Creating Real-World Connected Communities in the Digital Age
Let’s face it, in today’s digital age, the first thing you think about when you see the phrase “connected communities” is probably technology. Yet, at KB Home, we’ve centered our entire 2019 KB Home ProjeKt on the principle that the most meaningful connections come from our real-world communities—and that technological innovations should work to promote those connections rather than replace them.
The new KB Home ProjeKt concept home includes exciting AI-driven innovations that make life simpler, more efficient and more intuitive for the homeowner. However, we’re more excited about how it seeks to answer a question: How can our homes encourage us to engage within real-life communities and live fulfilling lives in, well, real life?
Human connection isn’t just a nice-to-have amenity—researchers are discovering more each day about the robust link between human connection and our health. People with strong social connections, for example, have a lower risk of cancer and generally faster recovery rates when disease or injury strike. Social behavior has even been referred to as the “ultimate antioxidant.”
Technology and “not-so-social media,” as some have termed it, don’t appear to be a solution. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who are on social media two hours or more a day are actually twice as likely to feel socially isolated.
That means that home builders—community builders—must work to undo isolation, foster meaningful relationships and improve public and environmental health, all at once.
At KB Home, we don’t just build homes—we build connections. That means both beautiful physical neighborhoods and communities of people. That’s why we designed the new KB Home ProjeKt to promote meaningful human interaction and create a true “connected community.”
We’ve created an entire conceptual community around this concept home that is consciously designed to promote meaningful human connection in our daily lives. This concept community will be showcased via virtual reality (VR) as well as high-level plans at the physical ProjeKt home in Las Vegas and will demonstrate a model for future community design.
With ProjeKt, connection isn’t an accidental by-product; we’ve worked hard to design a seamless flow from the private space of the home to the public space of the community, so that human connection is a major part of daily life. The home includes lots of natural light and indoor/outdoor flow, as well as biophilic elements that bring nature into the home and components that extend gathering space outdoors.
A 2014 study published in the journal of Environmental Science & Technology found that moving to greener areas improved people’s mental health, both immediately and in the long term. Rather than focusing on private yards, ProjecKt features “our yard,” a series of integrated green spaces that promote social engagement while physically bonding homeowners to the outdoors.
The ProjeKt connected community design increases both density and open space, with 31% more homesites than a traditional community design, 41% fewer roads, less infrastructure and up to four times more open, green space.
It also features a “shared hub” that offers community car sharing, community gardens and a pet pavilion for both grooming and recreation to reduce an individual’s environmental footprint while increasing daily interactions between neighbors.
Our KB Home ProjeKt encourages all of us in the home building community to consider what creating a healthy home really means. We can incorporate these ideas today to help break the bonds of isolation that contemporary living has created. Now is the time to move beyond building homes and into building communities.
You can visit the BUILDER KB Home ProjeKt when we unveil the concept home in Las Vegas in February 2019. Sign up here to receive updates as we continue to share more details and sneak previews of the home in progress.