The front of the house is beginning to take shape! This includes a LOT of natural light in the front bedrooms – especially when you remember that these are south facing! And that was no mistake. One of our guiding design constraints was to maximize the amount of natural light and ventilation we brought into the house. We did this because we thought it would be good for our mental health when we inevitably got stuck inside in the winter each year.
But it turns out it might be even better than that!
One of the interesting things I was reading about this week is the way people a hundred years ago used sunshine and fresh air to help combat diseases like the Spanish Flu and TB. Up until the advent of antibiotics, it was really common for people who were sick to lay in rooms with fresh air from both sides, or to be wheeled outside to lay in the sunshine whenever the weather was good. And it wasn’t just common – it improved outcomes for those who were sick by upwards of 40%, while simultaneously lowering the risk of infection to health care personnel!!
We now know that vitamin D from sunshine and fresh air are good for not only our mental health, but also our physical health. We also know that fresh air interacts differently with viruses and bacteria than recirculated air.
So if you’re thinking about building accessible spaces, consider the role of natural light and natural ventilation whenever possible, and of course, support your health this week with regular time outside, open windows whenever possible and time in the sunshine!