For Bill Hayward, longtime owner of Monterey, Calif.,–based Hayward Lumber, the importance of indoor air quality hit a little too close to home--in fact, it forced his family out of their "dream home" in Pebble Beach, Calif., when it caused his family to become ill, and left him and his wife temporarily incapable of having more children.

Hayward Lumber has been committed to sustainable and healthy building practices for years, but Hayward's experience prompted him to found the Hayward Healthy Home Institute, or H3, an initiative dedicated to researching the impact of different building materials on human health. After "several thousand hours" of research, Hayward constructed the Hayward Healthy Home in Carmel, a new, healthy home for his family that doubles as a showroom for potential clients. “It’s incredible to believe that [providing] fresh air is an innovation in home building,” Hayward says of H3 which was officially announced on May 10. “It turns out that it is.”

Cartoon showing Bill Hayward's family on Hayward Healthy Homes website

The 3,400-square-foot, five-bedroom house Hayward built for his wife was the first outcome of the institute, but the second outcome combines Hayward’s dual talents as proselytizer and entrepreneur.

The Zehnder 350_L air-handling system
Photo courtesy of Zehnder

H3 already offers a consulting service in which, for between $2,000 and $10,000 depending on home size, experts will make recommendations to produce a healthy home meeting H3’s own standards. The initiative also serves as sales agent for several top-of-the-line products, such as a home air ventilation system from Switzerland’s Zehnder Group, that are on display in Hayward’s house.

These products transform the indoor experience by not only helping to optimize personal comfort in the home, but more importantly helping to manage some of the elements like moisture, humidity, and ventilation that can make the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy home.

The home also showcases AHHM, a new venture Hayward helped launch at the start of this year that features a climate control system in which panels deliver radiant heat and dehumidify the air. H3 also promotes View Dynamic Glass, an electrochromic product that blocks heat gain by darkening as the sun gets stronger and lightening when the sun sets or fog rolls in.

“You can now enjoy the view and don’t need to spend lots of money on blinds,” Hayward says of View Dynamic Glass. “You can’t put enough air conditioning in to counterbalance overheating.”

In addition, Hayward plans to release this summer a questionnaire that homeowners can use to rate the air quality in their own households.

“The EPA says at least 50% of illness comes from the home,” he says. “It’s a big driver for the cost of health care in America.”

Photo of Bill Hayward
John Lee

Because of the research he’s done and the decades he’s spent involved in building supply and residential construction, he says, “I realize that I can look at a house and in short order can summarize the air quality in it. We hope to interact with tens of thousands of people a month after we go live with this.”

That part of his work is related to the Hayward Healthy Home Institute, a venture he set up several years ago and which serves as his base to continue examining indoor air quality issues. He’s become a fan of Dr. Claudia Miller, an immunologist at the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio who has developed QEESI (pronounced queasy), the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory, to help people measure intolerances to chemicals.

Hayward also is intrigued by the rapid evolution of smart in-home air quality monitors. They matter, he says, because a one-time home inspection “at best gets maybe 50% of the problem” due to how the home environment changes over the course of a day.

Website screenshot showing benefits of a Hayward Healthy Home

“When an owner sees what’s involved in a healthy home by visiting one, they become pretty enamored with it,” he says. “There are three things in my house that you’ll never experience in a traditional house. The first is that it’s peacefully quiet in here: no noise, nothing ... because of air tightness. Most homes are like a car with a window open. And builders have never rolled the windows up.

“The second is comfort. When a client comes to visit our showroom, the customers say ‘Wow, I want that.’ There’s one degree of air temperature difference in the whole house.

“The third thing I say is that it’s full of healthy, fresh air,” Hayward adds. “The clients usually say ‘I noticed that when I get in.’ They say ‘I don’t feel my allergies in this house, how is that possible?’”

The home’s true worth comes in how it was built in a way that dramatically reduces mold, stale air, and temperature fluctuations. For a fee, Hayward will show you.

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