Friday, 17 July 2015 09:58

Four Examples of Designs that Reduce the Site-Specific Health Risks of Climate Change. Example 1: Air Pollution.



Air Pollution

Health Impact

Climate change is projected to increase ground level ozone and/or particulate matter, which can exacerbate respiratory conditions like asthma. (Source: 3rd National Climate Assessment.)


The site selected for the Jack London Gateway Senior Housing project in West Oakland, CA, suffers from poor outdoor air quality due to its proximity to several freeways and the Port of Oakland. Elderly are more vulnerable to the negative health effects of air pollution than the general population. A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) performed by Human Impact Partners recommended identifying sources of air pollution by measuring current levels of particulate matter at several locations on the site and researching the Port’s plans for expansion.

Design Strategy

The entrance of the 55-unit complex was located inside a courtyard oriented away from the freeways and Port and towards the existing neighborhood. Balconies facing the freeway were converted into bay windows. And, air filters were installed in all residential units and common spaces.

Relevant LEED v4 Credit(s)

Site assessment
Minimum indoor air quality performance
Enhanced indoor air quality strategies

Benefits to Climate Change Mitigation

Integrating the complex into the existing neighborhood encourages alternative forms of transportation, which reduces single vehicle car use.

Benefits to Climate Change Adaptation

Reduce exposure of a vulnerable population (the elderly) to air pollution.

Continue to Extreme Heat Example.

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Copyright: © Biositu, LLC, and Building Public Health, 2015.

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