HOW ITS DONE – INTEGRATING HEALTH INTO HOME DESIGN

Our homes are meant to safeguard us. Substandard housing has been linked to a variety of health issues.  Asthma is often the result of homes involved in improper mold abatement, pest infestations, and dampness. Similarly, Exposures to toxins including lead and radon have been linked to impaired brain development and cancer. The consequences of substandard housing are felt not only primarily by its occupants but also, secondarily by the community as well as. Communities with an abundance of substandard housing are often left with the burden of medical expenses and other pains incurred by occupants such as missed work or school due to illness.

The recipe for healthy housing is achieved by ensuring the use of quality materials during production. Here are a few of the ways we at IndieDwell use quality materials to ensure healthy housing.

 WATER BASED ADHESIVES, PAINTS, AND EPOXIES, NO VOC’s

Water-based paints generally emit fewer chemicals and less chemical fumes than oil-based paints. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are present in several household products, including paints, paint strippers and other solvents. VOCs have been known to be linked to respiratory irritation, loss of coordination, nausea, liver/kidney damage, cancer, as well as many other health issues. Our use of water-based materials with no VOCs leaves our occupants with improved Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

ENERGY RECOVERY VENTILATOR (ERV) IN EVERY HOME

ERVs are essential components to achieving a healthy home.  They allow for whole-house ventilation and high-efficiency air filtration.  While opening a window might be helpful to freshen the air, it may also create an easy passage for pollen and other allergens to enter the home.  During hot and cold months, having windows open is not always practical and can waste energy. During warmer months, an ERV is effective in dehumidifying and cooling the air while in the winter, the ERV works to humidify and warm the air.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that indoor air is usually 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air, making our decision to include an ERV in every room a strong choice.

ALL ELECTRIC HOME

Indoor Combustion is a concern today in many houses. Numerous homes are seen with gas stoves, gas furnaces, gas water heaters, and so on. The problem created by this approach is found in the byproducts such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and oxides of nitrogen. These byproducts need to be actively removed from the environment in-order to maintain good IAQ and avoid a fatal combustion. Without removal, exposure to indoor pollutants can be more harmful to health than outdoor pollutants. By Including all-electric appliances and heaters in a home, occupants can rest easy knowing they have avoided potential dangers.

To learn more about healthy housing challenges in your state, click here.

To learn more about healthy housing challenges in Idaho, Click here.

Destinie Triplett
The US Housing Crisis in 2500 Words
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This article is one of the most concise and on point articulations of the current state of the housing crisis in the US.  However, one thing that is not mentioned is the impact durability and energy efficiency has on residents.  When "affordable housing" gets built, it tends to be less than top notch quality and scores quite poor on energy efficiency.   These two factors have a direct impact on the total affordability of the home.  Energy bills on a poorly insulated home can run $200 a month or more.  

At indieDwell we are focused on building durable, energy efficient, healthy and sustainable homes as a solution to the affordable housing crisis.  

Please take a minute to read this article to better understand the current crisis.  

 

 

Pete Gombert
The Affordable Housing Crisis is Pervasive

Affordable housing is sometimes seen as an issue which is contained in large cities, but we hear from cities large and small across the country on a daily basis.  Two recent articles, one in the Wall Street Journal and another in the New York Times demonstrate the pervasiveness of need in the U.S. right now and it is going to be difficult to put the genie back in the bottle.  We need to start thinking differntly about how we construct housing and how we provide affordable solutions.  

New York Times Article

Pete Gombert