Healthy Building Practices

Building and operating healthy, affordable housing

Home environments have a recognized impact on residents' health, and housing that is well designed and operated can positively impact residents' health. The use of non-toxic materials, property designs amenities that promote physical activity, services that help residents maintain their health, and energy and water retrofits that promote good indoor air quality are all ways that affordable housing owners can promote healthy living environments.

As part of Bringing Sustainability Home, SAHF works with affordable housing providers to pilot, assess, and integrate a range of healthy buildings practices as part of our commitment to providing quality living spaces. 

Incorporating Resident Benefits in Efficiency Decisions

Energy and water efficiency upgrades deliver financial, health, comfort, education, and social resiliency benefits to residents.  Find out more about the relationship between different building upgrades and residents and how to conscientiously incorporate resident benefits in retrofit decision making by accessing SAHF's Driving toward the Greater Good white paper and Resident Benefits Indicator tool. 

Building Certifications and Health

Several building certification programs address health in buildings, including:

Additional Resources from Industry Partners

E4TheFuture’s Occupant Health Benefits of Residential Energy Efficiency report identifies the potential health benefits of residential energy efficiency upgrades.

Energy Efficiency for All's Policy Matters: Making Energy Upgrades Healthier for Residents, Workers, and Neighbors discusses how to make healthier choices when it comes to energy efficiency upgrades like insulation and air-sealing.

Green & Healthy Homes Initiative’s Achieving Health and Social Equity through Housing: Understanding the Impact of Non Energy Benefits in the United States develops a framework for understanding the connection between the multiple benefits of energy efficiency upgrades and social determinants of health.

The Healthy Building Network's HomeFree Initiative supports affordable housing leaders who are improving human health by using less toxic building materials. Check out their demonstration projects and resources such as recommended product specifications.