The vision for Erth Wellness is to provide a multisensory experience beyond creating conditions for good health to create a place to recover from life’s everyday stresses. The Erth Wellness model takes a comprehensive approach to eliminate/reduce exposure to toxins within the indoor environment. Biophilic design elements reconnect us with nature to enhance overall wellbeing.
Despite improvements to our standard of living and technological advancements, the air we breathe indoors is substantially worse today than 50 years ago.
Use building materials and supplies that are as free of chemical toxins to the highest degree possible.
If an offensive building material cannot be eliminated or substituted, isolate it by sealing it off from living areas preventing penetration of off gasses.
Ensure that a high level of ventilation is always maintained through both passive and mechanical systems.
Remove any remaining pollutants in the air through a series of filtration systems that eliminate and or trap particulates, chemical, gas, odours, and biological toxins in the air.
Despite best efforts, our municipal drinking water can be contaminated and may contain many impurities that can be harmful to human health and lead to gastroenteric and other serious illnesses.
Filter and condition the municipal water supply at “point of entry” based on site specific laboratory testing. The anticipated result is a significant improvement to water quality over municipal supply and ideal for laundry, water closets, washing / bathing, dishwasher, and external water supply.
At “point of use” (for direct human consumption) install a water purification system to remove any remaining sediments, chemicals, bacteria, viruses, other contaminants, and toxins. Adjust for pH balance and re-mineralize, as may be required, providing optimal healthy water quality.
Light impacts human health, well-being, our ability to perform visual tasks, control of the body’s circadian system, affects our mood and perception. It and enables critical chemical processes in the body and mind. The type and wavelength of the artificial lighting we are exposed to can be hazardous to our health.
Exposure to natural daylight can impact our health and well-being. Early morning light stimulates the body and mind, encourages alertness, and enhances energy. Natural daylight boosts our body#8217;s vitamin D production, which is important for absorbing calcium and promoting bone growth, as well as helping prevent certain types of cancer, heart disease, depression, and weight gain. An abundance of natural daylight can also make us feel happier by triggering production and release of endorphins in the brain. Where and when possible, we limit the need for artificial light.
Artificial light can initiate undesirable chemical reactions within the human body and even damage the retina. The retina is particularly vulnerable to short wavelength radiation, found in certain blue light, with susceptibility increasing with age. Over time we can develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD). LED lights have largely replaced incandescent and CFL lights (as an energy efficiency measure) and tend to produce more blue light. Blue light can stimulate the brain to produce melanopsin disrupting sleep and cause eye strain and headaches with prolonged exposure.
During the evening hours, our bodies’ natural expectation is for blue light exposure to be diminished and be replaced with a warmer red/ yellow light and then eventually darkness. With the prevalence of modern technology, we are being overexposed to high stimulation light, altering our natural biological clock. For us to sleep deeply we need darkness,. the absence of light sends a signal to the brain to produce melatonin which helps us relax, feel drowsiness, and fall asleep. Evening light exposure inhibits melatonin production timing which in turn delays our body’s natural transition to sleep.
A good acoustic environment is essential to health. Unwanted noise, especially in dense urban environments, can have a detrimental impact on our health, well beyond being a cause for annoyance. Even when we are sleeping, our ears are working picking up sounds that are then interpreted by different parts of the brain. Studies have rated noise second to air pollution among environmental threats to public health.
Sound is nothing more than a vibration going through matter. The vibration (sound) will travel more easily if there is a solid direct path. Decoupling the pathway will effectively reduce sound vibration. Dampening is also highly effective technique to “deaden“ sound by stopping or reducing vibration especially low frequency noises.
The more mass an object has, the better it will impede the transmission of sound. For sound to conduct, it has to move the object, even ever so slightly. A heavier wall limits sound transmission more than a lighter wall.
Air cavities will resonate, acting like a speaker. Softer materials within an assembly can effectively absorb sound and materially limit transmission.
Our modern connected lifestyle has meant that our exposure to electronics and wireless communication technology is commonplace and arguably ever increasing. The health impacts of both electromagnetic fields (EMF) and radiofrequency radiation (RF) on the human body has become an area of increasing concern and investigation. with Evidence shows that material negative health impacts may exist., The scientific community, However, has not yet reached consensus on the related biological effects. Given that it is almost impossible to avoid exposure, and out of an abundance of caution, our designs aim to mitigate exposure risk.
Many electronic devices provide the option of hardwiring your internet connection (using ethernet cable) instead of connecting wirelessly whenever possible. This reduces exposure to electromagnetic radiation with the added benefit of creating a higher quality connection. Our designs will offer extensive pre-wiring throughout the house.
We can dramatically reduce exposure while we sleep when we are the most vulnerable and sensitive to impacts. Simply turning off unnecessary devices at night will dramatically reduce exposure risk.
Being able to sleep regularly is essential to maintain good health. While you are sleeping, cells in your body are rejuvenating and repairing any damage suffered during the day, strengthening your immune system. EMF may decrease your natural ability to repair unhealthy cells. As a precautionary measure, electronic devices should be kept at least 6 ft (2m) away from your headboard.
In addition to a “whole body” (Air, Water, Light, Sound & EMF) approach we introduce elements to create the conditions for “pleasure of mind”. In a world which is becoming increasingly urbanized, the need for people to live in spaces with restorative biological attributes has never been greater. Erth Homes are designed to have pervasive biological connections with nature, this is referred to as biophilia. Extensive research, on the intersection of neuroscience and architecture, supports the positive impacts of biophilic design on human health and well-being.
Biophilic design establishes a stronger and more direct connection with nature, by blurring the line between the indoor and outdoor environments. A successful application of this approach integrates all of the human senses and natural emotional associations with the quality of space which is ingrained within the DNA of the human species.
In contrast to the physical threats within the built environment, biophilia addresses the adverse impacts of increased urbanization and technological proliferation in society and provides a restorative strategy to achieve health and well-being.
Adding elements of nature to indoor spaces can induce positive changes in cognition and emotion. This can reduce stress and improve the health and well-being of occupants. Use nature as an inspiration for design with its varying and fractal patterns, colours, shapes, volumes, sizes, textures, and other characteristics.
Beauty can be defined as visual input that provides pleasure to the mind. Design using aesthetic elements to provide emotional stimuli to trigger pleasure.
Adding natural elements, like plants or a water feature for example, may also introduce fragrances, sound and humidity that improve the microclimate and purify the air.