What Do Builders Actually Include in Healthy Homes?

New UTOPIA research explores what healthy home and clean home features end up as standard, upgrades, and overlooked among homebuilders today.
KB Home's Well Living Lab healthy home prototype; photo courtesy KB Home. UTOPIA exclusive research of homebuilders, 10 Most Common Healthy Home Features

Photo: KB Home's Well Living Lab healthy home prototype; photo courtesy KB Home.

What goes in a healthy home? If you’re uncertain, you’re in good company; builders answer that same question in a variety of ways.

This winter, UTOPIA surveyed 149 homebuilders and residential design professionals to learn their thoughts on healthy homes, which are generally houses with better indoor air quality and other related features. Their answers suggest that builders are certainly engaged in constructing and selling new homes that offer these benefits, but also that there’s little consensus about what should be included, what should be offered as standard, and what should be presented as an option/upgrade.

In terms of future innovations for healthy homes, numerous builders mentioned technologies such as air filtration (which removes dust and allergens) and air purification (which kills germs through UV light and other methods). 

But even in a pandemic, many builders say their biggest pain point in the area of designing, marketing, and selling healthy and clean homes is convincing buyers of the value of these features. 

RELATED: What 1,240 Homeowners Said They Want in a Healthy Home

“Anything that is beyond (what is) required by code is hard to get an owner to go for,” said one builder respondent. 

Other buyers like the idea of buying a healthy home, but are indecisive. “Clients who are unsure, change their mind, or are not aware of the time or price (involved)” are the biggest headache for one of our respondents. Such challenges suggest that builders may need to invest in healthy homes education the same way they have been doing for years with energy efficiency. 

When it comes to healthy homes, one builder said, “customers do not understand the level of quality that the product is.”

For more takeaways from UTOPIA’s Healthy and Clean Homes Survey, download the 8-page final report. The final report highlights:

  • Who’s marketing healthy homes
  • 10 most common standard healthy home features
  • 10 most common healthy home options and upgrades
  • 10 healthy home features least offered by builders
  • Healthy and clean home innovations 
  • Biggest healthy home pain point for builders