Can you put a price on wellbeing or creating healthy environments? If you are investing money in a home, shouldn’t it give you a sense of well being? Shouldn’t it provide a healthy environment for you and your family to reside? And shouldn’t we be able to go to work in healthy buildings?
Sick building syndrome gets a lot of attention these days and there are numerous commercials for allergy and asthma remedies. It is comforting to know there is also a focus on architecture for wellbeing. Two examples are the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), and Wellbeing In Sustainable Environments (WISE), a group formed by an Architect and Professor of Sustainable Building Design and Wellbeing at The Institute of Health, just to name a few.
We reference ancient building practices a lot and for a good reason. Historically, buildings and structures were designed and created for the sole purpose of protection from the elements. In ancient times these buildings and structures were constructed of materials that people had access to; reeds covered in mud and bones with hides stretched over them. Jericho, in 8000 BC, is one of the earliest known uses of bricks made from clay and baked in the sun. These were not expensive materials but they were accessible and proved to be effective.
The Romans built with and created new materials out of stone and fired brick, and developed mortars, paints, and plasters out of Limestone . Once again, not expensive at that time, but accessible, effective and completely natural.
We have access to these same concepts and materials today in the form of mineral based plaster, stuccos, and paints. If you are building from scratch and using a masonry, wood or any other natural material as the skeleton for your home, any of the above mineral products used on this type of surface can last hundreds of years, and are very price effective. That means one can use materials that are natural, sustainable, aesthetically beautiful, provide a natural ambience and a healthy home environment. This is the concept of well being. Creating and living in a system that co-exists, and not in opposition, to the natural world we live in, and that during the time we occupy our work and living spaces, contributes to our physical and physic well being.
Mineral based paints, like Potassium Silicates, derived from stone, carbonize with the air, returning to their mother element “stone”, become one with their surfaces, even strengthening them yet remaining permeable. Because of their porosity, better airflow/exchange is possible for any dwelling. Another great advantage of mineral based paints, especially if you live in a humid climate, is that the high pH prevents bacteria and mold from forming on their surfaces. Mineral based paints are even flame retardant and produce no toxic fumes in the presence of fire.
These paints also emit negative and positive ions creating rooms that energize your well being and a healthy environment. So, why not use proven practices and materials that we know will provide a healthier environment for us? Whether in a work place or a home, it is easily achievable.