How Renovating Your Home Can Improve Your Health

Five amazing safety-and-wellness features to add to your home.

March 29, 2017

By Graham Templeton

The most value-adding features in housing aren’t the ones that make people feel rich—they’re the ones that make people feel safe, says Martin Pennels, a Green Building designer and consultant at EcoVan Green Construction. So forget the backsplash and embrace “wellness architecture” to improve your resale value (and your health).

1. Light Bright

Too-bright lights at night and an abundance of disruptive blue light from screens can lead to chronic disturbances in sleep and mood—so architects are designing with natural circadian rhythms in mind, using engineering plug-ins like Lark Spectral system to analyze light impact during the planning process.

2. Detox by Design

As the list of materials believed to release toxic airborne particles keeps getting longer, developers are pushing eco-friendly materials like bamboo or cork as a selling point.

3. Paint It Pure

A fresh coat of colour can release chemicals like acetone and formaldehyde for years after construction completes, so safety-minded builders are choosing paints with low or no VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

4. Up in the Air

Pennels says air quality is easily the number-one health priority for his customers; that’s why the Bjarke Ingels-designed Vancouver House condo development will use ultraviolet light and a carbon filter to purify the oxygen inside (and it’s not the only luxury development using this “air ionizer” technology).

5. #YesFilter

Clean water is now such a major concern that filters are no longer left at the tap or the jug but installed as part of a building’s water system—like builders did at the residences at the Hotel Georgia.


Check back for more from VanMag’25 Ways to Live Forever package (our March 2017 cover story!) to learn about the myriad ways—blood transfusions, juice cleanses, IV drips—Vancouverites chase the dream of eternal youth.

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