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Recommended Architectural Features for Multi-Family Housing
To Better Accommodate Residents
with Chemical and Electrical Sensitivities
  1. No composite, particleboard or other formaldehyde or phenol-emitting "wood product" shelving, kitchen or bathroom cupboards, or for closet doors in unit;

  2. Hard surface (moppable) low-VOC (volatile organic compound) flooring in unit and path of travel;

  3. Plumb and wire unit for washer and dryer for installation by resident;

  4. Wire unit and path of travel for ballast-free light fixtures as an alternative to fluorescent or halogen, provide means of stopping power to stove clock;

  5. Large cupboard or walk-in closet, equivalent or bigger than other residents' storage in common area, wired for an exhaust fan or with operable window;

  6. Finish walls and ceiling of unit and paths of travel with no or low-VOC-emitting durable surface or coating; finish exteriors with metal siding, autoclaved aerated concrete, other low-maintenance pre-colored surface;

  7. Install wiring and outlets adequate for electric cooking, space heaters, air filters, hot water, air conditioning, medical equipment on independent circuits; no gas appliances or gas heat for unit;

  8. Design landscaping to require no chemical maintenance, use plantings that mitigate airborne mold or pollens upwind or along the paths of travel to the unit and common areas; no combustion-fueled landscape maintenance equipment i.e. leaf-blower, lawn mower, chain saw;

  9. Install wiring for neighbors’ and complex’ electrical appliances elsewhere than adjacent to the unit (so no common wall, ceiling or floor backing electrical panel, refrigerator, fluorescents, computer, microwave oven, re-chargers, transformers, cell or portable phone equipment of neighbors);

  10. Placement of unit: protect from cell phone tower, substation, power lines; laundry exhaust, smokers' units or gathering place; barbeque or outdoor cooking area; swimming pool chlorine fumes; landscaping with chemical maintenance, airborne mold or pollen; asphalt, traffic or parking lot fumes, combustion or gas fumes.

    Susan Molloy, M.A.,
    8657 Hansa Trail, Snowflake, AZ 85937,
    (928) 536-4625,

    New Horizons Independent Living Center,
    8085 E. Manley Dr.,
    Prescott Valley, AZ 86314,
    (928) 772-1266, 800-406-2377,

    HEAL of Southern Arizona, c/o Ariel Barfield,
    1624 E. Waverly,
    Tucson, AZ 85719,
    (520) 327-4679,

    Phoenix HEAL, c/o Melinda Honn,
    46619 N. 12th Lane,
    New River, AZ 85087,
    (623) 742-0126,