Thoughts About a Healthy House

Healthy House - Indoor PlantsWhile the economics of living in a tight, well insulated, house are important, I believe that there is another factor that stands above all others, wellness. It’s an idea that’s hard to nail down. A healthy house means different things to different people. Some might think of solid stair rails, others would mention non-slip floors, or child proof electric outlets. Health and comfort are difficult, maybe impossible, to quantify.

Indoor air quality, or IAQ, is a primary concern. Practically everything in a modern house can be a source of pollution. For example, particle board, engineered wood flooring, adhesives and caulking, paint and wood stains, are all products which often contain formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene and alcohol. (more…)

Is it Possible to Design a Fireproof Home?

Fire-01More importantly, can you renovate a house that’s disaster resistant at a cost normal humans can afford? A good friend of mine sent me a link on designing a fireproof home, or making an existing home much more resistant to disasters like the wildfires in California.  I’ve included a link at the end of this post.

The article was written by Murray Milne, a professor of architecture at UCLA. After carefully reading the piece, it occurred to me that many of his design points have value in protecting against other natural disasters. When you analyze how nature is going to attack your home sweet home, most of the scenarios break down into three categories, fire, water and wind.  With a little extra thought, it’s possible to take some of Mr. Milne’s fireproofing ideas, and extend them to deal with other disasters. (more…)