Making Healthy Lifestyle Choices in Design
October 18, 2018
Many of the materials and chemicals used to construct your home may have a potentially detrimental effect on your future well-being. In this era of increasing energy efficiency and approaches to Net Zero energy housing, attention is shifting to concerns about “Tight Box Syndrome”. Systems that control airflow and minimize air exchange help reduce energy consumption, but they can also contribute to deteriorating lifestyle environments within the building envelope. A common joke about highly efficient houses involves neighbors visiting on Saturday who ask about the salmon dinner you cooked the previous Tuesday… Super-tight building envelopes trap more than just food odors. Many of the materials in your home produce dangerous off-gassing and chemical reactions that can impact your health in the future.
In the past, lead-based paint was common. We also clothed our children in fire-retardant material that often exposed them to cancerous chemicals in the name of safety. Today we ask “What were we thinking?!”, but truth be told, we just didn’t know any better back then. Now in 2018, with extensive technology and research on almost everything you can imagine, it’s time we step up and use the information to “move the needle” toward healthier, non-toxic interior living environments. We need to make more informed choices about the materials we source in new construction, and it begins at the design stage.
THAT’S WHERE WELLNESS WITHIN YOUR WALLS COMES IN…
Wellness Within Your Walls (WWYW) is an organization that focuses on promoting healthier, non-toxic interior living environments. WWYW Founder Jillian Pritchard Cooke has made it her mission to create a legacy of health, harmony and sustainability in the interior environment. This begins with raising awareness for those who create these spaces: anyone in the architectural design and building industry.
WWYW recently presented their 4 Course Series to our Phoenix office project leaders to help them become WWYW Certified Professionals. After an extensive six-hour course and comprehensive test, each staff member was successfully certified. It was a wonderful, incredibly in-depth educational experience, but we are most looking forward to implementing what we learned in our future projects.
Steve Moore, Senior Partner and Director of Marketing and newly certified WWYW Professional says, “The course included everything from increasing awareness, offering safer alternatives and demonstrating how to eliminate toxins moving forward. We mostly focused on each phase of the design and build process to learn how to better our choices. It was truly eye-opening.”
WHAT’S THE OUTCOME?
At BSB Design, we are always looking for ways to not only improve our designs but to enhance them to create the safest environment for the people who live and work there. With many NGBS and LEED certified projects in our background, getting involved with WWYW was a no-brainer for us. We have been and will continue to make healthy, non-toxic choices when it comes to specifying material selections for the buildings we design. Education is key, and WWYW is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to reducing toxins and improving interior living environments.