Diagnosed with cancer that may have been traced to her long-standing interior design career, Jillian Pritchard Cooke decided to change her focus. Now, the founder of an organization focused on healthy buildings called Wellness Within Your Walls, she is putting her health experience and her design knowledge into action.
The aim of the organization is to educate. Pritchard Cooke has found that there is a lot of education that needs to happen with the consumer. She even has created a consumer-first approach, never approaching the health issue as a builder for whom product decisions may be prioritize the bottom line over health.
As she explains in this video from the Greenbuild Conference and Expo, very few home buyers know or understand the toxins associated with the things that they put inside their homes. She is listening to them to create a classification for builders that will be revealed this week at the International Builders' Show.
Another challenge she intends to tackle is simplifying the classification process so it has the opportunity to catch on. Her standard of classification is broken into three categories: natural, sustainable, and responsible. When builders are classified, they will receive tools to market and promote their healthier homes.
And just as Wellness Within Your Walls is learning from the consumer, builders are learning from the data that it’s providing. Pritchard Cooke also notes that building product suppliers are anxious and passionate about embracing this process. She says that they want to provide healthy products and that many of them want to change by choice, not because they are being forced to change.
Her prediction is that technology will lead a transformation for healthy homes in the next few years. Consumers will have access to tools that give them a much better understanding of the toxins in their homes, which will force builders into a new position to provide healthier solutions.
Pritchard Cooke understands that globally we cannot get rid of toxins. She says that the conversation shouldn’t be about getting rid of them, but rather it should be about how to deal with toxins in a positive way.