Healthy Housing Research Institute

Welcome to the website of the Healthy Housing Research Institute and the proposed Rockvale Sanctuary, located in the town of Rockvale, Colorado, 81244 (between Florence and Cañon City).

My name is Gary Johnson. I am a retired electrical engineering professor from Kansas State University, and have Electromagnetic HyperSensitivity (EHS). Cell phone and WiFi signals make me ill, although I am not nearly as sensitive as many with EHS. I tolerate the ambient fields fairly well where I live in Cañon City, Colorado, as long as there are no cell phones or WiFi in the house. But I decided to look for a place with lower field strengths where I might build a house (if necessary) and bought 59 acres in Rockvale, Colorado, on foreclosure in March, 2012. The property includes a gulch or box canyon with very low signals. I could not identify any place on earth where EHS was being investigated, so I proposed the establishment of the ElectroMagnetic Sensitivity Research Institute (EMSRI) to do research on methods to improve the wellbeing of those of us with EHS. The dream was to recruit medical personnel, biochemists, engineers, and other technical people to do funded research on many aspects of EHS. In 2017 there is still only one researcher (me), doing research on healthy housing out of my retirement assets. It appears to be time to sharpen the focus, to make plans that one person has some hope of completing. EMSRI had not been legally established, so I changed the proposed name to the Healthy Housing Research Institute (HHRI). The new name suggests that housing will be built and evaluated as to perceived health effects by those living in the housing, with the assumption being that tenants will have EHS and/or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

I have been rearranging assets and accumulating cash, and am very close to having enough on hand to build a four bedroom, four bath off-grid house in the bottom of the gulch. I have been debt free since 1983 and hope to continue that tradition as long as I can. The house would work for a single family, which is how it will be permitted, but can also be used as an informal guesthouse. Someone who suspects they are EHS comes and stays a few days or weeks. They share the kitchen and share household expenses, probably on the order of the price of a cheap motel. Any money received will be reinvested in off-grid cabins elsewhere on the 59 acres. The house itself will probably be south-facing, passive solar, concrete slab on grade, with metal siding and metal roof (to reflect incoming signals). This is conventional and relatively inexpensive construction. One unusual technique will be to fill the interior stud walls with slag from the steel mill 35 miles away. The slag will absorb whatever fields get through the metal siding and roof, act as thermal mass for passive solar, and help deaden sound between rooms. I will carefully document costs and construction techniques, on this website and by YouTube videos. I will set up a signal generator and transmitting horn antenna outside the house and measure the field strengths inside the house, before and after the slag is put into the interior walls. The hope is that the attenuation of field strengths from outside to inside will be enough that those with EHS could live in similar construction most places in the country.

When enough money has been accumulated to build a second unit, probably a one or two bedroom cabin, it will be built using refinements and lessons learned from the guesthouse. Documentation will be performed the same as before. One can visualize a very long term research project. After a dwelling unit is built and tested, it becomes a rental unit for an indefinite future. Building and testing are classical engineering activities, for which I have an appropriate background to supervise. Research can end at this point. We would have a collection of rental cabins in the Colorado Front Range (not exactly a novel idea). Rules like "No cell phones, no WiFi" would restrict tenants to those with EHS. A healthy spouse or partner could work in Pueblo or Colorado Springs.

I believe I can do the research on healthy housing just described, without research grants or additional people. Hopefully it will be useful to the EHS community. Much more needs to be done, definitely requiring grants and people. The world needs a vibrant Healthy Housing Research Institute! My hope is that once the first building is occupied by people with EHS, that the operation will start to look real rather than just a gleam in someone's eye, and that money and people will start flowing in. I continue to look for people who would like to partner with me in this effort.

In addition to the strictly engineering aspects of building houses with low interior fields, it is also possible to investigate the health effects of living in these houses, in this part of Colorado, a much more complex activity. At one extreme would be testimonials from tenants, a self-evaluation without input from medical professionals. After living in the cabin for several weeks or months, the tenant is asked to review the experience. This approach would have minimal legal, ethical, and financial concerns. The model at the other extreme would be the Mayo Clinic. You present yourself to a group of highly paid professionals, expecting them to efficiently diagnose and fix the health problem. I think there are clinics around the world that would like to be the Mayo Clinic for those with EHS, but I have no direct experience with them. From what I know about EHS, I am not convinced that the Mayo Clinic model is optimum. Western Medicine has been in denial for too many years about EHS. There are many medical problems that Western Medicine is really good at fixing, but EHS is not one at the present time.

I am of the opinion that we need to keep our options open in regard to healing those with EHS. If one approach does not help, try another approach. A purpose statement I saw recently stated it well: "We acknowledge and hold in equal esteem the healing power of Western Medicine, Eastern Medicine, Indigenous Medicine, Energy Medicine, Prayer, Mind-Body Medicine, Nutrition, Natural Medicine, Homeopathy, Yoga, Movement Arts and all integrative practices that heal." (Global Foundation for Integrative Medicine, gfimusa.com). Not specifically included in the above list, but important to every practice, is clairvoyance, the psychic ability to see things that most people cannot see. Consider Nutrition, including supplements. There are hundreds of foods, drinks, and supplements, each of which some people find very helpful. But how do we go through the list, identifying the ones that are needed by one particular person? It could take years, and thousands of dollars for supplements, to go through the list alphabetically. Some years ago, I went to a muscle tester for advice on supplements. She identified three rather quickly, one of which was Burdock. I still have no idea what Burdock is, or what it is supposed to do, but it seems to pep me up when I take one. I am very sensitive to supplements, so I never take more than half a capsule per day, and never more than one supplement per day. I would score the muscle tester as right on one out of three, a far better score that I have experienced with Western Medicine.

