In 2019, Delos, the New York-based wellness real estate and technology firm, debuted the DARWIN Home Wellness Intelligence Network. Embodying the notion of healthy housing, the comprehensive package comprises air filtration and water purification systems and bedroom comforts like temperature controls and blackout shades. Restorative circadian lighting is another feature. Mimicking the sun’s natural patterns to maintain balanced sleep-and-wake cycles, it shifts from bright and energizing to a melatonin-inducing softness over the course of the day.
A year later, in the throes of a pandemic, the merits of DARWIN—now with an updated platform after Delos’ recent collaboration with the home automation and workplace manufacturer Crestron—feel particularly comforting. People are spending more time than ever holed up in their houses, and wellbeing is top of mind. COVID-19, says Delos founder and CEO Paul Scialla, is the catalyst for realizing how deeply the building and health sciences are intertwined. Embracing an evidence-based, data-driven approach, Delos is “on the solution side for this, changing lifestyle outcomes and doing so in a manner that’s accessible to all,” adds Scialla.
A former Goldman Sachs partner, Scialla founded Delos in 2009, after observing, during his nearly 20 years on Wall Street, that the green building industry “made sense, but half the story was missing.” Ninety percent of people spent their time indoors, yet there was little consideration of the residents who actually lived in these buildings. Therefore, determining how the built world affects the human condition, and transforming the places where one lives, sleeps, works, and plays, became Scialla’s focus: “This relationship between people and what surrounds them has been our fundamental science for years.”
To strengthen this mission, Delos opened the Well Living Lab in partnership with the Mayo Clinic in 2015 to study how indoor environments can be improved. A year prior, Delos established the WELL Building Standard, a system that monitors and measures the impact built environments have on human health. Administered by another Scialla initiative, the International WELL Building Institute, it is third-party certified by the Green Business Certification Inc.
During a time when airborne transmissions are of utmost concern, a trio of portable, freestanding, low-energy Delos Powered by Healthway air purification solutions (shown below) come to the rescue. “We’ve been looking at ultra-fine particle filtration for the better part of four years for the most effective and affordable ways,” says Scialla, to execute such products.
More than 10,000 compact versions, filtering particles as small as .007 microns and operating at a 99.97 percent efficiency rate, have been installed throughout New York public schools to fight the virus. They are also gently priced, costing about $10 per student, reflecting Scialla’s democratic vision of health.
“When we embarked on this years ago, we knew that health needed to be positioned as a right, not a privilege, thus putting forth a program that can be scaled across all regions and demographics,” he explains. “The potential for societal impact is so large using real estate as a healthcare prevention tool.”
This article originally appeared in HD’s November 2020 issue.