Health and wellness have extended into the systems and designs of new home construction. Homebuyers are adding health and wellness items to the top of their new home wish list.
Fueled by the pandemic, the emphasis on healthy homes has become top of mind for new home builders and buyers. The rapid spread of COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of fresh air, but indoor air doesn’t circulate or exchange often enough due to strict home building codes and US HVAC standards. Add odors from foods, pets, and gassing from products like household cleaners, combined with minimal indoor air exchange, can produce very unhealthy indoor air.
Indoor Air Quality
EcoPulse reports that 66% of Millennials are concerned about indoor air quality, and they should be. According to the EPA, in just one year a six-room house collects an average of 40 pounds of dust which can be laced with toxic chemicals. The majority of us spend 90% of our time indoors where pollutants can be 2-5 times higher than outdoor levels.
Advances in air filtration technology have produced furnace filters that can remove virus particles from the air. Furnace filters are rated by the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV. This rating measures how effectively the filter stops dust and other contaminants from passing through the filter and into the air stream. Filters with higher MERV ratings trap small particles more effectively than filters with lower MERV ratings. MERV 13 rated filters are the best for residential HVAC systems and are endorsed by the CDC as an additional method to reduce exposure to the Covid-19 virus.
Portable air purifiers have also advanced in popularity and technology. Companies like Dyson and Honeywell are producing stylish and highly effective portable air purification devices that can filter the air in large areas, destroying toxic particles and removing odors quickly and effectively.
One device that can’t be overlooked is the ceiling fan. According to the NAHB annual survey “What Home Buyers Really Want” 83% of recent and prospective homebuyers enthusiastically expressed that the ceiling fan was one of the most desirable features in a home. Ceiling fans circulate air and are the best way to mitigate stagnant air in the home.
Outdoor Living Spaces
The NAHB annual survey also highlighted the fact that 81% of respondents wanted private outdoor space such as a patio, deck or front porch. We know that being outdoors helps to decrease transmission of viruses, and these days, many new homes come with screened-in decks and patios as seasonal extensions to the indoor spaces. Many even have enclosed, screened-in decks and patios that feature windows for cooler months, like a four seasons room. With so many windows, natural light fills the living areas — another big win with new home buyers.
Another health and wellness point of interest is antimicrobial countertop surfaces. The number one naturally antimicrobial countertop choice is quartz, followed by natural stone such as marble or granite. The non-porous hard surfaces are easy to clean and resist bacteria and germs.
Some other finishing touches focused on health and wellness include touchless faucets like Moen’s MotionSense Faucets that help control the spread of germs and Sherwin Williams new Harmony Paint that keeps rooms fresh with odor-reducing technology and features a chemical-free formula for better indoor air quality.
Home Buying Trends
According to data collected by Taylor Morrison, more than one-third of home shoppers said they seek to purchase a newly constructed home rather than an older home both for better energy efficiency AND in-home health and wellness features. Meyers Research, sister company to BUILDER Magazine, indicated that this “bias for new” holds true across the building industry. “As we adapt to COVID-19 and the uncertainty it brings to our lives and economy, one thing is certain: ‘healthy’ is the new focus for the spaces in which we live, work, and play,” says Tom Sullivan, Meyers Research senior managing principle. “Our national consumer research shows home shoppers are looking first and foremost for air quality, clean water, and antibacterial surfaces.”
Kansas City Home Builder
Homebuilders across the country are focusing on creating healthy and energy-efficient homes. If you are searching for a homebuilder in Kansas City that can build you a healthy and energy-efficient dream home give us a call! 816-622-8826