Health is the new green - this message is seemingly everywhere these days. It's clear that a shift is underway in the way we think about our homes and buildings. A quality building does more than just use energy efficiently, it needs to provide for the occupants. This means recognizing that our clients will spend their time immersed in the air we create for them and that indoor air is a dominant exposure. Now is the time to get clear on how our homes and buildings relate to health, comfort and well-being and, more importantly, what to do about it.
There are myriad known and emerging contaminants that negatively impact occupants. This seminar will break this complex and daunting topic down into 5 clear and actionable principles.
The 5 Principles Of A Healthy Home:
(1) Start with a good enclosure
(2) Minimize indoor emissions
(3) Keep it dry
(4) Effectively capture particles
This episode will cover each step to make it clear why it matters and, more importantly, how to incorporate the benefits of this succinct approach into design and delivery decisions. Once understood, these 5 concepts will help design and construction teams make decisions all along the project lifecycle.
To reiterate a trend we see more and more, the overlap of the building sciences and health sciences continues to grow. Recently, Harvard University’s School of Public Health re-launched their Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment, introducing new partnerships and a new director for the institutional home of Dr. Joseph Allen’s Healthy Buildings initiative. They're calling themselves the Healthy Buildings Team and they're pretty deep into a research project on how today’s built environments impact the health, productivity, and well-being of the people inside. Their mission is simple, but ambitious: “improving the lives of all people, in all buildings, everywhere, every day.”
Many of the products we use every day contain chemicals of concern that may be harming our health. Many of these substances can be grouped into “Six Classes”, each containing similar chemicals. The Six Classes approach allows us to better understand these chemicals, their functions, where they are used, and how they can be avoided. It can prevent a cycle of “regrettable substitution,” whereby a phased out harmful chemical is replaced with a closely related chemical which may cause similar harm.
As many of you already know, we're interested in indoor air quality and more broadly interested in the health impacts of the built environment. It's fundamentally changing the way we design, build, and specify. The materials we use have properties that can either help or harm the people that come into contact with them. So let's take a look today at a particularly nasty component of many materials: halogenated and brominated flame retardants.