Building Healthy Homes: A mission for millions


Welcome to Building Healthy Homes!

As designers, we recognize the responsibility we have to ensure that the places we create are actively shaping our communities towards a healthier and more equitable future.

It is no small feat, but one we can accomplish together — beginning with affordable homes.

Housing is one of the most influential spaces when it comes to human and environmental health. “Home” anchors our life and housing has the power to influence our social and physical health alike. So shouldn’t our projects reflect this?

Imagine! Millions of affordable homes that actively contribute to the resilience of both their residents and environments.

While lofty, this goal is not as out of reach as it may seem. There are practices across the design-build industry who are not only advocating but implementing systemic changes through healthier design decisions in their projects.

Here, we celebrate the work that is being done towards making this crucial goal a reality. In an effort to support a more transparent and collaborative design-culture, we are continuously mapping every affordable housing development across the USA that has implemented a healthy material choice.

Want to add your project to the map? Submit your project here!

What do we mean by a healthy affordable home? Read about it here.

We’re looking to showcase all kinds of projects, including experimental or prototypical spaces! If that sounds like you, hit the link above to share your work.

Check out these incredible projects and explore the map below to see what you can do in your next project!

Click on a project to learn more!

Explore all the projects in detail on our project dashboard

Check out these trends we found in the projects to find what you can do to make your next project healthier!


Paint: Includes any healthier paint product including biobased and low-to-no VOCs

Finishes: Includes any healthier stain or sealant including low-to-no VOC, and PFA and PVC free

Hemp: Includes all products that include hemp

HempLime: Refers specifically to hempcrete products using limestone as the binder

Insulation: High performing, renewable and/or recyclable material, and low-to-no toxic chemicals

Wood: Includes adhesive free, naturally bound, and hardwood products

Plywood: Bound with biobased or formaldehyde free products

Tile: Includes biobased and/or nature stone composite tiles

Clay: Includes clay flooring, plaster, and finishes

Natural Stone/Ceramics: Includes natural stone and clay-based dimensional surfaces

PFAS: Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (also known as perfluorinated chemicals PFCs) are a group of man-made chemicals widely used to make products more resistant to stains, grease and water. Studies have linked these chemicals to adverse health effects including increased cholesterol levels, low infant birth rates, immunological problems, cancer, and thyroid hormone disruption.

PVC: Polyvinyl Chloride is a Persistent Organic Pollutant Source Material. Its chloride monomer is a recognized human carcinogen. It often contains other Red List ingredients (i.e. cadmium, lead, phthalates. The production of PVC creates dioxins, specifically TCDD, which accumulate in human animal tissues. It has been linked to immune and nervous system damage, and harming the endocrine and reproductive cycles.

VOCs: Volatile Organic Compounds include a wide-range of organic chemicals that can evaporate into both interior/exterior air can cause environmental impacts such as photochemical smog. They can cause an array of health effects from respiratory irritation to human carcinogens. It is often found in on-site wet-applied products such as paints, adhesives, and sealants.

Need help getting started on your next healthy project?

Below are popular choices found in the mapped projects and case studies.

You can also explore materials you can use in our material collections and check out the learning hub to explore courses, guides, and events!

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