Jun 10th, 2010
Is green housing synonymous with healthy housing?
Can building practices that save energy and water also benefit our health? And if so, how much?
Surprisingly, we don’t yet know.
Most green building practices are those that maximize energy and water efficiency. But recent research questions whether these green building standards are sufficient to also protect our health. Can the investments we make in greening our buildings also improve the health of the occupants?
With funding from HUD’s Green and Healthy Homes Technical Studies Program, the Stardust Center assembled a team of ASU faculty, researchers, and graduate students to examine the impacts of green building practices on residents’ health and indoor environmental quality on one of the most vulnerable residential populations: low-income seniors.
The City of Phoenix and residents of Sunnyslope Manor participated with the ASU research team in this two-year study, which is called the “Green Apple Project” (based on the adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”). With funding from the ARRA Green Retrofit Program, the City’s Housing Department is retrofitting Sunnyslope Manor, a project-based Section 8 housing for seniors. Over the years as the retrofit begins and after it is completed, the Green Apple Project examines how incorporating this array of green building results in improved indoor environment quality and resident health, and the cost-effectiveness of these changes, including projected savings in healthcare costs.