A home is a sanctuary
Where we relax, heal and rejoice.
Ones shelter is the biggest investment one makes today. It has evolved from a mere cave to a virtual spaceship in design, complexity and toxicity.
If it wasn't for the amount of off-gassing modern modern materials emit, the amount of positive ions (which are actually negative) modern homes create, and the toxic effects they have on the environment, workers and inhabitants, I'd be all for them.
It started to resonate with me while attending the British Columbia Institute of Technology finishing carpentry program in Vancouver. Walking through the main building one day I happened upon a trades conference for builders. While at the CMHC (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation) table I noticed a display on the amount of off-gassing each building material gives off into the home.
Basically it takes 5-7 years for each material to off gas their VOC's (volatile organic compounds). These are some of the worst chemicals known to industry. Mostly carcinogenic and nerve agents.
Now that homes are mandated to be air tight, this furthers the problem especially in a country that has its windows closed for at least half the year.
We now know that natural materials such as wood, clay, lime, stone, and natural paints such as linseed are much less harmful to both humans and planet.
I put it this way to my potential clients. Lets pick some modern building materials that we are considering building with. Lets plan a picnic downstream from the factory that is producing this material. Lets go for a swim with our children, catch a fish and eat that fish for lunch. If we are satisfied with the day, then we can build with that material.
I attempted to do this with my family and we have now shifted our attention to more local materials from the surface of the earth that come from within the watershed of the building site.