Healthy building, healthy community
The links between housing and health are getting more and more attention these days, as study after study shows that better health outcomes and savings on health costs are linked to stable and healthy housing.
Another one of these studies is on the way here in Charlottesville, thanks to a $1.2 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Dr. Jeffrey Trowbridge at the UVA Medical School and his partner, Chris Pike of the US Green Building Council. Their study will take the principles of healthy, “green” building, and create guidelines that will integrate those principles into every aspect of the construction industry.
Dr. Trowbridge wants to see these principles active here in his home town of Charlottesville–and he should be glad to know that many of them have been a part of affordable housing construction since 2002. That’s when Piedmont Housing Alliance received the first local Energy Star rating for its housing, followed up by the first LEED certified home. Like many local builders both market rate and affordable, Piedmont Housing has long incorporated energy efficient and health-conscious elements into its home and apartment rehab projects, winning awards and, more importantly, creating healthy homes that save money for homeowners.