Wellness Building is the Sustainable Future of Local Real-estate Development

It’s a known fact that the kind of lifestyle, enjoyment and inspiration we derive from where we live or where we work has a direct impact on our overall health, temperament, productivity and outlook.

A home or work environment that encourages greater interaction between groups of people, for example, affects one’s overall efficiency and attitude toward living well, and this is something that developers in other countries have long been championing for the past few years already.

The same kind of thinking, I believe, could also do wonders for local real-estate developers, particularly when Filipinos now have a clearer understanding and realization about the impact of homes and our surroundings to our quality of life and overall well-being. Nowadays, there are a lot of common illnesses faced by Filipinos that are directly impacted by the place we live, and to counter these, some developers and service providers have introduced certain specialized technologies that can take care of those concerns. We now see home-technology providers offering air-purifying home air-conditioning units and ventilation facilities, for example.

However, if local developers are to be really serious about making a lasting, impactful differentiator in today’s competitive market, they have to understand that promoting health and wellness as a key pillar in their pursuit of business should go beyond having those aforementioned services as support elements.

A promising shift

As much as I can remember, the concept of wellness building has yet to be “actively” done and promoted here in the Philippines.

In the past, Alveo Land has adopted a differentiator anchored on promoting total wellness when it launched The Red Oak in Two Serendra. The 40-story development strengthened its thrust toward the position by introducing a holistic wellness experience through a host of different facilities—from exercise to music rooms, reading nooks, jogging/walking paths and a spa facility, among others.

In other countries, however, the shift spearheaded by developers toward wellness has been more pronounced, and the markets that they cater to appear to be more inclined to accepting such concepts. homebuyers are probably wondering: If we’re going to spend 20 years (or more) living inside this building, how will this exactly improve our quality of life?

Healthy homes, for example, are now being built with the aim of enhancing the health and well-being of future residents.

Developers are becoming more and more aware of the kind of building materials and structural design, for example, that they use and integrate into the property’s blueprint. Delos, a property development consultancy firm based overseas, has pioneered the concept of Wellness Real Estate (merging medicine and science with design and construction to reinvent the role of the built environment on our health) by introducing the WELL Building Standard—the world’s first building standard focused exclusively on human health and wellness.

A practice worth emulating

The standard “marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based medical and scientific research—harnessing the built environment as a vehicle to support human health and well-being.”

“Well is grounded in a body of medical research that explores the connection between the buildings where we spend more than 90 percent of our time, and the health and wellness impacts on us as occupants.

The Well Building Standard is the culmination of seven years of research, in partnership with leading scientists, doctors, architects and wellness thought leaders,” Delos explained in a published material. “Well Certification is based on performance and requires a passing score in each of the seven categories [air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind] of the Well Building Standard.

The certification process includes comprehensive project documentation and an onsite audit. Well Certification is awarded at one of three levels: Silver, Gold and Platinum.”

The Well Building Standard may, perhaps, be an added credibility builder and value multiplier that real estate companies can draw inspiration from, with the aim of establishing a clearer argument about the kind of investment that homebuyers or property locators should seriously consider in the future.

Think about designing and building a high-rise residential development, and having integrated features and facilities that encourage greater physical activity, improving sleep, improving the quality of recreation and persuading residents to take up healthier eating habits to complement their already active lifestyle.

In this day and age, Filipinos have grown more conscious about their health, but sometimes we all have a blind spot about where we live.

The responsibility of selling and championing this idea to the consciousness of the local market lies on the kind of effort and commitment that local players can exhibit to this end. The challenge is in making one bold step forward to trigger a shift toward promoting health and wellness as integral pillars for a long-term investment in property development.

(Article by Amor Maclang, via Business Mirror.) – June 16, 2015

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