Featured Post

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Why Wellness is the Next Big Thing in Real Estate

Ask people what wellness real estate means and you get a variety of misinformed answers, due to misperceptions about what wellness itself actually entails. Wellness is more than simply a physical construct. True wellness incorporates physical wellness, yes, but also mental wellness, environmental wellness, social wellness and access to nature, the latter of which plays a part in all the other aspects of wellness. 


Let’s face it. Most of us spend the vast majority of our lives inside. In normal times, we shuttle between home and office, with stops at stores, gyms or restaurants. Even when we are on vacation, we spend a lot of time inside, whether we are stuck at the airport or luxuriating inside a resort room. As a result, our indoor spaces have an outsized impact on every aspect of our lives. By ensuring that the places in which we dwell are well, our built environments can be transformed into vehicles for health and well-being. 

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, wellness is having its moment. Perhaps for the first time, people have paused and reflected how the environment around them, whether built by man or Mother Nature, impacts their feelings of well-being.

Real estate should reflect nature

At the same time, scientists are sounding the alarm about how our environment, both outdoor and indoor, impacts our overall health.  According to the World Health Organization, “Whether people are healthy or not is determined by their circumstances and environment. To a large extent, factors such as where we live, the state of our environment, genetics, our income and education level, and our relationships with friends and family all have considerable impacts on health.” 

The real estate industry is taking note of both the science and the wellness awakening that has evolved during the COVID era.  In the past, when the term “wellness real estate” was bandied about (if it was bandied about at all),  it usually referred to the building of a spa, a fitness center, or maybe even a healthcare facility. But now, developers in almost every key sector of the real estate business, including hospitality, residential, retail or commercial, are paying heed to how health and wellness ingredients can be baked into a project. 

Adding glass panels to ceilings helps bring nature inside

While those ingredients may vary depending upon the type of developments, among the ones that should be considered universal are:

  • Access to Nature

  • Air Quality 

  • Acoustic Insulation

  • Biophilic Design

  • Energy-Efficient Lighting/Light Sensors

  • Fitness/Relaxation/Recharging Areas

  • Indoor and Outdoor Green Spaces

  • Indoor and Outdoor Water Elements

  • Natural/Non-Toxic Building Materials

  • Preservation of Green Spaces

  • Sustainability (including energy-saving technologies)

  • Temperature Control

  • Third Spaces for Social Interaction

  • Use of Natural Light

  • Ventilation/Air Filtration Systems

  • Water Filtration Systems

All of these ingredients contribute to wellness, in at least one of its forms. And while, in the past, some of these elements were overlooked or omitted due to budgetary concerns, given the interest in wellness, today, most are no longer optional.