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Building a Healthy Home

People in the United States spend about 70 percent of their time inside their home. Until recently there has been little attention paid to designing and building with a focus on a resident’s physical and mental health, but the trend of “wellness real estate” is on the rise.

Specific attributes of the built environment considered integral to wellness include: water, air quality, light, comfort, nourishment and mind. As such, indoor air quality is central to the vision of a healthy home and focuses on the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are released from building products, furniture, flooring, fabrics and glues.

“People are making homes that are healthy homes at all price ranges. Good air quality, no VOCs, all of those things have become so mainstream you don’t have to spend extra money to have those elements, to have a healthy home,” says Phil Kean, a Florida architect and custom home builder. There is a natural affinity between green and wellness, but for most consumers, wellness is more compelling.

“Some people don’t care about saving energy, but everybody wants a house that is healthy,” adds Kean.

Healthier, affordable products and systems have found their way into the mainstream. For example, Columbia Forest Products’ PureBond engineered wood products made with soy-based glue are now pervasive. Formaldehyde-free fiberglass insulation, introduced in 2009, has become the norm. More manufacturers are also working to develop building products that promote good air quality with flooring, paint and even drywall that improves air quality.

New homes today include other features and floorplans that promote a sense of wellbeing. One of the strongest trends in home design is a connection with the outdoors. Being able to be inside while bringing the outside in has an innate wellness aspect to it. Equally important is the amount of natural light new home designs bring to interiors. In addition, developers are focusing on community features that promote healthy living and social connection.

Paul Scialla, founder of Delos, writes about the future of sustainability and wellness in the real estate market. Delos is a pioneer of the concept of Wellness Real Estate, and has founded the WELL Building Standard. He says that the future of real estate will go beyond sustainability, and it will do a more comprehensive job of accounting for the way that both human bodies and minds interact with the built environment.

Source: DLP Marketing

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