Our surroundings have a strong impact on our health and well-being. More people are realizing that, and adopting healthier lifestyles as a result, with many of them looking to make their homes equally happy and healthy.

Architects and designers are paying close attention to this and employing various building design tactics to meet those needs. This trend, known as wellness architecture, is taking the world by storm, and these are some of the trends to watch out for.

Use of environmentally-friendly materials

Let’s face it – no one really wants to live in a home where there is toxic, off-gassing materials present and there’s no proper ventilation. Instead of being sold solely on the looks of the home, more home buyers are putting the emphasis on eco-friendly features and displaying an interest in homes built using non-toxic, sustainable, healthy, and environmentally friendly materials and building practices.

Not only do they help create environments that encourage well-being, but they are also able to do so without harming the humans or the environment in the process.

Noise reduction

Our general well-being is also affected by how noisy or calm our surroundings are. Our homes should be the one place where we can have some peace and quiet, and we can’t really have that when there is noise coming from the outside. Given the negative impact of noise on concentration and productivity, increasing the acoustic performance of a home is a must.

This is done through the process of sound insulation, and some of the most efficient noise reduction methods include:

  • Installing acoustic wall paint
  • Installing sound-absorbing ceiling panels
  • Double-glazing windows
  • Relying on soft furnishings, curtains, or acoustic flooring underlay

Focus on biophilic design

Technological advancements and urbanization certainly have their perks. However, they have also made us feel disconnected from nature, and nowadays, architects are looking to re-establish that connection. As a result, there is a noticeable shift towards designing interiors focused on people working and living in them whether we are talking about workspaces, wellness centers, fitness facilities, residential interiors, hotels, or buildings in general.

In hope of making the users feel more in touch with nature, a variety of biophilic elements are being introduced, from air-purifying plants and hanging gardens to organic materials, patterns, and color palettes. By making nature a part of design through healthy design principles, architects are able to create an environment that supports well-being and has a positive impact on both physical and mental health.

Improved air quality

Now more than ever, people are spending more time indoors, especially since COVID-19 swept across the world and many countries imposed a lockdown. According to a study, 90% of our time is spent indoors, so it makes sense that you would do everything you can to make your home a healthy place to live and ensure that you’re breathing clean air.

This is especially important given the fact that indoor air tends to be more polluted than the outdoor air, with air quality being up to five times worse. In order to help increase residents’ wellness, architects are being careful about the materials and HVAC systems and eliminating the danger of off-gassing, i.e. releasing harmful, toxic chemicals such as VOCs into the air, thus improving air quality. Bringing in plants, installing operable windows, using air purifiers, and improving homes’ ventilation are also effective in improving indoor air quality as well as warding off asthma, allergies, and breathing difficulties.

Maximizing access to natural light

Lack of light can seriously affect our mental health and cause conditions such as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Similarly, unsuitable light levels and colors can disrupt our sleep-wake cycle, also known as circadian rhythm, and result in fatigue.

And it’s not only the color and brightness of the lighting (or lack thereof) that affect how we feel. Our sense of well-being also has to do with the type of light we are exposed to, i.e. whether the light source is natural or artificial. Maximizing access to natural light is crucial for boosting wellness and productivity of the building’s occupants, and some of the ways to achieve this is by installing windows, skylights, light tubes, clear doors, and mirrors. As for the artificial lighting, some of the options include installing color-changing bulbs and choosing lighting that mimics the brightness levels and color of natural light.

Wrapping up

A healthy lifestyle doesn’t only have to do with nutrition and practicing healthy habits on a daily basis. It also has to do with how healthy our living and working environment are and whether they promote health and well-being.

By applying the principles of wellness design and employing these wellness architecture trends listed above, it is possible to create interiors that will support our healthy lifestyles and infuse our lives with the balance and harmony we’re striving for.

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