The Importance Of Building Homes That Heal

Ample outdoor space at Residence 950

Photo Credit: Troon Pacific

We invest in exercising and eating well but have we paused to consider if our home is a healing home? Does it support our health and nurture our soul?  It should: when we’re not at work or traveling, we spend most of our days and nights there. While recently touring Troon Pacific’s newest project Residence 950 with CEO Greg Malin for inspiration, (Troon sits at the intersection of sustainability and wellness), I noted five key takeaways on how to create a healthier home.

The massage room

Photo Credit: Troon Pacific

1. Personalized and Flexible Wellness Space

Having a dedicated home wellness space is vital. This can range from a small basket filled with bands, weights, and mats to a larger home gym or meditation area. What’s important is to adapt a space to suit your unique sports or practice routines. Here, Troon has packed in plenty of flexibility for the ultimate owner. Residence 950 features an enchanting detached one-bedroom—one-bathroom wellness cottage. Currently, the cottage is set-up as a couple’s massage retreat, with a steam room, sauna, outdoor shower and hot tub with ultraviolet filtration. Alternatively, it could be a yoga room or gym, or for those not particularly athletic, an in-law suite or office. Additionally, a double-height space in the main home (complete with an overhanging walking bridge) can be easily adapted to a sports court, a fitness center or an art gallery. Art has its healing properties, too. A visually stunning rectangular-infinity-edge pool cantilevered from the home’s main floor, overlooking the backyard and connecting the Bay to the pool’s reflection doubles as an infrared-heated saltwater lap pool providing plenty of opportunity for that morning swim.

The outdoor spa

Photo Credit: Olivia Hsu Decker

2. Clean Air

Pay attention to indoor air quality as dust, mites, pollen, and mold can contribute to or exacerbate allergies and asthma. In Residence 950, a Zehnder MERV-13 ventilation system in the main home, with an additional MERV-16 air conditioning system for the top bedroom area, completes at least 12 whole-house air changes per day, i.e. once every two hours removing outdoor air pollution. The system provides high-quality clean air solutions while expending little energy; there is a ventilated air barrier under the home’s concrete foundation. All closets and cabinets exhaust out along with baths, so no pockets of unfiltered air are trapped. Malin mentioned Zehnder offers a bedroom unit for those who can’t re-engineer an entire home. Hydronic radiant heating with separate temperature controls is in all principal rooms and includes humidity controls in key areas such as bedrooms and the sports (or art) area.

Residence 950’s infrared-heated saltwater infinity lap pool

3. Clean Water

Clean water is essential to our health. Troon uses whole house water filtration via a Japanese Tensui Water Perfection System. An entirely natural filtration method using fine rocks and minerals, it removes many common contaminants found in household water (heavy metals, bacteria, chlorine, chloramine and agricultural byproducts such as pesticides and fertilizers). These chemicals and metals can go on to form compounds leading to cancer and other illnesses.

Beautiful landscaping

Photo Credit: Troon Pacific

4. Calm Environments

It’s widely acknowledged sustained stress kills and can trigger a myriad of diseases. So, creating a soothing home is critical. Troon shielded cables in bedrooms to reduce the risks of electromagnetic fields while sleeping and a switch capability easily turns off WiFi. For sound attenuation, there is acoustic clay wrapping on drain lines and felt, foam and rubber isolation on water and drain lines; and the use of QuietRock in select areas. Bringing nature in can be healing, too. Even five minutes in nature is said to alleviate anxiety and depression. And, different kinds of nature have different effects on the mind and body.

The steam room

Photo Credit: Troon Pacific

5. Chemical-Free Living

Troon used Declare materials for healthier living. Declare is a transparency labeling system and project of the International Living Future Institute aiming to create nutrition-like ingredient labels on consumer goods. Troon mitigated the use of Red List chemicals and used no VOC paints and sealants.  Natural flame retardant-free insulation such as cellulose, mineral wood, silica, cork, and agrifiber was used throughout as well as flame retardant-free carpets and furniture. Chemical flame retardants are present in many insulation materials, wall coverings, and some furniture and textiles. Check out the Green Science Policy Institute for a chart listing flame retardant-free building insulation. Halogenated flame retardants are listed as one of the institute’s six classes of chemicals of concern and are on the Living Future Institute’s Red List.

Residence 950

Photo Credit: Troon Pacific

Also, USG EcoSmart Panels were used instead of drywall. This interior cladding is comprised of up to 95% post-consumer recycled content and uses 40% less water and 25% less material than its conventional counterparts. Red List compliant, it enhances indoor air quality while minimizing environmental impact. 

Recently, Troon Pacific encouraged Moore & Giles to create the world’s first Declare-labeled Red List free and Cradle to Cradle-certified leather. This new product swaps a typically highly toxic treating process for a wholly organic and biodegradable one that uses only olive leaves and beeswax.

Perhaps, one of the essential elements in cultivating wellbeing is experiencing inspiration and finding joy. Creating a healthy healing refuge helps us explore what speaks to us. Maybe it’s time to check-in—is your home healthy?