Publications


After Paris: What’s at stake for the building industry

Adele Houghton (2017). Building Design + Construction.

Sectors: Climate Change, Public Health, Green Building

Article laying out what the building sector stands to lose if the federal government stops participating in the movement to build a climate-sensitive society.


Is a Healthy Development a Better Investment? Using HIAs to Quantify Health Benefits

Co-Author (2017). Co-Author: Ellen Schwaller. ULI Houston Blog.

Sectors: Public Health, Green Building

This blog post walks through the value of using health impact assessments (HIAs) to inform design decisions. It also summarizes the results of several HIAs performed in Houston.


BHP Local Spotlight: Cycling in Houston

Co-Author (2017). Co-Author: Ellen Schwaller. ULI Houston Blog.

Sectors: Public Health, Green Building

This blog post lays out a local case for the health benefits of enhancing cycling infrastructure in the Bayou City.

An Approach to Developing Local Climate Change Environmental Public Health Indicators in a Rural District

Lead Author (2017). Co-Authors: Jessica Austin, Abby Beerman, Clayton Horton. Journal of Environmental and Public Health. Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3407325.

Sectors: Climate ChangePublic Health

This article fills a gap in public health practice by developing climate and health environmental public health indicators for a local public health department in a rural area. Using a three-step review process, we identified primary climate-related environmental public health hazards for the region (extreme heat, drought, and flooding) and a suite of related exposure, health outcome, population vulnerability, and environmental vulnerability indicators. The local health department plans to use the results to enhance three key areas of existing services: epidemiology, public health preparedness, and community health assessment.

Climate and Health Addendum to 2015 Green River Community Health Assessment

Lead Author (2016). Green River District Health Department.

Sectors: Climate ChangePublic Health

Recognizing the role that weather and climate play in the human and economic health of rural regions such as the Green River District in Western Kentucky, this report was developed to supplement the findings of the 2015 Green River Community Health Assessment. It is designed to bring an evidence base to conversations about existing environmental hazards that may be exacerbated by climate change, as well as new hazards that may appear as temperatures warm. The report findings will be incorporated into the community engagement process for the 2018 Community Health Assessment update.

Assessing Climate Change and Health Vulnerability at the Local Level: Travis County, Texas

Co-Author. Lead Author: Natasha Prudent. Co-Author: George Luber. Disasters journal. Volume 40, Issue 4 (2016), doi:10.1111/disa.12177.

Sectors: Climate ChangePublic Health

Article in a peer-reviewed journal presenting a measure to help comprehend population vulnerability to potential flooding and excessive heat events using health, built environment and social factors. The goal was to measure flooding and excessive heat event vulnerability as proxies for population vulnerability to climate change for Travis County, Texas. The assessment identified communities where baseline poor health, social marginalization and built environmental impediments intersected. Such assessments may assist targeted interventions and improve emergency preparedness in identified vulnerable communities, while fostering resilience through the focus of climate change adaptation policies at the local level.


Building Healthy Places: How Does Houston Stack Up?

Adele Houghton (2015). ULI Houston Blog.

Sectors: Public Health, Green Building

Five-part blog series identifying the health concerns outlined in the ULI Building Healthy Places Toolkit that are most relevant to Houstonians.


COP21 SERIES: Designers Should Be Health Advocates at the Paris Negotiations

Adele Houghton (2015). Health and Human Rights Journal blog.

Sectors: Climate Change, Public Health, Green Building

Op-ed calling on design professionals to lead the way towards building a low carbon, resilient, and healthy world.


Climate Change: An Opportunity for Healthcare Design

Adele Houghton (2015). Healthcare Design blog.

Sectors: Climate Change, Public Health, Green Building

Op-ed calling for the health care sector to take a leadership role in protecting their patients from the health effects of climate change.


Debunking the 5 Myths of Health Data and Sustainable Design

Adele Houghton (2014). Building Design + Construction.

