BREATHE EAS­IER IN THE HOME

The Courier-Mail - Home - - SMART DESIGN - NATHAN MAWBY

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

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