BREATHE EASIER IN THE HOME
Wellness is something we often seek outside the home, with a new fitness class or green smoothie tempting us to live better.
But what if better health and wellbeing came from a house?
The Westwood 3514, by Simonds Homes, uses new technology that ensures fresher air and water – and even a better night’s sleep.
The in-home wellness platform, by global leader Delos, is integrated seamlessly throughout the Truganina display home and monitored via a tablet or smartphone.
The automated system – dubbed Darwin – is arriving as a world-first in Melbourne.
Simonds Homes is the first to put the technology into affordable family housing, and will make it standard for every new home it builds.
Delos founder and chief executive Paul Scialla said the technology would be a major – and much-needed – shift in real estate.
“When you consider the fundamentals of what you deliver in a house and what it really means for the occupants, I can’t think of a better thing to focus on than their health outcomes,” Mr Scialla said.
Air is one element and can be monitored indoors from room to room, with a breakdown of pollutants visible on-screen. The air outdoors can also be monitored.
The system can recognise a spike in pollution and increase ventilation, with the filtration able to remove pollen and other particles from the air – or even smoke if you burn your toast.
Filtration removes the by-products in our treated water, such as chlorine, ensuring what you drink tastes and smells fresh.
Water is filtered for the whole home, so it’s the same for washing your clothes and showering.
Lighting is set to the right temperature and brightness for the time of day, attuned to circadian rhythm – the 24-hour biological process that dictates our sleep and waking cycle and energy levels.
Across the day, the home’s lights mimic the sun, growing brighter and then dimmer.
In the evening, rhythm-disrupting blue light – like that emitted by our phones and computers – is reduced, helping us to prepare for sleep again.
In the bedroom, a gentle wake-up sequence comes into effect. Automated blackout blinds slowly rise with the sun as the lighting gradually increases, and natural bird sounds play.
The bathroom mirror – surrounded by light designed to mimic bright sunlight – helps to energise you for the day as you brush your teeth and do your hair.
Simonds Group chief executive Kelvin Ryan said the first homes with Darwin would be under construction by the end of the year – before the technology was launched in family homes anywhere else in the world.
Mr Ryan said Darwin would be in basemodel homes that cost as little as $150,000 to build because it was important that the system was available to everyone, rather than being a luxury.
“It is fundamental that this be in reach for the average family,” he said.
By this time next year, Mr Ryan estimated that there could be 1000 Simonds homes operating Darwin systems, and that the movement toward wellness would be lasting.
“This is definitely here to stay, because wellness is here to stay,” he said.
“I think it will be an industry-changer.” Interior design guru Shaynna Blaze has put her name behind the technology, helping to launch the Truganina display home with Darwin to the public.
“I think it really is the missing link because we look at our exercise, we look at our food, but we’re not really thinking about our environment as we live in this box,” Blaze said.
“It’s something that we don’t give enough thought to – that the quality of our lives is all of those elements that come together.”
Blaze said the fact the system was a constant and passive way to enhance wellness and would simply operate in the background was a bonus.
“You’ll get a spring in your step without realising it,” she said.
Delos developed Darwin after extensive research at the internationally renowned Mayo Clinic into the impact of the indoor environment on health. Delos is also the creator of the WELL Building Standard for commercial real estate.
Shaynna Blaze, from TV reality show The Block, with Delos’s Paul Scialla (left) and Anthony Scarff. Below, Mr Scialla with a monitor. Pictures: Jay Town