Healthy Sustainable Housing

What is Healthy Housing?

There are many opportunities to use Healthy Housing concepts into your wood-frame construction and home building. In fact, when making plans on how to build your house wood-frame house construction represents an environmentally responsible choice. Healthy Housing principles can be worked into many stages of wood-frame house building but should be especially considered during the design phase before commencing construction.

Healthy Housing is the foundation of many of the concepts discussed on the pages on and tutorials on this website. Many of the processes in wood-frame housing acknowledge that there is a relationship between the health of people, the environment and the economy. As a renewable resource, using wood in your house building can improve the quality of life, can contribute to the economy and can help sustain the natural environment.

Healthy Housing can be used at various stages of structure building – whether it be through your interior finishes, landscaping, or through the siting of the building. There are 5 principles that make up the Healthy Housing concept: Occupant Health, Resource Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Responsibility, and Affordability.

Healthy Sustainable Housing

 

A: OCCUPANT HEALTH

  1. Radiation, Sound, Light Avoid exposure to electromagnetic fields, isolate external and internal noise sources, and provide as much adequate natural light throughout the house as possible.
  2.  Indoor Air Quality Reduce the level of contaminants built into the building by selecting proper materials, remove any contaminants at the source, and create fresh dilution of house air with fresh air by using ventilation.
  3. Water Quality Select a safe supply of portable water, and if this cannot be done, incorporate an adequate home treatment to remove bacteria, contaminants, chemicals and distasteful tastes and odours.

B: ENERGY EFFICIENCY:

  1. Energy for Heating, Cooling and Ventilation Choose high efficiency equipment that has proper capacity and select proper house energy sources.
  2. . Renewable Energy Technologies Improve natural ventilation and cooling of home during hot months and orient the building and windows in such a way that the building captures solar gains during cold months.
  3. Thermal Performance Create a compact design (reduce the building envelope) by creating proper insulation and airtight constructs, and by using high performance windows.
  4. Electrical Consumption Reduce electrical consumption during mornings and early evenings, which are the peak hours of the day by using controls, and by utilizing energy efficient appliances and lights

C: RESOURCE EFFICIENCY:

  1. Long life and Resilience Construct a durable building with thermal envelope finishes.
  2. Embodied Energy Consider environmental impacts associated with using certain materials and use recycled, renewable and reused materials where possible.
  3. Waste Management Use construction materials wisely to reduce waste, and recycle and reuse where possible.
  4. Water Design landscaping and natural draining systems to minimize water consumption outdoors and install plumbing fixtures that are water efficient both indoors and outdoors.

D: ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY

  1. Sewage and Wastewater Encourage water conservation through the reduction of sewage and water waste.
  2. Community Planning Reduce ecological damage and take advantage of the sun and wind in designing viable communities. Hazardous Materials During the construction of your home avoid the use of hazardous materials.

E: AFFORDABILITY:

  1. Affordability Strive to create affordable purchase prices and long-term operating costs.
  2. Adaptability Design and build to a home to enable cost-effective renovations.
  3. Adaptability Design and build to a home to enable cost-effective renovations.