EPA studies have shown that levels of air pollution inside the home are often 2 to 5 times greater than outdoor levels! This motivates us to ensure the spaces we create are NOT like typical homes. Optima Homes has a clear focus on HEALTHY SPACES throughout our building projects. Here just a few of the things we do to allow you to breathe easy in our homes.
1. Air Quality
In our latest Optima Homes project, we installed a 4″ Hepa furnace filter to trap pollutants inside your home like dust mites, mold spores, pollen, and pet dander that can cause health problems like asthma and allergies. We also used low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paint throughout the entire house, and water-based finishes on the floors.
Keeping fresh air circulating throughout your home all year long is crucial to a healthy home. In our latest project, we installed a state-of-the-art air exchange system that keeps fresh, filtered air circulating at all times. Even in our frigid MN winters it is important to have fresh air coming into your home. The key is to bring it in mechanically and not through drafts in walls and windows that can carry moisture out to the exterior walls of you home creating a perfect place for mold to grow. We also place windows to optimize cross ventilation so in the summer time you can catch all the natural breeze from outside.
Sunlight is a necessary part of our wellbeing, as it provides vitamins D and B, improves circulation, increases positive hormone levels (our endorphins and serotonin), and helps regulate our sleeping patterns. Sunlight also has positive psychological benefits and can increase energy levels and brain activity. A study performed by Loyola University found that people who work in sunlight have better short-term cognitive powers than those who work in dimly-lit spaces.
To take advantage of the health benefits of sunlight, we strive to have windows in nearly every room of our Optima Homes. We work to design spaces that have no need for lights on during the day!
4. Quality Construction
We use many of the best building components on the market for all components of our homes. Products like closed cell foam for our insulation ensures no mold in exterior walls will ever grow. A fully sealed foundation system prevents any radon from getting into your home. Plywood, paints, and finishes that are low VOC greatly reduce the amount of chemicals coming into your new home compared to traditional new and existing homes. Many homes are constructed with cheap materials that may leech toxins into your house over time.
Natural elements can help sooth frazzles nerves, calm the mind, and provide a place for either physical activity or relaxation. The National Wildlife Federation discusses the link between increased exposure to nature and improved physical, mental, and emotional health. Getting outdoors can help us in numerous ways and, if it’s easy to access green spaces from your house, you’ll be more likely to take advantage of all the benefits nature has to offer.
Our latest construction is situated a block away from a beautiful park, which connects to a network of trails. It is also near several schools, which provide playgrounds for kids to use. On the property itself, there are several mature trees in the yard, which give the plot a park-like feel. Landscaping can make a huge difference in how we think about our home–a well-landscaped yard has a soothing effect and makes us want to go outside and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
If you’re interested in incorporating healthy elements into your home, please reach out and contact us today. Or, if you are interested in learning more about our latest Optima Homes project, contact us and we can answer any questions you might have. Here’s to healthy living!
Samantha Grose, Associate AIA, Allied ASID Designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO
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Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the TWIN CITIES area having completed many new homes and large scale whole house remodels.
Samantha received her BS from the University of Minnesota majoring in both ARCHITECTURE and ART. She is deeply committed to a creative approach giving you highly functional spaces with an aesthetic appeal for everyday living.