Babyfoot Developments Inc. (www.BabyfootDevelopments.ca), a custom, Tarion home builder headquartered in Richmond Hill, Ontario, is launching a residential product line of affordable Next Generation Living homes. This new line of ultra-energy efficient, healthy homes is targeting health-conscious home owners, as well as, consumers with pre-disposition to air-borne allergens, dry skin, chemical sensitivities and respiratory irritation. The Babyfoot designs utilize the home's orientation in conjunction with unique architectural features to maximize solar heat gain in the winter months, reducing energy heating requirements by up to 90%.
Since the 1940's, most changes to the home environment in North America have aimed to improve durability, energy conservation, general comfort, and security, as well as aesthetics. However, few have been intended to improve health directly. Cases of asthma have risen by over 25% between 2001 and 2009. Today over 25 million Americans and over 3 million Canadians are asthmatic with the highest concentration of the disease among Canadian children - 13.4%.
Several studies have been conducted since the late 1990s to derive correlations between specific housing conditions and respiratory health. Although there is still much speculation on the causes of asthma and other respiratory illnesses, strong correlations have been found between a home's indoor air quality and kids' wellbeing. In fact, a study conducted as early as 2008, in the Province of Manitoba, found that 65% of kids' bedrooms had presence of mould and that there was a strong association between reported mould in households and pediatric cases of persistent colds and asthma.