Sekisui House, one of the world’s largest home builders and community developers, continues to make significant investments in research and development to analyse how lifestyles and housing interact with one another, and is translating these findings to inform the urban design of its Australian projects.
This research — founded over the last 30 years at the developer’s Kyoto-based Comprehensive Housing and Human Life R&D Institutes — focuses on the pursuit of ‘happiness’ and healthy living, and can be seen throughout several unique Sekisui House concepts.
Sekisui House Australia CEO and Managing Director, Hide Seguchi, said it is the business’ intelligent approach to these concepts that is enhancing lifestyles, and overall health and wellbeing.
“In Kyoto for example, we developed KidsDesign Kodomo idokoro, meaning ‘kids pleasing place’, which features staged living areas, family libraries, hideaway areas, small under-stair spaces, and graffiti walls to foster children’s healthy growth by considering space from their perspective and providing areas where families can connect,” says Seguchi.
“We are also considering offering other new lifestyle concepts such as Shuuno 3 Shimai, meaning ‘3 cloakroom storage 3 sisters’, which offers smart storage throughout the living room, entrance and bedroom areas, and Dear One, a concept centered around pet symbiosis featuring pet-friendly structures and spaces, and non-slip flooring.
“We have the ability, and the responsibility, to make our homes and spaces the happiest places in the world.”
One of the world’s largest research centres of its kind, the 7,000m2 Comprehensive Housing R&D Institute evaluates technologies, housing performance and new lifestyle elements to maximise comfortable living, and features a home experience studio for consumers and builders to ‘experience’ housing solutions firsthand; a concept that sees around 30,000 visitors each year.
Studies out of the newer Human Life R&D Institute strive to raise the intangible value of feeling happy in the home through the notions of health, familial bonds, safety, security and comfort.
The Institutes’ innovations have been reinterpreted for the Australian context to enhance design throughout Sekisui House Australia projects, including in Ecco Ripley and Ripley Town Centre in southeast Queensland’s western growth corridor.
Ecco Ripley last year launched its MIRAI Homes product, a series of homes developed with active and passive design considerations to suit the local environment and the needs of Australian families.
Each MIRAI Home features a unique wall system with a nano-hydrophilic, self-cleaning coating that repels heat, and sheds dust and grime with a light shower of rain.
Multiple insulation layers and waterproofing also allows the home to breathe and maintain stable, year-round comfort, despite the harsh Australian climate.
“By satisfying the three distinct outcomes of health and wellbeing, energy efficiency and intuitive design, we are making life at home as easy as possible for families by creating homes that are fit for purpose,” says Seguchi.
“The Institutes’ research leads to considered urban design which is applied across the built form, and we are in a unique position to take advantage of these Kyoto findings to reinterpret them for the Ripley context.”
The Australian home design team continues to work towards implementing other initiatives, including accessibility, ensuring a person can continue to live in their home even if their health and lifestyle changes, air quality monitoring and purification throughout the home, asthma-friendly carpet and electric car charging.
At Ripley Town Centre, the Satoyama ‘ribbons of green’ concept is reflected in the integration of existing natural habitats with built environments to bring the outside in, for the health and wellbeing of retailers and customers alike.
Features include the sounds of running water through the spine of the mall, landscaping
and breakout spaces.
Ripley Town Centre also makes use of the 480kW solar panel system on the roof of its carpark structure, to deliver clean and sustainable energy to its retail community.
Sekisui House Australia continues to consider how these unique concepts could be incorporated across its Australian projects to create lasting value for generations to come.