What makes a healthy house?

I attended the 2004 Interior Design Show and there was an exhibit that caught my attention. The theme of this exhibit was “What makes you wealthy?”. I saw quite a bit of creativity and brilliance at the show designing and applying new materials, new designs, and new shapes.

My question after visiting the design show is: what makes a house healthy? Or to put it another way, what makes our environment healthy? The Lalonde Report in 1976 first articulated the socio-environmental factors that affect health. Can we articulate factors that are immediate to the home environment? I ask because I participate on a home care review group (led by Dr. Peter Coyte) that examines some of the issues related to providing health care services in the home.

My first thoughts are in making the home more accessible. Simple things like making doors wider so that people with wheelchairs or walkers can easily move about. My grandmother uses a walker and my “eyes have been opened” to the many challenges of living in a average, normal home. I wonder what other ehealth applications could be applied…