Designing Wellness In with Christy Howell of CRH Design Build

Lately, I’ve been talking about health and wellness and how much it impacts our living environment. That means how we design, build or remodel a house or building, how we live in it, and how we interact with it. 

I’m Marla, the Green Home Coach! For the last few months, I have hosted one of my business partners on the podcast. It has been exciting to build a group of people who care about how people live in their homes! 

Today, I am happy to have Christy Howell of CRH Design Build back on the show! Christy has been on The Everyday Green Home podcast several times before. I have enjoyed connecting with her and watching how she has progressed with transforming her business and how she shows up in Oklahoma and Oklahoma City as she learns more!

Mainstream culture

I moved back to Oklahoma City six years ago after living in St. Louis, where I got deeply involved with the sustainability culture. In St. Louis, the green culture eventually became part of the mainstream culture through work with the regional Chamber of Commerce. I loved being part of that evolution!

People care about their health

Christy and I have discovered a fair amount of interest in the green and sustainability culture because people care about their health. That is important because people’s health and how they live their lives blend.

Crafting the story

Oklahoma is very conservative. That sometimes closes people off from hearing the whole story. So we have learned to craft the story in a more meaningful way. 

Professional Women in Building  

Professional Women in Building is a council of the Homebuilders Association and a national council with the National Association of Homebuilders. It is all about supporting women in the building industry, trades, and the ancillary industries around the building industry. 

Like-minded go-getters

It was fun and inspiring bringing Professional Women in Building back to Oklahoma City because it brought together a group of like-minded go-getters who were all parts of the building industry! Some great personal and professional relationships have emerged from that group. 

Build My Future

Professional Women in Building was the genesis of, Build My Future, a construction career day for high school students. The Construct My Future camp for middle school students also came about after that.

Christy’s background

Christy started her career in interior design about twenty years ago. She was working for a homebuilder when she decided to spread her wings and open a design firm. After that, she moved on to her current design form, CRH Design Build. Christy is gradually educating herself as she educates others about her type of build.

A healthy home

With a wellness-inspired design aspect, a home built with a solid envelope creates a healthy home.

Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF)

Insulated Concrete Forms are well-insulated life-sized Lego blocks used to create the envelope for solid, energy-efficient, health-oriented, air-tight, comfortable homes.

Mechanical ventilation

ICF homes are air-tight, so they require mechanical ventilation. (Affordable options are readily available.)

Remodels

Remodels tend to be more expensive than new construction. 

My home remodel

We brought Christy in to do our home remodel. (Before that, she consulted with me about remodeling her parents’ home.) Being each other’s clients has been insightful for both of us! Our rebuild was green-oriented, and we also brought in some sustainability factors. Fortunately, we managed to salvage many of the old materials and donated them to be reused by those who needed them.

Why did we remodel?

Our main driver for remodeling our home was health and wellness because we spend a lot of time there. Another reason for our remodel was that during Covid, my husband and I started cooking together, but we soon discovered that our kitchen was too small.

Challenges

Some things were challenging to do. We had to work with supply chain issues, and we also had to educate our workforce about certain things and motivate them to learn some new habits. We also had to remove some click-and-lock flooring that was glued down.

Using products to their fullest capabilities

Christy likes to educate herself about the products she uses to ensure that the products she implements for her clients get used to their fullest capabilities.

Real wood floors 

Real wood floors are natural and reasonably sustainable. They are also beautiful! 

Trade-offs

There are always trade-offs because anything we touch on this planet will have an impact. So we need to accept that, be flexible, and adapt. We also need to understand how any given trade-off will impact us.

Dealing with issues

When an issue arises, Christy addresses it immediately. She communicates with the contractor and the client and does everything she can to rectify it.

Bringing our skills together

Christy and I are finding a way to bring our skills together when we work on a project. That allows us to create something better than we would have managed before. 

A video series

Our goal is to put a video series of our entire project together, from start to finish, along with some commentary on things that others may be able to use in their home remodels. We hope to have it done by August or September. Christy and I plan to put it out on our respective channels at different times. You can learn more about it on Green Home Coach, Instagram, and Facebook

Contractors

When we push contractors into the green and sustainable world, they tend to feel overwhelmed and want to keep on doing things how they did them before. Giving them information upfront helps them feel more comfortable with making a change. 

Have a great green day!

 

Links:

What Makes a Green Home Green Audio Program 

CRH Design Build 

Building in Wellness 

Pursuing Green Home Certification 

Sherwin Williams paint used in remodel 

Ask your questions on the Love Your Everyday Green Home Private Facebook Group 

Follow CRHDB on Instagram to see photos

Follow Green Home Coach on Instagram