Pathway’s 5 essential principles of a healthy home

How making savvy sustainable architecture choices during your home remodel can help you to create a home environment in which your family will thrive.

At Pathway Design and Construction, we believe that a healthy home is one that is safe and comfortable, without harmful elements or disruptive distractions. Research has shown that poor air quality, extreme temperatures and noisy surroundings can all have a negative effect on your body and mind, making you feel physically unwell or mentally distracted without even realizing that the root cause may be your home.

The right temperature, adequate humidity and good lighting are key to keeping your whole family healthy and at ease. With this in mind, our team of green builders and home wellness experts have put together this list of the 5 essential principles of a healthy home. If a renovation or home remodel is in your near future, then you’ll want to keep these important principles in mind!

1 - A healthy home is warm and dry

Managing moisture levels in your home is not only a major proponent of universal design but also one of the best proactive steps you can take to avoid a variety of common household issues, ranging from mold and allergy symptoms to uncomfortable temperatures. When moisture levels are managed properly, you're more likely to enjoy a better quality of life and greater comfort, particularly during cold winter months.

According to Dr. Tristan Ingham, a senior research fellow from New Zealand, reducing exposure to damp and mold in the home could cut the number of hospital admissions for children under two by 19% per year. As more research is done into a variety of respiratory conditions, it is becoming clear that our living environments are very likely to blame for our struggle to breathe.

While it may seem like you need to go out of your way to manage moisture content in your home, the truth is that there are several simple things you can do as you undertake your home remodel. At Pathway, we understand that the key to creating a warm and comfortable home is insulation and airflow control. That’s why we are committed to not only sourcing the correct insulation and finishing materials, but also installing them correctly to ensure that a safe and reliable air barrier is created and maintained.

2 - A healthy home is well ventilated

Air pollution is one of the most widespread and dangerous environmental health problems in the world today. Studies have revealed that the air in our homes and offices may be more polluted than the majority of outdoor environments we come in contact with.

An easy solution to improve air quality in your home is using natural ventilation, which means bringing fresh air into the home and removing stale air in a controlled manner. This dilutes the chemicals and toxins that are present in the space and lessens the effects of asthma, allergies and fatigue. 

While the Pathway team of green builders understands the value of having a properly insulated home, we also know that a home should not be so sealed off that it becomes airtight, as this prohibits the natural ventilation needed to combat common illness and support your wellbeing. Our biophilic approach and our understanding of universal design in architecture guides us to create spaces that connect the indoors with the natural elements outside your home, not only from an aesthetic point of view but in terms of effective natural ventilation.

3 - A healthy home is full of light

Homes with well-placed windows that allow in natural light are good for our health - which is why they are one of the mainstays of universal design. That’s because exposure to natural light has been shown to lower the risk of depression, anxiety and other mental ailments. It can also improve energy levels and reduce pain. People who live by windows also tend to weigh less than those who live in darker homes!

Getting enough natural light exposure during the day is essential for proper function of your body's circadian rhythm — a biological process that affects your sleep and mental performance. That’s why it is so important to embrace universal design in architecture and ensure that you have well-placed windows in your home, so that your living space gets lots of healthy natural light during the day.

At Pathway Design, we understand the value of smart window design that not only maximizes the amount of natural light in your home in the day, but also shields you from intrusive lights at night. You can rely on our team of renovation experts to guide you in the right direction when it comes to optimal window placement for your health!

4 - A healthy home is cool and comfortable

We tend to think of insulation as keeping us warm, but it can be just as effective at keeping us cool. That’s because insulation slows the movement of heat from inside to outside and vice versa.

Insulation is a great way to reduce temperature fluctuations, whether you want your home to stay cool or maintain an even temperature year-round. Insulating your attic or basement or adding more layers in your walls will help reduce temperature fluxuations and save on the amount of money you spend on air conditioning.

The Pathway team of home builders is passionate about ensuring that your home is a comfortable space to be, regardless of the season. Our dedication to universal design principles and our pioneering use of high-quality natural insulation materials such as wool and hemp has helped us to create cool, well-insulated living spaces for many of our clients - and we’d love to do the same for you!

5 - A healthy home is contaminant free

Your home is your haven. It's the place where you sleep, where you cook and where you enjoy quality time with your family. Unfortunately, your home is also a place where contaminants can lurk and make you sick. 

The most common toxic substances in your home are radon, lead paint and secondhand tobacco smoke. While some contaminants may seem minor — like chemical smells or cleaning products — they all pose serious risks to your health. While you can go to great lengths to ensure that the materials used in your home remodel are as natural and contaminant-free as possible, it takes a commitment to a contaminant-free lifestyle to maintain your healthy home.

At Pathway, we’re dedicated to helping you and your family to achieve a contaminant-free lifestyle, which is why we believe in proactive education in chemical-free cleaning methods for your home. Once your renovation is complete, one of our expert team members will walk you through the easiest ways to maintain a healthy home. By empowering you to make informed decisions when it comes to the cleaning materials and other items you bring into your home, we hope to help you to achieve optimal wellness at home.

How Pathway Design and Construction can help you to achieve a healthy home

  • Research has shown that poor air quality, extreme temperatures and noisy surroundings can all have a negative effect on your body and mind.
  • Your home's temperature, humidity and lighting all impact your family's health and general quality of life.
  • The easiest way to ensure that your home is healthy and comfortable is to keep the moisture levels in check.
  • Every aspect of insulation is meticulously examined by our team of experts to ensure that the air barrier created is properly installed and capable of keeping a home safe from moisture, condensation, and mold.
  • Natural ventilation is an easy solution to improving air quality in your home. Natural ventilation is a controlled exchange of air between indoor and outdoor environments.
  • A smart window design that maximizes natural light while shielding you from intrusive lights allows you to get a great night's sleep and wake up refreshed every day.
  • Insulation can reduce temperature fluctuations in your home, whether you want to keep it cool during the summer or warm during the winter.
  • Pathway is dedicated to helping families live healthier, chemical-free lives. We offer a variety of educational materials that you can use to learn about how you and your family can live in a healthier home equipped with the latest technologies for keeping contaminants at bay.
  • Pathway creates healthy homes for people through proactive education and chemical-free cleaning. We believe that it's not enough to help customers just when they have health concerns, so we work with them proactively through the entire construction process and beyond to ensure that their home is free of contaminants.

Choose Pathway for your healthy future

Keeping your home clean and dry is the most important factor in creating a healthy environment for your family. If you want to live in a comfortable, safe, and tidy environment, you should work towards creating an indoor environment that is free of contaminants, moisture, excess dust and smoke.

If you're concerned with how your indoor environment can affect your health and quality of life, then Pathway Design and Construction is here to help. Contact us today to hear what we can do to create your healthy home today!

About Paul Kocharhook

Paul Kocharhook, Certified Aging in Place Specialist, (CAPS), MCGP and Owner of Pathway Design & Construction, based in SODO Seattle. Download your Remodel Reality Check quick sheet and walk through the main points in a remodel project.