A High-Tech System to Make Homes More Healthy

Delos is what’s known as a “wellness real estate” brand. Founded in New York in 2012, it aims to make homes healthier places to live by installing a system that monitors and controls a property’s air and water quality and lighting.

Delos introduced the technology, called Darwin Home Wellness Intelligence (Darwin), in Australia last fall.

Darwin is operated through a Wi-Fi-enabled tablet that resembles an iPad and displays metrics on conditions across the home. Properties with the system are constructed with air quality sensors and filters that detect and remove impurities like pollution and smoke. They also have water purifiers that get rid of chlorine, heavy metals and other particles from tap water.

Darwin’s lighting component is intended to mimic natural light patterns. Properties have blackout shades that open to natural light in the morning (residents can set a designated time), and in the evening the shades automatically close, and lights in the home gradually dim to simulate nightfall outside.

Delos’s chief executive, Paul Scialla, said Darwin is meant to counteract the effects of spending too much time inside.

“We’re indoors for most of our lives, and while we may not be able to change that, Darwin gives you the ability to change your environment,” he said.

The company joined two Australian real estate developers, Lateral Estate and Simonds, for the venture, and properties equipped with Darwin are now on sale in suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne.

“Australia is a trailblazer in wellness real estate and started taking it seriously almost two decades ago, before it was a worldwide trend,” said Beth McGroarty, the research director for the Global Wellness Institute, a nonprofit organization for the wellness industry. “It’s no surprise that Delos is making its international launch there.”

According to statistics from the institute, wellness real estate is a $134 billion market globally and is projected to increase to almost $200 billion by 2022.

Australia’s slice of the market is valued at $9.5 billion, making it the third largest in the world behind the United States and China.

The number of wellness communities in Australia has increased significantly in the last five years, Ms. McGroarty said, with more than 100 either completed or in development, at a range of prices. Examples include Augustine Heights, a community in Queensland with affordable homes, and Aldinga Arts Ecovillage, a 40-acre complex in South Australia consisting partly of farmland.

Not many are equipped with such high-tech systems as Darwin, but these communities offer wellness in other ways: growing produce for residents, for example, or providing outdoor space and fitness classes.

Delos’s projects in Australia also involve both luxury and lower-cost properties.

At the more affordable end, the company is working with Simonds, a large home builder, on residences in the state of Victoria.

Simonds’s Darwin-equipped homes are already for sale in several suburbs in the Melbourne area including Lyndhurst, a middle-class neighborhood about 25 miles southeast of the city, and Point Cook, about 15 miles to the southwest.

The properties have a contemporary aesthetic, with features like large windows, blond wood floors, white color tones and stainless steel finishes.

Although outdoor space is limited, they are 3,700 square feet inside and have three or four bedrooms. Their average price is $240,000. Prospective buyers can tour one of 14 model homes scattered around the suburbs, marked by signs with the tagline “Wellness Lives Here.”

The chief executive of Simonds’s holding company, Rhett Simonds, said his company had sold about 1,000 Darwin homes since last September (about one-third of its total annual sales in Australia) and that, by the end of the year, it planned to have Darwin installed in every home it builds in the country. “It has been a huge success for us and welcomed by our buyers,” he said.

At the higher end, Delos has also collaborated with the builder Lateral Estate on 40 luxury apartments, priced between $550,000 and $1.4 million, in the Sydney suburb of Blakehurst.

The company’s chief executive, Tony Johnson, said that the properties have between one and three bedrooms and range from 960 to 1,300 square feet. With their high ceilings, tall windows, herringbone floors and granite stone bathrooms, these homes, like the Simonds properties, feel contemporary; the residences on the ground floors have 645-square-foot outdoor courtyards.

The apartments went on the market in May, and Mr. Johnson said that around a dozen have sold so far.

“We were looking for a point of differentiation in a market that was losing value, and we think Darwin gives us that,” he said. “There is a high demand in Australia for healthy living, so why not give home buyers what they want?”

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High-rise Sydney: Tall buildings and unit blocks on the up

As councils and the state government scramble to build another 725,000 Sydney homes by 2036, the city is reaching up as well as out.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that 18 of Sydney’s 34 councils now have a high-rise building taller than 50m — and the new generation of tall towers will change the city landscape forever.

Outer suburban areas reaching high into the sky include Hurstville, Auburn, Dee Why, Eastgardens, Castle Hill, Blacktown and Liverpool.

