Ask yourself: How would your life change if you lived and worked in an environment designed to keep you healthy?
Consider how you go about your day. The EPA reports that the average amount of time Americans spend indoors is roughly 90 percent, but also pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor concentrations. How would drastically reducing or completely eliminating toxins affect your well being? Might more efficient systems and practices alter the way you spend your time? Would you feel at ease knowing other systems around you are working their best to keep you healthy and comfortable?
So go ahead and imagine how your environment might be different.
Even right now, you are probably…
- hearing the sound of your heating or cooling system in the background
- your lighting is inadequate and you forcibly strain your eyes as you watch TV or your computer screen
- you feel and hear every crack and board as you step across your floor
- you hear the vacuum that’s running above your head
- you smell the neighbor’s cooking
Ok, you get the idea.
So why should we connect sustainability to architecture and design?
Our indoor environment is directly connected to our health. We know that indoor air pollutants are linked to irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat; headaches, dizziness, and fatigue; respiratory diseases; heart disease; and cancer. We know that investing in our health is wise. We should begin with the places and spaces that occupy most of our time.
Design needn’t only be about aesthetics, but also about function, comfort, and health. When we plan and build according to who we are, how we live, and what we believe in- we function optimally aligned with what matters in our lives. Design is an ecosystem of efficiencies related to our living/working space, water and energy efficiency, indoor air quality and recycled materials, as well as performance.
Here are some examples of what we can incorporate into a design.
- specific material choices like no VOC paint
- advanced water and air filtration systems
- restorative sleep enhancement technologies such as Circadian lighting emulation
- vitamin D light therapy and melatonin enhancing black out shades
- posture supporting flooring
The result being a design that keeps us health, productive and money in our pockets.
In turn, we perform better, and our investments and buildings yield more marketability. Not only are you living in a more comfortable environment, but one that will preserve our planet and return a profit!
Whether you are designing and building a home or a building, the same philosophy in business is true– the right mindset, strategies, and systems are key to your success. If you build on a strong “foundation” with the right systems in place, the building works for you and it almost seems effortless.
Remember nature’s intelligence functions with effortless ease? We don’t see it working hard so why should we?