It is only over the last few months that I’ve become aware of the concept of the healthy house. This is a design approach that focuses on the effects upon human health of the design, materials, building alignment & layout of our built environment.
In the best tradition of ‘Top-10 lists’, here’s my ten key considerations of healthy house design. Each is accompanied by some basic notes; with more detail given in the posts that each heading links to.
Whilst modern insulation pushes us toward living in an air-tight cocoon, our needs for clean & fresh air push us in the other direction.
With allergies becoming a modern epidemic we need to ensure the materials we employ do not exasperate an already harmful situation.
We are only beginning to understand the effect that the colours that surround us have on our moods and motivations.
Too-hot / too-cold ~ cooled in the Summer / heated in the Winter.
Another aspect of our environment we are only now starting to understand is the impact on us of the electro-magnetic fields that we weave around ourselves with electrical goods and metals.
If we use radiant heat, that warms us like the sun, do we gain the added vitality of a warm sunny day? Do traditional hot water, radiator systems drain and tire us?
Natural or artificial & the impact it has on us from dawn until dusk.
Humidity levels contribute to mould growth; modern bathing habits contribute to humidityâ€¦mould spoors cause asthma, therefore, control mould.
Size, space and proportions
From basic considerations such as the practicalities of room sizes to sacred geometry.
Not only is silence golden, but sound can tie us to our surroundings, sooth us or excite us. But no-one likes the constant drone of traffic as the theme tune of their life.
These are what I feel are the 10 key design drivers we need to consider when designing our home in a healthy and to some degree sustainable, ecological & environmentally sensitive manner. If you don’t agree or have something to add them please add your comments.
If you enjoyed that post, then read these…
Air quality is determined by the composition of the volume of air under consideration.
Whilst a superficial consideration of modern house design often may lead to the conclusion that external sound is simply something to be shut out, minimised and in a perfect world…
BREEAM ~ Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method
The term BREEAM is one that I’ve come across in various contexts over the course of this project and thought I’d better find out what it means.