Five Innovative Ways to Build Healthier Homes

Home trends indicate growing emphasis on healthy indoor living environments

September 1, 2016

As any builder knows, it is extremely important to stay ahead of trends that are impacting the buying decisions made by potential homebuyers. These trends are always evolving and are impacted by many factors. An environmentally-conscious EcoBroker points out, “Home trends are driven by ever-developing technology, changing demographics and increasing interest in healthy and sustainable living.”  To make the most of these advancements, builders have an opportunity to offer the latest in healthy home products, creating a real advantage when working with the growing population of homebuyers focused on health and wellness.

According to National Center for Healthy Housing, homebuyers are looking for ways to maintain and create healthy homes when making purchasing and building decisions. Healthy homes are dry, pest free, contaminate free, ventilated, clean, safe and maintained. Below are five innovative ways you can meet these healthy home standards:

1. Sleep-friendly lighting: Natural light has long been understood to be an important component of interior comfort, and exciting new circadian lighting technology adds even more to the equation. New LED bulbs are designed to stimulate the human body’s natural circadian rhythms and improve sleep patterns through the color temperature of the light. The morning lamps give off a more concentrated blue/white hue to boost the natural waking cycle, and the evening lamps produce an amber hue to mimic soothing candlelight or fire.

2. Naturally antimicrobial materials:  Kitchens can be breeding grounds for dangerous bacteria and microbes of all kinds. Rather than inundating their homes with chemical cleaning products, homebuyers are opting for an ounce of prevention with antimicrobial surfaces like quartz and copper, both of which combine an appealing aesthetic, with a natural defense against bacterial growth. Copper is the first solid metal to gain EPA Public Health Registration and is being used to create antimicrobial sinks, faucets, hardware and even switch plate covers.

3. Under-mounted sinks: Under-mounting helps minimize the potential for microbe growth by eliminating the bacteria-trapping lip between the edge of a standard drop-in sink, and the counter surface. Although this is not a new product innovation, it is becoming more popular due to health and wellness concerns.

4. Allergen-reducing flooring: Asthma and allergy concerns are some of the primary reasons for the rising popularity of hardwood over wall-to-wall carpeting in the main living areas of new homes. Hard surface floorings free of formaldehyde and other known respiratory irritants are becoming the standard.

5. Formaldehyde-absorbing drywall: The AirRenew® family of drywall products from CertainTeed uses an exciting new technology to improve indoor air quality (IAQ). This drywall goes beyond being a low-emitting product – it actually removes formaldehyde from the air. AirRenew drywall is a passive system that uses an innovative, patent-pending technology to absorb formaldehyde in a room and convert it to a harmless inert compound contained safely within the board, without any additional maintenance or machinery. It installs like standard drywall and will continue to work within the home to improve overall IAQ, as well as protect individuals and families from the negative health effects of excessive exposure to formaldehyde.

Homebuyers want to know the products in their new home are actively supporting their health and wellness. From the floors to the walls to the kitchen sink, the right choices on your part will demonstrate to your potential customers that you know what matters when it comes to building healthy homes. For more information on improving IAQ, please visit

Tom Prokop serves as innovation and product manager for CertainTeed Gypsum. Prior to joining the Gypsum business, Prokop was the sales and marketing analyst for CertainTeed Roofing where he conducted analysis of product and customer profitability. In his current role, he manages the product portfolio of existing gypsum board products and assists in the launch of new products in US and Canada. Prokop can be contacted via email at


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