A Green Housing Series: A New Prescripition for Asthma Suffers: Healthy Homes
Sixty Breathe Easy Homes, designed to mitigate asthma triggers,were built as part of the Seattle Housing Authority's (SHA) highly acclaimed High Point HOPE VI redevelopment in West Seattle. The 1600-unit High Point redevelopment is a model of energy efficiency and green building: units exceed local energy code requirements by 30 to 50 percent and meet Seattle's Built Green standards at a 3-star level or higher all rental units are Energy STAR qualified. While all of the housing at High Point was constructed to healthy, green building standards, Breathe Easy Homes incorporated additional features to lower risk factors associated with respiratory ailments and substantially reduce triggers that spark asthma. They are among the first homes in the nation built specifically to improve indoor air quality. A year after the first residents moved in, findings indicate that asthma sufferers and their doctors may want to reconsider how to treat asthma in the future -- a healthier home appears to be a critical compliment to medical management of asthma through prescription drugs.