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©2018 by Breathe Design

HEALTHY HOMES

Many people have heard of ‘sick building syndrome’ where the causes of the occupants’ health issues are determined to be due to the internal building environment. As synthetic materials and technology have developed, decisions have often been made in favour of one set of ‘benefits’ at the expense of various side effects. This includes the well documented lead water pipes and asbestos fibre, as well as a multitude of more current materials, finishes, products and radiation sources.

 

While some people discover the potential effects the built environment can have on human beings through personal experience with chronic health issues, and make changes to their environment out of necessity, many are now choosing to create a home that is designed supports health and well being from the outset.

SUSTAINABILITY

More than just a fashionable catch-phrase, environmental sustainability is a guiding principle in all of our decisions. When fundamental concepts of sustainable design are applied to any project, there are a multitude of positive effects for the occupants and the environment.

At the most basic level it can mean additional attention paid to allowing warming natural light into the building during winter months, while preventing overheating from the summer sun.

 

Add a little extra focus on natural ventilation, local weather patterns and careful selection of appropriate building materials, and a home becomes warm in winter and cool in summer. This level can often be achieved without any extra construction costs, and will result in reduced running costs for the life of the building.

 

IDEAS FOR YOU

If you are prepared to invest in creating a home with minimal environmental impact, we are experts at selecting, integrating and balancing different elements to ensure that each complements the other to provide a solution that is greater than the sum of its parts.

 

Depending on client preferences, site constraints and local micro-climate, this could include:

  • passive solar design

  • natural ventilation

  • functional insulation

  • quality glazing systems

  • internal thermal mass construction

  • hydronic heating

  • solar water heating

  • solar power generation

  • new generation electricity storage batteries

  • dedicated electric car charging points

  • active external shading systems

  • rainwater and grey water re-use 

  • landscape design integration

 

BUILDING BIOLOGY

We are also strong proponents of the Building Biology field. Established in Europe for over 40 years, this combination of science and medicine merges with design to create spaces that support human health and minimize impacts on the environment. A fundamental concept of Building Biology is the use of natural materials that ‘breathe’ to stabilize humidity and temperature thereby improving indoor air quality.

 

Also included in this field are:

  • passive solar design

  • natural lighting and ventilation 

  • electromagnetic field mitigation

  • psychologically balanced spaces

  • geopathic energy

  • close connection with nature