Sectors: Public Health, Green Building

This article debunks certain myths that stand in the way of successfully incorporating health data into the project delivery process.

An Approach to Developing Local Climate Change Environmental Public Health Indicators, Vulnerability Assessments, and Projections of Future Impacts

Lead Author: Adele Houghton. Co-Author: Paul English. Journal of Environmental and Public Health. Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 132057.

Sectors: Climate ChangePublic Health

Environmental public health indicators (EPHIs) are used by local, state, and federal health agencies to track the status of environmental hazards; exposure to those hazards; health effects of exposure; and public health interventions designed to reduce or prevent the hazard, exposure, or resulting health effect. Climate and health EPHIs have been developed at the state, federal, and international levels. However, they are also needed at the local level to track variations in community vulnerability and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions designed to enhance community resilience. This review draws on a guidance document developed by the U.S. Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists’ State Environmental Health Indicators Collaborative climate change working group to present a three-tiered approach to develop local climate change EPHIs. Local climate change EPHIs can assist local health departments (LHDs) in implementing key steps of the 10 essential public health services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Building Resilience Against Climate Effects framework. They also allow LHDs to incorporate climate-related trends into the larger health department planning process and can be used to perform vulnerability assessments which can be leveraged to ensure that interventions designed to address climate change do not exacerbate existing health disparities.


Central Corridor Workshop: Using Health Data as a Design Tool

Adele Houghton (2014). Prepared for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Sectors: Climate Change, Public Health, Green Building

This report summarizes the proceedings from a workshop held in Saint Paul, MN on May 14, 2014, introducing the roles that population health data and Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) can play in the real estate development process.


Health in Context: A new role for green building design

Adele Houghton (2014). Manuscript for AIA conference, "The Value of Design: Design & Health."

Sectors: Climate Change, Public Health, Green Building

This report considers the evidence of green building strategies' (as defined by LEED) influence on community health.

Extreme Weather and Climate Readiness: Toolkit for State and Territorial Health Departments (2014)

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials Climate Change Collaborative. Lead Author: Adele Houghton

Sectors: Climate ChangePublic Health

Recognizing that the changing climate is a significant threat to the health of our communities, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) has created this toolkit to help state and territorial health agencies enhance their climate readiness, program by program. The toolkit offers practical steps for integrating climate readiness into seven public health topic areas: air quality, water safety, vector-borne and zoonotic disease, food safety, chemical safety, healthy sustainable communities and injury prevention, and natural disaster emergency preparedness. Worksheets have been provided throughout the toolkit to assist readers in performing Climate Readiness Assessments in each topic area.


Climate Change and Public Health: Q&A with Adele Houghton

Interview with Texas Observer (2014).

Sectors: Climate Change, Public Health, Green Building

Questions ranged from an overview of the links between green building, climate change, and public health to examples of current activities across the state to bring these three sectors together and opportunities for future action.

Developing Climate Change Environmental Public Health Indicators: Guidance for Local Health Departments (2013)

Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) State Environmental Health Indicators Collaborative Climate Change Subcommittee. Lead Author: Adele Houghton

Sectors: Climate ChangePublic Health

This guidance document outlines a three-tiered approach to establishing a local climate change environmental public health tracking (EPHT) program — placing emphasis on opportunities to partner with external resources at the local, state, and federal levels. It also explains how climate and health tracking programs can support LHDs’ efforts to provide the 10 Essential Services of Public Health and to achieve accreditation.

Public Health and Climate Change: A Guide for Increasing the Capacity of Local Public Health Departments (2012)

The Resource Innovation Group, Biositu, LLC

Sectors: Climate ChangePublic Health

The new guidebook provides a much-needed framework for initiating and integrating climate planning within county, regional, and tribal public health departments and agencies. The strategies and activities presented in the guidebook enhance efforts to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for impacts. Press release.

The guidebook is divided into four sections:

Section One: Overview of the impacts of climate change on public health.

Section Two: Opportunities and strategies for integrating climate planning across programs.

