The ancient Roman poet Virgil once said, “The greatest wealth is health.” And those in contemporary times increasingly agree—a 2017 study by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) found that wellness real estate is now a $134 billion industry. Katherine Johnston, a senior researcher at GWI, says the wellness economy has experienced a consistent upward trajectory in the last 10 years. It is expected to increase by 6 percent annually in the next several years. Residential buildings and communities are ideal for city dwellers and those seeking all-inclusive amenities at their fingertips, but these environments directly impact our health and happiness—proving our sustained well-being begins at home.
Real estate and tech firm Delos, led by Paul Scialla, developed the WELL Building Standard (now administered by the International WELL Building Institute), which is a series of comprehensive measures that sets the bar for healthy living through improved air quality, sleep cycles, cognitive functions, and immunity within the habitat. “We are committed to an evidence-based approach that looks at how the built environment can be used to impact and influence the human condition,” Scialla says. The institute has certified over 100 projects that integrate air filtration, anti-mold and anti-microbial surfaces, chemical-free materials, lighting that follows the body’s natural rhythms, and consistent water filtration evaluation.
One such new wellness edifice is set to hit sunny Palm Beach, Fla., late next year. Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences—a glass-encased oceanfront tower inspired by the yogic philosophy of mindfulness—was envisioned by Dilip Barot, the founder of Creative Choice Group. “These consumers define wellness for themselves, using inner science with research and technology to determine their best lifestyle,” says Barot. Meditation, fitness, and thought management classes are offered along with a personal wellness assistant available 24/7 to customize programs and cater to specific health needs for every resident. The building incorporates heat reflexology floors for posture support, a spa and hammam for purification and detoxing, and mood-boosting aromatherapy.
Consumers are demanding healthier-built homes and residences around the world, with 60 percent of Americans willing to pay more for wellness-designed estates over traditional ones, according to GWI. Perhaps the truest luxury is the discernment to cultivate a lifestyle for both mind and body to thrive.