As chief strategy officer for Super League Gaming, Michael Wann spends most of his days building games and open-world gaming platforms that empower game developers, players and fans to rock the metaverse. But for his latest venture, the design and construction of the world’s most accessible net zero carbon home, Wann is playing a game he feels he simply can’t lose.
“We can only realistically reduce our collective carbon footprint and become a sustainable society if we succeed at building truly sustainable homes – so the challenge becomes making sustainable design and construction attainable to all,” said Wann. “Clearly, the stakes are high. I’m creating my eco-friendly dream home to show the world that net zero carbon living can be accessible, easy and surprisingly affordable.”
Pivotal to the fulfillment of Wann’s vision is an agreement with Beko Home Appliances to create the world’s first two Beko Healthy Kitchens as part of the brand’s industry-leading sustainability initiative that seeks to replace the reputation of the kitchen from top energy offender to the center of a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.
A driving force behind multiple prominent technology and entertainment brands over the past decade, Wann was instrumental in the growth of Tastemade, Fullscreen (now New Warner Media) and Mobcrush, and was CEO of Mobcrush when it was acquired by Super League Gaming in 2021. He helped build multi-channel-network (MCN) brands Spinmedia and Demand Media, and has led busines-development efforts at Amazon and MSNBC. Beyond the virtual world, he is most passionate about making sustainable living a reality for his wife and two kids.
Wann is building the 4,300-sq.-ft., three-level home in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Santa Monica, Calif., with his wife, Tara, as both a personal residence for his family and a working showcase of the latest sustainable design and construction products, practices and trends. He started construction with general contractor Kosta Saridakis of KLM Development in May 2021 and expects a January 2023 move-in.
A floorplan by Vaishali Makim, AIA, principal of Makim Architecture of Santa Monica, calls for sweeping, light-filled open spaces, four bedrooms, and four bathrooms, dual kitchens, separate family, living, entertainment and formal dining rooms, a personal gym and climate-controlled wine and cheese room.
To ensure a truly collaborative, multi-industry effort, Wann recruited eight best-in-class sustainable brands to contribute their most advanced, environmentally friendly products which are readily available at national retailers. For the Beko Healthy Kitchens, Beko is donating 16 of its latest, most tech-advanced cooking, cooling and cleaning appliances featuring the Environmental Protection Agency’s highest ENERGY STAR ratings for electrical efficiency plus proprietary technologies designed to provide tangible health, wellness and sustainability benefits.
The two custom kitchens include a 145-sq.-ft. downstairs chef’s kitchen and 152-sq.-ft. open-floor-plan family kitchen in the same vertical space. Announced by Beko President Zach Elkin earlier this year, Beko’s Healthy Kitchen initiative brings together designers, nutritionists and strategic partners to reimagine the kitchen as the intersection of health, wellness and sustainability in the American home.
Since entering the U.S. market in 2016, Beko has been working with thought leaders to shape the concept of a healthy kitchen. Rather than one rigid definition, the result has become an evolving understanding of what a healthy kitchen can and should be – encompassing everything from floorplan and interior design, appliance mix, surfaces and lighting to nutrition, recipe-prep, technology, and sustainability practices. The brand maintains a culture committed to exceeding ENERGY STAR®, EPA and DOE requirements and setting new standards for carbon-neutral manufacturing, training, energy communications, and sustainability at its 28 global production facilities.
“It seems only fitting that one of the world’s most sustainable homes and a global example of attainable net zero living will debut the world’s first two Beko Healthy Kitchens, which were also designed to prove that sustainability is within reach of all homeowners,” said Elkin. “Michael, Tara, and the design and construction teams have been tremendous partners in our collective quest for a more sustainable future.”
Michael Wann is equally bullish on the relationship. “For years, our dream has been to build a home that reflects our love for a healthy, balanced day-to-day life and fully sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle,” he said. “As the heart of the home, the kitchen needs to be at the center of that net-zero-carbon conversation – and the folks at Beko clearly understand this.”
“Beko is honored to be partnering with the Wanns to show the world what affordably priced, net zero living looks like,” said Justin Reinke, Beko’s vice president of marketing. “Once completed next year, the Wann House becomes the new ground zero for homeowners looking for easy, accessible ways to reduce their carbon footprint without sacrificing their desire for style, convenience and comfort – whether in the kitchen or throughout the home.”
In addition to Beko, the following brands are helping the Wanns create their net zero showcase home:
- Smartflower is generating 90% of the onsite power through North America’s first rooftop residential application of its sculpture-like solar energy system that tracks the sun from sunrise to sunset.
- FENIX® is providing innovative materials for kitchen and garage surfaces that are extremely opaque, soft touch, anti-fingerprint, and 100% carbon neutral.
- GE Lighting, a Savant company, is installing its next-generation energy-efficient lamps, switches and fixtures.
- Savant Systems is at the “heart” of the Wann House energy-management strategy of combining grid, solar and battery components into an integrated, smart-home system for power efficiency and sustainability.
- Oliver Space, a furniture retailer offering a fully circular experience from purchase to trade-in, is outfitting the home with professionally refurbished furnishings.
- Plantable is providing signature sustainable botanical furniture pieces to show how living plants integrated into daily life reduces stress and promotes health, design and sustainability.
- Dole Food Company, a global leader in fresh produce, nutrition and sustainable farming, is supplying all fresh fruits and vegetables prepared in the two Beko Healthy Kitchens.