When the pandemic first began, millions of Americans had no choice but to shift gears and transition to working, learning, and playing at home. Since then, houses have become busy hubs where family members share space — and lots of time — living and loving. It’s no surprise, then, that green, wellness-focused housing has become a popular and coveted part of the American lifestyle.
Now that they spend 10 hours or more at home every day, Americans need a space that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Today’s homeowners value clean air, water, and materials more than ever, and builders are rising to meet the demand. From offices to hotels to entire communities, the real estate industry is designing and building with health in mind.
Giving Homes a Wellness Makeover
What do these swanky new homes have to offer? Some have space for practicing artwork, having a massage, or meditating. Others focus on sustainable materials with eco-friendly flooring and energy-efficient appliances. However, most come with high-end home features like air and water filters to test for contamination and remove pollutants.
Smart home integration, passive design, and renewable energy are common, too. However, architects and home builders have the option to choose which elements they include in their green, wellness-focused homes.
The Move to Regenerative Living
As more people join the effort to go green and live sustainably, we’ll likely see a shift from green living to regenerative living. This kind of lifestyle emphasizes self-sustainability and net positivity. In essence, it allows both humans and the natural environment to not just survive, but thrive.
People have been practicing regenerative sustainability for more than 60 years with technologies like ecological design, agriculture, and regenerative planning. However, they could do so on a larger scale through regenerative community development.
A Call for Multigenerational Neighborhoods
More than one in four Americans live in a multigenerational household, and it affects every aspect of their lives. In successfully functioning households, families say their home’s design plays a major role in their success. They also cite family relationships, interactions, and supports and services. These Americans value social connection and diversity of ages, life stages, backgrounds, and social class. Thus, the green, wellness-focused homes of the future will likely turn into entire neighborhoods centered around health and coexistence.
Already, builders are constructing these kinds of neighborhoods that are strategically interwoven, net-positive, and self-sustaining. These communities can produce their own healthy food and renewable energy, clean the air, and recycle their water. Most have both private and public spaces to gather and enjoy each other's company, too.
Making Wellness Affordable
Despite their obvious advantages, green, wellness-centered homes and neighborhoods do come with their downsides. Namely, they’re incredibly expensive to design and build. Consequently, they come with price tags that most homebuyers simply can’t afford.
However, things may soon change. As sustainable building materials become cheaper, the wellness movement goes mainstream, and future technologies drive down costs, more families will gain access to on-demand wellness. Many builders also offer homebuying credits or even free housing to low-income families to help families who could benefit from wellness-focused homes the most.
The Future Is Bright
Even if green, wellness-centered homes were affordable, there’s not enough land to build new and improved houses for everyone. Thus, while these houses do imply a brighter future, they aren’t the be-all, end-all of healthy living. Instead, Americans will have to learn to incorporate green and wellness-focused elements into pre-existing homes.
Luckily, there are plenty of techniques and products designed to do just that. Plus, the healthy homes of the future will provide plenty of inspiration so that everyone can enjoy a happier, healthier life, regardless of where they live.
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