clare sherriff : architectural historian

The Healthy Buildings Book will be a general read on the subject giving a brief the history of healthy buildings from the Romans onwards. It discusses the work of leading academics and environmentalists concerning the toxins in our world, the types of materials we use to build now and what the future might hold. It describes in detail how to build a Healthy House. Clare has recently completed The Healthy House in Henley on Thames a small 3 bedroom end of terrace – a perfectly average sized house - which is toxin- and chemical-free. The aim is to show the building industry that it is possible to build a toxin-free house – you don’t have to be a millionaire to do this - the equitable build price being roughly 20% more. If the building industry were to take up the idea prices would inevitably fall.

Is your home in sync with your health?

Our homes are places of comfort and refuge – most of us have a deep love affair with what lies within our four walls - living there should be a life-enhancing experience. Here’s the big question – do you think that your home – the place where you spend the greater part of your life – can affect your health? Have you ever considered what lies beneath your house or flat, in terms of geologies and infrastructures and whether the materials it is made from are healthy for you? Do you think about the level of Wi-Fi emissions around your home, its proximity to telephone masts, electrified rail-systems, underground water, or land-fill sites... and could these possibly collectively, or individually, affect your health? We spend 80% of our lives indoors; long-term bombardment by any one detrimental element could logically affect our bodies, and possibly our health. I became interested in the issues surrounding house health when my own health was dramatically changed by looking at the environment of my home. I’ve written a series of articles on this subject.

Connecting the romans, upcycling and NASA’s sustainability base shows how the Roman architect Vitruvius believed that the primary consideration in building was the selection of a health-giving site. For most of us in today’s world this is rarely an option. Interestingly some of the Roman architect Vitruvius’ ideas key into the concept of Upcycling today, which in turn connect to NASA’s Sustainability Base, a prototype for healthy living in the twenty-first century.

Toxic shock discusses how our world has changed in the last fifty years to an environment laden with pollutants and manufactured electromagnetics.

Digging deep encourages us to contemplate what lies beneath us in terms of geologies, water, landfill, communications, sewers and the like.

Creating health enhancing buildings looks at current developments in the fields of health and architecture. It’s not necessarily the individual problem that is potentially a major constraint in creating health-enhancing buildings, but the interconnectedness between the various agencies and pollutants, that leading environmentalists are suggesting we need to consider in our world today.

I am currently researching the connection between health and architecture, how different cultures experienced this, and contemporary and future developments in this field.

Arnold Mitchell (1863-1944) Exporting Englishness and The Bromsgrove Guild