Can Your Luxury Condo Keep You Healthy?
In the past decade lots of new ideas have found their way into residential construction — aging-in-place, green initiatives, sustainability. It seems only natural, pun intended, for wellness to be part of the equation. Turns out that wellness real estate makes up $134 billion of the of the $4.2 trillion global wellness economy. Home builders like KB Homes signed on earlier this year to develop and sell wellness real estate. But other custom builders and developers, who may not have KB’s volume of scale are seeing wellness as a great value proposition and differentiator.
One such developer taking the gamble is Rishi Kapoor, CEO of Miami-based Location Ventures, with Villa Valencia.
The project, which broke ground in Coral Gables earlier this year, will have 39 luxury condominium residences and feature the Darwin system. “Every one of our residences will be controlled by smart home systems. Darwin can plug right into that and residents can, among other things, monitor air quality and lighting temperature,” says Kapoor.
Created by Delos, Darwin is both a “hardware and software platform,” says company founder and CEO Paul Scialla. “The software is a whole algorithm that acts as a wellness brain for the home.” The system checks air and water quality, thermal and acoustic comfort and circadian lighting. “The sensor is constantly reading everything.”
For example, tap on “air quality” to learn about the level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your home. The levels will rise and fall as you come in from outdoors with nasty stuff on your shoes and clothing; if you’re cooking; if you’re using hair spray. The system will let you know if the particulate level is harmful. The same goes for what’s in your water.
As for lighting, you can set “scenes” to energize and awaken or to simulate dawn or to relax. You can set it to your circadian rhythms, the natural sleep cycles our long-ago ancestors used to follow. “We used to wake at sunrise and be active and energized during the day under a bright sky that triggered hormones for energy and mental acuity,” Scialla says. “We slept in complete darkness. We breathed pristine air, drank pure water. This went on for the better part of human history. Now we spend almost 90 percent of our lives in a manufactured box where air quality tends to be two to five time worse than outdoor air.”
While each Villa Valencia residence, which range in size from 2,616 square feet to 6,236 square feet, will have Darwin, the building will also have a 78-foot resort-style pool; full spa with his and hers sauna; a co-ed hammam/steam room; and hydro therapy plunge pools. There is also an option for private cabanas on the pool deck (think 250 square foot-studio with a kitchen a private roof top and plunge pool), and a suite of private enclosed garages.
Wellness is the wave of the future, says Kapoor. Throughout history, builders and developers moved incrementally with new features “then it’s a copycat and then it’s a standard. Years ago, people had no idea of home automation and it was only available for high end homes. Now it’s a standard [in many places]. We’re a pioneer of adopting the leading edge for wellness, but I expect it will continue to be adopted throughout the market.”
Kapoor is already making that happen in all the properties his company develops. “Our pillars are nature, technology and wellness. Whether we’re working on a $1,000-a-month furnished rental or a $20 million home, we adhere to those philosophies.”
Source: Stacey Freed, Forbes Magazine