncommon to find homes that were built in the early 1900s. Home owners wouldn’t want to continue to use early twentieth century plumbing, gas lighting, or ice box refrigeration – so why don’t we question insulation, joint tightness and natural lighting?
Science and technology have evolved, so should our homes as we question the consequence of spending 2/3rds of our lives in our homes. What can you do to keep your family in good health? Build homes as healthy as possible. That includes designing and building them to be well lit, quiet, draft free, moisture controlled, and free of toxins. Learn more about how these variables can affect you and your family below.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
The use of paints, finishes, and other products with Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) has become a major health hazard. Coupled with excess CO2, food particles, and moisture from day to day activities of cooking, cleaning, and bathing – homes can be filled with air that can cause physical health issues ranging from itchy eyes and headaches to asthma and allergies. It has been estimated that improved natural ventilation can reduce lung-related illnesses by up to 20%.
Emerging areas of research are focusing on lighting design that links to the daily cycles of the body in response to outdoor light, known as circadian rhythms. More natural daylight has been shown to result in better sleep at night. By adjusting the angle of roofs and size of windows you can maximize incoming daylight. Lighting is also important for the prevention of falls and injuries among the elderly.
Noise pollution has become a growing concern for some as our cities continue to grow larger and louder. But you don’t need to move to a remote area to gain tranquility. Focus on super-insulation and controlling drafts to keep homes surprisingly peaceful. Double or triple-paned windows offer premium insulation and the added benefit of keeping more noise outside. Your house should be a respite from the bustle of the outside world, which can lead to less stress.
They belong outside, not in—another advantage of making a home with extremely tight joints.
Looking for more information regarding sustainable homes and health? Check out our new Green section here.