Introducing our New Periodic Table of Sustainable Elements!
On April 25th, at Napa’s Earth Day Celebration, Healthy Buildings proudly introduced our newly updated Periodic Table of Sustainable Elements.
The most noticeable change is the addition of our “orange” elements, which represent community and connectedness. Through our collaboration with Thriving Communities, we have seen how loneliness and isolation have become an epidemic around our country and the developed world. Privacy and separateness are the standard for single and multi-family homes, and because of this, people do not know how to connect with their neighbors. As the Healthy Buildings employee handbook states, we demonstrate “A strong desire to make a difference in the world – to help improve the built environment and, through it, the health of our residents and our planet.” We now include the psychological health of residents in our Table, which is the primary guide for what we do and why.
Here is a brief introduction to our newest “elements”:
- Community Gardens – provide access to fresh food, and create an area where people can connect through gardening
- Financial Accessibility – including affordable, workforce, and secondary unit housing (“granny units”), implement a “rent-to-own” program in our condominiums
- Kid and Pet Friendly – gated central courtyard, high visibility from homes
- People Inside, Cars Outside – no cul du sac here! The road and parking are relegated to the perimeter of the community, so the front doors of homes face each other instead of the street
- Ease of Mobility – ADA standard hallway and doorway widths, lower countertops, and other features that make our homes more easily accessible for the physically disabled
- Patios and Porches Face Each Other – this private/public space allows people to be “at home” while being connected to the community
- Connected Community – residents have the opportunity to know their neighbor
- Homes Around the Central Courtyard – front doors face a central public greenspace
- Kitchen Sink Faces Central Courtyard – an easy place to watch kids and pets play, and see what is going on in the community
- Direct Current Electricity – energy is produced via on-site sources (solar, wind, etc) allowing for lower voltage requirements