Home Design: Wellness-Focused Living Spaces
The Healthy Home Design Corner With Kate Hamblet Balanced Architecture
By, Kate Hamblet
It’s been an exciting year to see more and more homeowners seeking out wellness features for their home renovations and new builds. Sustainability, health, and well-being are taking center stage in home design, and it's only going to continue to grow. People want to design spaces that are good for their families, for the environment, and ultimately good for everyone on the planet.
My favorite guide this year that has helped me design wellness-focused homes is the International Living Future Institute’s Core Green Certification Program.
This certification program uses a holistic design philosophy for wellness design, and I love it. I think it’s the perfect resource to go along with the wellness home design trend. It doesn’t just cover energy efficiency or healthy materials. It encompasses all the things that contribute to a healthy and equitable life and planet.
I use the Core Green Certification framework to help me consider the various aspects of wellness home design. It’s been such a helpful guide for me that I want to share it with you!
The Core Green Building Certification is versatile and can apply to any building project. These include but are not limited to:
The certification lists 10 requirements that a project must meet in order to get certified.
1. Ecology of Place
Make sure you’re improving the site you’re building on and protecting local habitats through ecosystem reconstruction and by not using petrochemical fertilizers or pesticides.
2. Human-Scaled Living
Encourages a more walkable and bike-friendly neighborhood and property (make sure you have bike storage!).
3. Responsible Water Use
Requires a 50% water use reduction from a typical home and for all stormwater to be managed on your property.
4. Energy and Carbon Reduction
Requires new homes to be Net Zero Energy Ready and lower than the industry average carbon footprint for materials.
5. Healthy Interior Environment
Addresses indoor air quality through ventilation requirements and wellness qualities by making sure all interior spaces have views of the outdoors.
6. Responsible Materials
Encourages locally sourced, responsibly harvested, and non-toxic materials.
7. Universal Access
Makes sure all individuals can easily use the home and the property. It also ensures a project won’t block adjacent properties’ access to fresh air, sunlight, and natural waterways.
Helps create stable, safe, and high-paying job opportunities for people in the local community.
9. Beauty and Biophilia
Requires buildings to include design elements that nurture the human/nature connection.
10. Inspiration and Education
Asks homeowners to share their experience and design strategies to spread the word about creating healthy living spaces for everyone.
Wellness design trends will only increase as we all continue to crave spaces that nourish our bodies, our minds, and the earth. Thinking holistically when designing your renovation or new build will ensure that you’re creating a functional, calm, and beautiful living space for you and your family. Using the Core Green Certification as a guide will give you the framework needed to make it all happen.
By, Kate Hamblet
The Wellness Architect Balanced Architecture