Designing for Health

June 9th, 2011

Clint Good

Photo by Sarah Huntington Photography

After being exposed to a variety of toxic substances while renovating his home in 1980, Clint Good, class of ’77, developed hypersensitivities to compounds in paints, adhesives and other building materials. He was just 27 years old. Good visited numerous doctors as he struggled to regain his health.

He began paying close attention to the environment he lived in. He moved out of the city to find cleaner air. He began filtering his water, started growing much of his own food, and used mind-over-matter techniques to overcome anxiety about exposure to toxins.

That experience had a direct and enormous effect on Good’s career as an architect. (After attending EMU, he earned an architecture degree from Catholic University in Washington DC; his daughter, Bethany Good, graduated from EMU in 2004.)
“How could I specify products that go into people’s buildings that could make them sick?” he says. “That was my call to action.”
In 1984, Good designed his own special “ecological” house to safeguard his health. After that project received attention in an architecture magazine, Good started getting calls from interested people across the country and around the world. In 1988, his self-published book, Healthful Houses: How To Design and Build Your Own, became one of the first on the subject.

Now working from his office in Northern Virginia, Good has designed healthy homes and buildings for clients throughout the Americas, as well as in Asia and Europe, and has spoken widely in the field on how to build to protect occupants’ health.