Health and Cost Burden

Challenge

Contemporary research reveals that financial burdens related to housing affordability directly undermine the health outcomes of occupants. In order to reduce the cost burden of homeownership, many low-wealth homeowners choose to live in older, low-cost, substandard housing in order to make ends meet. Unfortunately, poor in-unit conditions of substandard housing also contribute directly to both acute and chronic health conditions like respiratory infections, asthma, toxic poisoning, and other mental and physical health conditions.

Opportunity & Response

As a collateral benefit of energy and durability performance strategies that better manage thermal variation, ventilation, air infiltration, and moisture control, energy efficient and resilient home construction is increasingly understood to provide a positive correlation in the improved overall health of occupants. By intentionally integrating a material health assessment directly into our actual building performance design process, Rural Studio seeks to better understand and improve the potential health impact of our design decisions that heretofore could only be assumed in the provisioning of energy efficient, resilient, and affordable envelope solutions.

Implementation

Madison County