Is your ‘home sweet home’ making you sick? Sadly, some houses suffer from inferior indoor air and water quality and are disrupting our sleep schedules. Yet modern technology has come to the rescue, with the WELL standard being put to work in the Australian office market.
Delos Australia, a division of the International Well Building Institute that founded the WELL Certification program, aims to introduce wellness to the housing market. And according to Delos’ managing director Anthony Scarff, the company aims to make wellness in houses as common as airbags in automobiles.
The company debuted in Australia in 2019 and already has partnered with a volume builder. While not a product manufacturer, Delos sources technology to coordinate “home ecosystems” to facilitate wellness.
The technology employed in the creation of these ecosystems is effective, cost-efficient and easy to retrofit. Package prices begin at $3000 for the most basic, which will be comprised of air filtration, water purification and automated lighting systems that work together to establish a natural circadian rhythm, with daily manifestations that include the dimming of bedroom lights each evening.
Scarff says that Australia needs to catch up a bit when it comes to home wellness awareness—this owing to its history as a fresh air country. His company’s aim is to make houses here healthier, so that people can regard their residences as places to rest and recover from the outside world.
Delos incorporates a number of WELL principles into its products, but emphasises most of all the key concepts of improved air and water quality, as well as natural lighting.
Scarff notes that in prehistoric times, the rising sun served the same function as an alarm clock. The sun sits high in the sky throughout the day, giving us light to live and work by, then sets—with the shade and filtering luminescence relaxing us as we prepare for bed.
Modern interiors often come complete with brighter fluorescent lights as well as illuminated phones and home entertainment centres, sometimes rendering rest and sleep a literal distant dream. Other forms of light, by contrast, might dull the senses during the day, when you might wish to get some work done around the house.
Scarff says that few people comprehend the effect that light has on one’s mood. Warmer light relaxes, fluorescent light can have various effects, whereas natural light cheers and energises.
Along similar lines, people in early eras drank water from creeks and streams. Modern drinking water is treated with chlorine, which kills bacteria but can hinder the digestive system. In addition, sediments and silt can taint the modern water supply.
Moreover, interior air quality these days can be two to five times worse than outdoor air quality. This can be owed to the quantity of pollens and allergens that emanate from the outdoors and come unwelcome into the home, joining the toxins and pathogens released in the house from sources such as materials and furniture.
Scarff asserts in addition that the modern transition toward airtight homes has rendered these residences more energy efficient, but can be detrimental to the health of residents because the interior air supply is not constantly refreshed.
‘Well house’ models—in summary–offer numerous health-related benefits, like enhanced mood, sleep quality and productivity.
Scarff says many developers and architects have expressed a keen interest in Delos’ wellness-centred residential offerings. And in the next year and a half, the company looks to expand its distribution footprint—for the cause of healthier homes and families.