Purchasing a home signifies an important milestone of adulthood and is typically the most important investment and expenditure that people will make during their lifetime. In recent years, there has been an increased emphasis on mental health and—understanding that individuals spend a considerable amount of time in their homes—it makes sense that these dwellings should be designed in a way that promotes mental well-being.
Delos is one of several companies that is working to change the landscape of the residential real estate sector by incorporating various tech-based wellness elements into the built environment. In fact, the wellness real estate sector represented a $134 billion industry in 2017 and is projected to be worth nearly $200 billion by 2022. The following is a breakdown of how Delos is contributing to this growth by providing sustainable living solutions designed to improve physical and mental health:
DARWIN Home Wellness Intelligence Platform
An outgrowth of its WELL Building Standard, which values and incorporates features designed to enhance health and wellness, Delos launched a first-of-its-kind residential wellness technology platform in September 2018. The DARWIN Home Wellness Intelligence platform leverages advanced technology to mitigate various indoor environmental concerns and alleviate feelings of stress and exhaustion experienced in the home. Delos spent seven years researching and developing the proprietary system, which emphasizes four main components: water purification, air filtration, comfort-focused technologies, and circadian lighting. Elements in these categories interact with each other through the company’s cloud-based algorithms in order to restore the body’s natural rhythm.
“Despite most of human history spent outside, we now spend nearly 90 percent of our time indoors, and yet rarely focus on the impact the indoor environment can have on our health and well-being,” explained Delos founder and CEO Paul Scialla. “Through extensive scientific research and real-world testing, we discovered that we can mitigate environmental triggers within our homes to enhance both physical and emotional well-being.”
DARWIN’s Water Filtration System
The quality of the tap water in homes can vary depending on various factors and, oftentimes, it doesn’t meet the US EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level goals. DARWIN’s water filtration system ensures high-quality and better-tasting tap water by removing impurities. Its air purification system further enhances the built environment by filtering contaminants, expelling odors, and removing any harmful pathogens and chemicals.
Lighting has a major impact on circadian rhythms, and the DARWIN circadian lighting system aims to replicate natural light patterns to increase energy and productivity and improve sleep, among other aspects of one’s life. Conversely, extensive exposure to artificial light can have a negative impact on one’s digestion, hormone release, and sleep-wake cycle. Lastly, the DARWIN enhanced sleep system mitigates blue light exposure and light pollution while promoting deep, re-energizing sleep through a transitional lighting ambiance.
The Well Living Lab
Prior to the launch of the DARWIN Home Wellness Intelligence platform, Delos collaborated with the Mayo Clinic to establish the Well Living Lab. The project, announced in 2014, was initiated to study how the built environment affects health, performance, sleep, comfort, stress, and resiliency. It has been supported by experts in behavioral science, building science, and health sciences.
Based in Rochester, Minnesota, the Well Living Lab continues to strive for advancements in residential wellness by conducting various studies. Recent published studies include topics such as “Impact of Air Quality on the Gastrointestinal Microbiome: A Review” and “Conducting Human-Centered Building Science at the Well Living Lab.” As part of its strategic objectives for 2020-21, it intends to expand collaborative efforts with the Mayo Clinic and conduct further translational studies in order to enhance human health.
How the Indoor Environment Impacts Well-Being
Air pollution is one of the five most common causes of mortality worldwide and contributes to cardiovascular disease, respiratory system cancer, and diabetes, among other physical ailments. Unfiltered water can contain harmful contaminants such as mercury, bacteria, and parasites. Ingesting these contaminants can bring about several short-term digestive symptoms, while long-term exposure can lead to developmental and chronic kidney diseases. DARWIN’s light, sound, and thermal comfort features contribute to improved sleep quality. The CDC considers sleep deprivation to be a public health concern that can have adverse effects such as slower reaction times, difficulty concentrating, and decreased problem-solving skills.
In addition to its partnership with Mayo Clinic, Delos has worked with a host of other medical partners, scientists, and architects. They include the Cleveland Clinic, Columbia University Medical Center physicians, and various wellness thought leaders. Moreover, it has taken the resulting DARWIN platform and expanded its global presence through partnerships with builders, installers, and premier dealers worldwide. Delos was a title sponsor of KB Home’s “Home of the Future,” which was showcased at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. Moreover, DARWIN is now part of the standard offering in new home builds by Australian developers Simonds Homes and Lateral Estate. Other partners include Fairfield Homes, Location Ventures, and Shea Homes.