Section Three: Strategies for identifying and building unique external collaborations to help users meet their goals in a resource-efficient way.

Section Four: Recommendations for communicating with varied stakeholders.

Climate Change-Related Vulnerabilities and Local Environmental Public Health Tracking through GEMSS: a web-based visualization tool

Adele Houghton, Natasha Prudent, James E. Scott, Richard Wade, George Luber (2012). Applied Geography 33: 36-44.

Sectors: Climate ChangePublic Health

This article presents a novel methodology for building awareness around how climate change is likely to impact community and neighborhood health.Environmental public health indicators have been identified (using existing, national data sets in most cases) and linked to an open-access, online GIS viewer to facilitate visualization of possible associations between climate change policies and neighborhoods that are particularly vulnerable to climate-related environmental hazards such as heat waves and flash flooding.

Health Impact Assessments: A Tool for Designing Climate Change Resilience into Green Building and Planning Projects

Adele Houghton (2011). Journal of Green Building, 6(2): 66-87.

Sectors: Climate Change, Public Health, Green Building

This article demonstrates how health impact assessments, a tool commonly used in community planning, can inform design decisions specific to individual building projects and campus sustainability plans.

LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction—Healthcare Supplement

Adele Houghton, lead author (2010). Washington, D.C.: US Green Building Council.

Sectors: Green Building

Recognizing that the average hospital project differs from the average office building in terms of size, operating hours, the vulnerability of many of its occupants, the comprehensiveness of its regulations, and the complexity of its priorities, the USGBC has released a rating system tailored to the healthcare sector. The healthcare supplement provides technical advice for prerequisites and credits that are either new to the LEED for Healthcare Rating System or substantially altered from LEED for New Construction.

Greening Our Built World: Costs, Benefits, and Strategies

Greg Kats (2010). Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
Adele Houghton, contributing author.

Sectors: Green Building

Chapter 1.8, "Green Health Care: Assessing Costs and Benefits," reports findings from a study conducted by the Green Guide for Health Care of first-cost construction premiums associated with 13 LEED-certified and -registered healthcare facilities completed between 2003 and 2009.

Addressing Climate Change and Local Public Health: The Austin Climate Protection Program and the CDC Working Group on Climate Change Collaboration

Adele Houghton, Natasha Prudent, Jake Stewart, Sascha Petersen, Rachel Thompson (2009). Journal of Environmental Health, 71(8), 18-19.

Sectors: Climate ChangePublic Health

This article introduces the relationship fostered between the Austin/Travis County Department of Health and Human Services and the Austin Climate Protection Program to link public health efforts with local climate change policies and programs.

Demystifying First-Cost Green Building Premiums in Healthcare

Adele Houghton, Gail Vittori, Robin Guenther (2009). Health Environments Research & Design (HERD) Journal, 2(4), 10-45.

Sectors: Green Building

This article evaluates the findings from the first-cost premiums study outlined above, concluding that in spite of the absence of a standard for defining what constitutes a green building premium for healthcare projects, they appear to be diminishing over time as key green building priorities (such as occupant health & safety, operational efficiency, and community benefit) are integrated into the larger project goals.

Green Guide for Health Care™ – Building Momentum Toward High Performance Healing Environments

Gail Vittori, Adele Houghton (2007). Hospital Engineering & Facilities Management: official report of the International Federation of Hospital Engineering (IFHE), Reference Section, 1-2.

Sectors: Green Building

This article reviews the transformative impact of the Green Guide for Health Care on the healthcare sector in the U.S. and sets an agenda for future progress towards an ecological approach to healthcare construction and operations, laying emphasis on the importance of expanding opportunities for research and professional education.

Looking Forward: Lessons from the Green Guide for Health Care™ Pilot Program

Gail Vittori, Adele Houston (2006). eco-structure, July-August.

Sectors: Green Building

This article highlights the successes of the Green Guide for Health Care Pilot Program, which tested the benefits associated with bringing a health-based approach to green building and operations.

 

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