Concept Home in Phoenix Highlights Wellness

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KB Home has unveiled a wellness concept home located at its Santolina at South Mountain community in Phoenix. Built in partnership with the Well Living Lab, the Well Living Lab Healthy Home demonstrates how the latest advancements in design and construction materials can offer health benefits for homeowners. Incorporating wellness features in a home has become a big factor in design recently, but even before the pandemic, KB Home focused on building healthier homes for families.

“As a pioneer in building healthier and more sustainable homes, partnering with the Well Living Lab for this concept home was the next step in leading the homebuilding industry to focus on improving indoor environments and delivering a product that benefits the health and wellness of our customers,” said Rob McGibney, regional president for KB Home Arizona. “As people spend more time in their homes, there is greater interest from homebuyers and homeowners in the health and wellness of their living spaces.”

The new concept home takes this idea to the max with materials, products and technology that bridge sustainability, hygiene and health tracking, and the home’s features were guided by the EPA’s Indoor airPLUS standards.

Indoor air quality is improved thanks to high-performance ventilation systems that regularly introduce fresh outdoor air. The potential to spread germs is reduced with anti-microbial door handles and touchless faucets and light switches. Healthier design features like low- or zero-VOC products in flooring, paint, insulation and cabinetry are built in. KB Home enhanced pollutant and moisture control through comprehensive air sealing and a complete water management system.

Indoor air quality is improved thanks to high-performance ventilation systems that regularly introduce fresh outdoor air. The potential to spread germs is reduced with anti-microbial door handles and touchless faucets and light switches. Healthier design features like low- or zero-VOC products in flooring, paint, insulation and cabinetry are built in. KB Home enhanced pollutant and moisture control through comprehensive air sealing and a complete water management system.

“With our homes being multifunctional spaces, homeowners of all ages are looking for ways to ensure their homes are healthy and enhance wellness, even as we look toward post-pandemic,” said McGibney. “The concept home with Well Living Lab examines current and new healthy-home technologies and how they can improve comfort, resiliency and overall wellness.”

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Partnership and Collaboration

KB Home worked on the design with the Well Living Lab, a collaboration between Delos and Mayo Clinic, and is the first homebuilder to join the Well Living Lab Alliance, a consortium of global organizations aspiring to transform the places where people live, work and play. The scientific laboratory has conducted and applied human-centered research to understand the interaction among health, well-being and indoor environments. Its Healthy Home program focuses on the impact of the home environment on physical and mental health, sleep and performance.

These findings drove the concept home’s features. KB Home also partnered with Kwikset, Sherwin-Williams, ecobee and Whirlpool to incorporate products into the healthy home.

Biophilic Design and Microenvironments

Many of the home technologies and products show up in the home’s four “microenvironments.” Biophilic design is featured in the Vistafolia modular green wall panels located in the MindBreaks microenvironment, where an app helps improve mindfulness. Elsewhere, smart devices measure health status and key biometrics of people in the home.

Another microenvironment showcases products and technologies designed to reduce virus transmission. And in the era of WFH, the new KB Home Office features details like ergonomically correct furnishings and flexible office products. All of these microenvironments can be customized to enhance quality of life for the people living in the home.

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Wellness in the Kitchen & Bathroom

The concept home features technology and products designed to improve wellness by reducing contact and improving efficiency in the kitchen. KB Home chose Whirlpool smart cooking appliances, including WiFi-enabled range and microwave models. The U by Moen Touchless Smart Faucet features voice-activation technology to deliver temperature and volume on command, reducing the spread of germs. The low-porosity Silestone quartz countertop is GreenGuard certified and guarantees zero liquid absorption.

In the pandemic era, the bathroom offers an important area to maintain health. In the concept home, it starts with Kwikset door levers that have antimicrobial protection in the finish and culminates in the incorporation of the Withings Thermo, a no-contact thermometer that tracks temperature readings and syncs with a smartphone app to offer medical advice.

While the Phoenix community is open to the public, the best way to learn more about the healthy home features in the home is to take the virtual tour.

“There were certainly challenges, as our goal was to find ways to best educate consumers during a pandemic about the benefits of healthy home products,” said McGibney. “The Well Living Lab Healthy Home Program microsite offers a comprehensive list of products and benefits, and KB Home’s virtual tour showcases the technologies in a new home. We hope these tools are useful and help homeowners and consumers learn more about making their homes healthier.”

Watch this video to learn more about the Healthy Home program and the research conducted by the Well Living Lab.

Previously published in Kitchen & Bath Business magazine

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