I am hopeful that having several with EHS living in adjacent rooms or houses will evolve into a community that wants to heal, sharing suggestions that each found helpful at some point, sharing the occasional supplement capsule, even praying for one another. This Sanctuary may never be a Mayo Clinic in reputation, but it can still be a place where healing regularly occurs.

I strongly believe the following statements:

The Sick Building Syndrome exists, where some fraction of the population are sickened by indoor pollution.

Indoor pollution includes all types of electromagnetic fields, WiFi, cell phones, Smart Meters, power frequency electric and magnetic fields, etc.

Present building and electrical codes do not protect against electromagnetic pollution (and only weakly against chemical pollution).

Society needs to allow the construction of experimental/research housing units, designed, inspected, and certified as safe by Professional Engineers, where the present (unhealthy) codes are not enforced.

Healthy housing should not be more expensive than the existing unhealthy housing, so that a good percentage of the sick can actually live in it.

Any research institute needs people and money to perform its desired research. In this particular case, it is also critical to find a political unit (town, city, county), with authority to establish building codes, that agrees with the above statements and will allow construction of healthy housing. There is an economic development incentive to the political unit in the form of jobs during construction and taxes after construction. I have prepared a Request For Bid BidRequest.pdf that can be presented to possible political units. This document includes a great deal of information about the deficiencies of existing building and electrical codes.

The obvious sequence would be to identify a friendly political unit, then find appropriate land within that political unit at a fair price, then start construction on the first housing unit. In my case, I found a good site at a low price in Rockvale, Colorado and went ahead and purchased it. Rockvale will therefore have the "first right of refusal" on the Request For Bid. Should Rockvale decide it does not want the Healthy Housing Research Institute, I will put the site on the market (with a very good chance of making a buck) and start looking at other political units in southern Colorado.

In May of 2014, a three bedroom, two bath house on a 1 acre lot adjacent to the 59 acres already purchased became available on foreclosure, which I was able to buy at a favorable price. The 60 acres are inside the town of Rockvale, and include a 40 acre lot that contains the well-shielded gulch or box canyon. The remaining 20 acres are in six lots varying in size from 1 to 8 acres. The house and four of the empty lots are on a cul-de-sac at the end of Shaft Avenue. As of Fall of 2017, a major project is to do the necessary storm water management and pave the cul-de-sac and driveways. The house (745 Shaft Avenue) has been repurposed as the office and laboratory for the Institute.

The ideal location for this Research Institute would be on a paved street with all utilities including Internet, close to shopping and work opportunities, but with low electromagnetic fields. No site will be ideal, of course. The Rockvale property is on a paved street with electricity and water. It is about six miles to Home Depot and seven miles to Walmart. Colorado Springs is about an hours drive away, and Pueblo is a little closer. The climate is quite nice, with the site located in what is considered the `banana belt' of Colorado. All houses in Rockvale are on septic systems, which is not a problem. If gas rather than electric heat is desired, one buys propane, which is a bit more expensive than natural gas. There are no cable TV lines to 745 Shaft. An outdoor TV antenna receives CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, and Fox from Colorado Springs. Internet to 745 Shaft is provided wirelessly from a nearby tower to a receiving dish on the house, then by Ethernet cable inside. I use Vonage to get Voice Over Internet phone service inside the house. The wireless Internet signal does not reach the bottom of the gulch, so Internet service there would need to be from cable, probably fiber optic.

Potential guests should understand that low electromagnetic fields do not guarantee that all those with EHS will feel better here. It is probable that EHS is just another sensitivity among food intolerances, allergies, and MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity). There are an abundance of junipers in the area, so those with a sensitivity to junipers should hesitate coming here. Those coming from lower elevations may well experience headaches at 5400 feet above sea level. These headaches usually dissipate in a couple of days. But, even though the house will not help everyone to feel better, it will certainly help people to `test the water' with minimal risk. Committing to move to southern Colorado and then discovering a juniper intolerance, for example, is something we all want to avoid.

Visitors are welcome. Dr. Johnson is usually somewhere on the 60 acres between 8:30 and 4:30, Monday through Saturday, in good weather. A 48 hour notice would be a good idea. The phone number at the Institute is 719-458-1111, with Voicemail capability. The email address is gjohnson@ksu.edu. I have not heard of any problems with GPS finding 745 Shaft, although it may think the address is in Florence rather than Rockvale. If you do not have GPS (or cannot use it) then the following directions may be useful. From Canon City: Find the intersection of Highway 50 (Royal Gorge Blvd) and HW 115 (9th St.). This is adjacent to the historic downtown. Go south on S. 9th. After the roundabout you will be going east on Elm St. and still on HW 115. Follow HW 115 for about 5.5 miles (from HW 50). Turn right at the road sign with WILLIAMSBURG ROCKVALE and COAL CREEK on it. This is County Road 11A. Go about 2.7 miles on this road. The street signs say CR11a, then Churchill, then May. Turn right on Shaft Ave. and follow it to the cul-de-sac at the end of the street, about 0.4 mile. 745 Shaft is the last house on the street, on the left.

From Florence: Find the intersection of HW 115 (Main St.) and HW 67 (Pikes Peak) at the center of town. (Note: there are at least 20 antiques stores in a two block radius of this intersection.) Follow HW 115 west for about 2.8 miles, then turn left at the sign WILLIAMSBURG ROCKVALE and COAL CREEK. Then follow the directions in the previous paragraph. This section of HW 115 is very crooked. Watch out for the corner where HW 115 leaves Main St. (turning north) just a few blocks west of HW 67. It is marked, if you are looking in the right place.