Cancer scare inspires Sask. man to promote 'healthy' homes

When Ian Loughran was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma in 2005, he was given roughly two weeks to live.

Twelve years later, he remembers a comment made by the medical team that changed the course of his career.

"One of the things that the medical teams told me about was 'Hey, the rise in leukemias and lymphomas is really tied into the … environment,'" said Loughran.  

"That part stuck with me and so I kind of vowed to myself, if I get out of here then I'm going to move on into the sustainability world."

Loughran set about educating himself on energy-efficient building, renewable energy and alternative energy vehicles.

The air you breathe

Now working with Vereco Homes in Saskatoon and 10 years cancer-free, Loughran said it was important to make buildings "healthy" because people spend so much time inside them.

"So, not only the food and the water that you take into your body is important, it's also the air you breathe and the things around you on a day-to-day basis," he said.

"To me it's important to make buildings healthy — houses as well as commercial structures."

Saving energy

Loughran's focus is also on energy-efficiency, from solar panels and "passive" technologies and insulation.

He said it was a common misconception that "green" building is more expensive and less pleasing to the eye.  

Green homes could also save money in the long-term, he added, saying energy-efficient homes can save between 50 and 70 per cent total energy per year.

"Building green is good out of the gate and it even reduces your exposure to a potential carbon tax," said Loughran. 

Ian Loughran will be speaking about the benefits of building green at the Saskatoon Homestyles show at Prairieland Park at 4 p.m. CST on Sunday.