If you are planning to build a healthy home your first step is to find a site that will support health. Evaluating the vitality of a site is nothing new.
The following was written by Vitruvius, the renowned Roman Architect, in 20BC:
“Our ancestors, when about to build a town or an army post, sacrificed some of the cattle that were want to feed on the site proposed and examined their livers…they never began to build … in a place until after they had made many such trials and satisfied themselves that good water and good food had made the liver sound and firm.”
While naturally occurring conditions were once the only health considerations, they pale in comparison to the potential impact of man-made hazards. Here are some tips:
1. Choose a site with clean air. Determine prevailing winds and seasonal changes in prevailing winds and know what is up wind from you.
2. Avoid industrial areas, traffic corridors, agricultural lands that have pesticide applications.
3. Evaluate levels of light and noise pollution at different times of day/night.
4. Avoid proximity to high voltage power lines, microwave relay stations, cell phone and broadcast towers and smart meter radiation.
5. Consider past use, current activities and future development potential and how these might impact the site.
6. Become a keen observer of your site. Learn about the man-made impacts. Study the interplay of natural forces over time, the flora, fauna, wind, sun moisture patterns and history of weather and fire events.
If you don’t own a herd of cows…no worries, here is a list of professionals whom you can call on to help you make this important evaluation.
• a geotechnical engineer to determine the bearing and drainage capacity of your soils
• an architect for design considerations
• local zoning and planning departments or consultant to learn about building restrictions and current and future potential neighborhood developments.
• a permaculture expert to gain insight into the natural patterns and flows of your site
• a Building Biologist to measure levels of electro-magnetic radiation
• a dowser to find well location and map geopathic stress zones
Once you own a site, there are many design strategies that can help you mitigate problems and create solutions so your land extends your living space, grows your food, filters your air, surrounds you with pleasant sounds, sights and smells, collects your water and provides a sanctuary for a diversity of benign wildlife.