Healthy Home Architecture is about how this custom residential Architect creates healthy houses for his clients.
HOME ARCHITECTS ® is one of the few architects on the planet to actually incorporate Healthy Home Design Building Specification requirements into their construction documents. They created the HHD Program (Healthy Home Design), over 25 years ago, long before the current global health crisis.
Rand Soellner, ArCH, founder of this company was the mitigation Architect of Record on multiple “sick” buildings for large governmental agencies (which he did not create in the first place). His company was commissioned to solve these sorts of problems and fix the buildings. He has carried on these techniques into the design of his firm’s custom mountain residences, making sure that the company’s drawings and specifications help make and keep his firm’s designs as healthy as possible.
Control of moisture penetration is part of the healthy home system. See the photo above. The company specifies quality water-resistive coatings along the outside of their foundation walls, along with proper gravel, protective membranes and filtered water drainage lines around the residences they design.
This helps keep water out of the foundation walls, and from under the crawlspaces. Keeping crawlspaces clean and dry are key to maintaining clean air and healthy conditions for the structure that help prevent mold, which can be unhealthy for people and structural elements.
Proper pressurization of your house’s interior atmosphere is also important. The HVAC system is a vital part of that. Keeping ductwork clean before the system is commissioned is crucial. Those are part of the lungs of the house.
It is also very important to have a waterproof roof with excellent substrate coating to keep water out of the house.
Quality roofing is a high-priority budget item.
This Architectural firm specifies quality roofing that may outlast some of their clients and keep water out, keeping the roof and walls and other parts of the house below healthy. Water is the enemy.
The various components of the house are designed and specified as anti-rot materials. That keeps things healthy. Materials with little to no off-gassing after installation and long before occupancy keeps the house healthy.
Encapsulated crawlspaces are very important. They help keep out water, mold, pests and moisture in general. This is a nice, white 10 mil thick polyethylene that allows the owner to easily see in here and spot any future areas needing attention. All joints were taped, then retaped, to contain the dry atmosphere. This vapor barrier at this point, really is more of a water barrier and this white membrane also goes right up the walls, containing the entire space. Foam insulation insulates the rimboards and keeps moisture out as well.
Part of the crawlspace treatment also includes having a reliable dehumidifier(s), that has a condensate drain piped to the exterior, so that the crawlspace atmosphere is clean and dry. Also, this Architect specifies a box fan on a timer, that moves the air down here around and toward the dehumidifier. Note the metal ductwork, with the insulation around its exterior surfaces. This keeps the in-duct atmosphere cleaner and more free of condensation. Speaking of which, there is another drainline to the exterior from the AHU (Air-Handling-Unit) that removes the water condensing off the coil, keeping the crawlspace clean and dry.
All of the roof gutters drain into downspouts and those are all connected to their own individual underground drainage line, that leads to more than 20′ down and away from the house, so that all that rain water can safely drain away from the house. Many houses do Not have this feature, which is why many other houses are Sick and have mold and erosion around their footings. Not the houses designed and built according to this Architecture firm. Water is the enemy: it must be planned and dealt with properly in order for the house to remain healthy.
Proper trim details and flashings:
Note how this feature board has the Architect’s trademark “Z” flashing, insuring that wind-driven rain hitting the wall will not be able to leak into the walls. Keeping wall interiors dry is just one more important aspect of this Architect’s comprehensive healthy home techniques and philosophies.
This Architect’s window details have similar principles at work, keeping them leak-free.
This Architect often specifies liquid foam insulation in the walls of his projects, filling every void, crack & crevice, leaving no room for pests or moisture, helping to keep his projects clean, quiet and consuming less electrical power to heat and cool them.
Many people seem to forget the basics. This firm specifies gypsum board over the face of the interior framing for all walls and ceilings. The IECC (International Energy Conservation Code) stipulates that drywall (gypsum board) qualifies as an Air Barrier, which is required. It is, in fact, one of the least expensive means of obtaining an air barrier. Other decorative materials, such as wood may be installed over them, if desired by the Owner. But omitting the drywall is not only a bad idea, it violates Code. Having a proper Air Barrier is one more important aspect to having a healthy house: keeping what air enters under the Owner’s control is vital.
Water Filtration Filter System:
Who could argue that this is not a good idea? The system specified by this Architect provides one of the cleanest sources of drinking water for your whole house: 4 stages: Pre, Main, Post, and UV. The UV filter actually KILLS VIRUSES. Now that’s good to know, in these challenging times. A nice professional water purification system like this only costs about $1,100 (2018) and another $500 for the Plumber to install it. Isn’t your body worth that cost for clean water for the rest of your life? And how about your wife, husband and child? Isn’t their health worth this? Highly recommended by this health-conscious Architect.
If you are interested in having a healthy custom house designed for you, contact this Architect.
Due to the complex interactions required to achieve a healthy house design, Rand Soellner and HOME ARCHITECTS ® cannot and does not make any guarantees, express or implied that your house, building or project will be completely in compliance with the indicated HHD program. The reason for this is simple; the Architect does not build your facility. Your builder constructs the built project. The design company only provides a service, not a product. Your architects do not guarantee the contractor’s performance. Because even if the designer provided intermittent on-site visits, unless they are on-site full-time observing everything that is going into your house (in the role of a Clerk of the Works) and how it is being done, the designer does not have direct knowledge 100% of that contractor’s means, methods, materials and procedures.
related article: https://www.homearchitects.com/healthy-home-design