Architects are designing a healthier living environment for wellness-minded consumers.
Modern consumers are increasingly making wellbeing a top priority, as evidenced by the booming health and wellness economy; the global wellness economy is valued at $4.2 trillion, according to the 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor report. Alongside this growth, the definition of health is expanding. While consumers most commonly associate “health” with physical condition (77%), nearly as many people (75%) say that they think about mental health when they think about health, with around half of consumers associating sleep (58%) and mindfulness (43%) with health, according to a survey conducted by SONAR™, Wunderman Thompson’s proprietary market research tool.
As consumers are more conscious of their health, they are turning a keen eye to their living environment. And, given that Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, architects are designing homes that improve living environments for healthier inhabitants. “The science behind indoor environments that supports people’s health and wellness is a new frontier,” said Dr. Brent Bauer, Medical Director of the Well Living Lab.
Wellness real estate and technology company Delos is pioneering healthy home design, from building science to lifestyle. As part of their commitment to constructing a healthy living environment, Delos partnered with the Mayo Clinic on the Well Living Lab, which recently opened its second location in Beijing. The Lab is a “human-centered research facility dedicated to identifying how buildings—and everything that goes in them—impacts human health and well-being.”
The company, who counts wellness guru Deepak Chopra as an advisory board member, has created the “healthiest” condo in New York City. The apartment features amenities like anti-microbial surfaces, Vitamin C-filtered showers, in-duct aromatherapy and individually-calibrated circadian lighting systems.
At CES 2019, Delos unveiled DARWIN, a Home Wellness Intelligence Network that optimizes healthy home environments. The system is designed to reduce indoor contaminants that negatively affect respiratory, cardiovascular, immune and cognitive health, the company explains. “We’re now spending $4.2 trillion globally on health and wellness-focused products, from fitness apps to personal health care to nutrition programs,” said Delos CEO and Founder Paul Scialla. “DARWIN is designed to empower people to be healthier, happier and more productive in their own home by adding a layer of wellness intelligence to the smart-home landscape.”
Also debuted at CES 2019, the KB Home Projekt proposes a home design that “helps residents improve their physical and emotional health and well-being.” From the appliances to the building materials, KB Home integrates wellness-boosting principles and technologies – including Delos’ DARWIN Home Wellness Intelligence Network – to help inhabitants lead healthier lives.
In the kitchen, a Whirlpool refrigerator and Yummly app integrate to identify and track the contents of the fridge and recommend recipes. Throughout the house, the walls are constructed with antimicrobial drywall and paint, which absorb volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. To further ensure inhabitants are breathing clean air, an advanced air purification system monitors air quality and removes harmful pollutants. Delos’ DARWIN adds to this by circulating fresh air from outside into the house, while constantly monitoring environmental conditions within the home. DARWIN also delivers purified water to all appliances and fixtures within the home. Several elements combine to facilitates rest and relaxation; noise-reducing walls create a peaceful environment and Darwin’s circadian lighting technology promotes healthy sleep patterns.
With the wellness economy showing no signs of slowing down, healthy homes are poised to skyrocket. “More and more architects, interior designers and engineers are working together with scientists for healthy design, and thinking about how to make the space more like human beings’ natural life,” agreed Xue Ya, Asia president at Delos Living, part of the team behind the Well Living Lab.
Main image courtesy of Delos