Healthier homes

Making affordable housing--the place where individuals and families will spend an average of at least eight hours each day--healthy should be your top priority. Green building gives you the tools to do just that--for only a small additional cost. Green homes are healthier homes.

Fresh air in comfort

Green building improves residents' health first and foremost by providing fresh air at the temperatures they choose. A well-insulated building lets efficient heating, cooling, and ventilation systems keep everyone comfortable. Leading designs for multifamily green homes seal each unit and constantly bring in fresh air. These designs let residents open their windows and adjust their thermostats as they like.

Healthy is efficient

Because indoor air quality centers on ventilation and depends on moisture control, it goes hand in hand with energy efficiency and building durability. A high-performance building envelope keeps moisture and mold at bay, keeping people healthy while also preserving the building. Operable windows give residents control, comfort, and fresh air. When builders install humidistats and direct ventilation for ovens, bathrooms, and clothes dryers, they maintain air quality and make life easier for the air conditioner. Energy savings make your commitment to healthy homes pay off.

Clean and safe

Building green also gives builders the tools they need to minimize residents exposure to indoor air pollutants. Green guidelines outline smart materials options without volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and detail clean construction and maintenance practices that keep dust, pollen, and other allergens out. These choices can make a big difference for asthma sufferers, especially children. Several studies have shown dramatically reduced asthma incidence in response to better air quality.

Rehab projects demand even greater attention to indoor air quality; builders must first remove pollutants and then keep them out. Toxic materials like lead paint and pipes and asbestos can crop up in old buildings. These do not belong in a green project and demand careful removal, cleaning, and replacement.

Beyond the home

Studies that link improved indoor air quality (often in conjunction with daylighting) to faster recovery from illness and reduced absenteeism from work suggest that green affordable housing may be that much more important for low-income workers. Indoor air pollutants that induce or exacerbate respiratory ailments send hundreds of thousands of sufferers on costly hospital visits each year. Your commitment to building healthy homes can help maintain residents' livelihoods and benefit the economy.