Sydney is getting so tall the Civil Aviation Safety Authority regularly talks developers down from building towers that could pose a danger for aircraft.

“Sydney Airport has often discussed options with developers, including amended proposals with lower heights that have subsequently been approved,” a Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities spokesman said.

“The Department also provides comments to relevant planning authorities on proposals that impact airspace protection and this has included comments that the Department cannot support a building that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has advised would have an unacceptable impact on aviation safety.”

Federal aviation authorities have considered and approved hundreds of buildings in Greater Sydney in the past five years.

One of the starkest examples of high-rise development has been Liverpool’s 93m Liberty Tower.

Lateral Estate general manager Maria Skarparis said the building has become an “iconic” part of Sydney’s skyline.

“It is the first thing you see when you are coming into Liverpool or when you’re travelling on the M5,” she said of the 300-apartment tower.

“Liverpool is becoming southwest Sydney’s CBD.”

While Sydney is building some of its tallest buildings ever, some areas are also witnessing an unprecedented number of new apartments being built.

When comparing the three years to 2015 with the three years to 2018, Hornsby Council has seen a 331 per cent increase in the number of dwellings, of which the large majority are apartments, completed.

This is the highest percentage increase in Sydney, followed by Waverley (266 per cent), Strathfield (174 per cent), Cumberland (154 per cent), Ryde (97 per cent) and Bayside (97 per cent) council areas.

In terms of overall numbers, Parramatta, Sydney city, Blacktown, Bayside and Camden councils have absorbed the most, each building between 7000 and 12,000 new homes between 2015 and 2018.

Janelle McIntosh is a Hornsby Labor councillor who has lived in ­Asquith all her life.

She said the northern Sydney suburb has been swamped with five- to six-storey high-rise buildings along Peats Ferry Rd.

Like many areas of Sydney, Ms McIntosh has been surprised by the speed and scale of change.

“It’s a huge amount of development in a small period of time. There has been so much shock in the community. They can’t believe it,” she said.


She said she has copped a lot of blowback from residents.

“Parents who are driving from Mt Colah and Mount Ku-ring-gai to Hornsby used to take five minutes for their trip; now they take 20 minutes,” she said.

Seventy-eight per cent of new dwellings built in Sydney are apartments, according to Infrastructure Australia, compared to 22 per cent greenfield detached housing.

This is the highest proportion of apartment building in Australia.

A NSW Department of Planning spokesman said the state government is spending $88 billion on infrastructure over the forward estimates (four years) — “the largest investment in infrastructure that any state has ever seen”.

“Government recognises infrastructure needs to go in with new development, not after the fact,” he said.

“The government also recognises that infrastructure includes green space, so since 2011 the government has purchased approximately 585ha of land for open space, transferring almost half of it (258ha) to local councils and the Western Sydney Parklands Trust.

“In April 2018 the government announced the $290m Open Spaces and Greener Sydney package, which outlined an ongoing commitment to make Sydney a greener, healthier, more liveable city.”

Hornsby mayor Philip Ruddock said the council would try to avoid further high-rise development around railway stations.

“I’m pro-appropriate development, not anti-development,” Mr Ruddock said. “We’ve come to a view as a council that if we are going to meet future demands it would be preferable to do it in a properly planned way in the Hornsby CBD.”

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Skyhaus: tallest residential tower in south west region sets the pace

The tallest building in South West Sydney by a country mile is almost here.

Skyhaus, a $100 million apartment complex of two 30 storey towers will set the benchmark for the entire region, which is about to receive a massive population boost from Liverpool to Camden and beyond.

It was designed by influential local firm Mosca Pserras Architects.

Work is almost complete on the first 30 storey tower of Skyhaus and construction has started on the second tower.

A third tower of just six storeys is almost finished.

As you can imagine, the views from most levels are breathtaking.

Skyhaus is reaching for the sky from the Hollywood Motors site on the old Hume Highway, just past the edge of the Liverpool central business district.

Even before Skyhaus the site enjoyed good views because of its elevated position on a crest of the hill rising from the Georges River below.

But now few adjectives can do justice to the commanding views to the Blue Mountains in the west and the Harbour Bridge and Sydney’s Manhattan-like skyline in the east.

If you love good views, an apartment at Skyhaus gives you that as well as style and luxury not often seen in our region.

The south west region boom is just getting off the ground and Skyhaus is a sign of things to come.

As a landmark development it is poised to set the benchmark for residential living in the entire region.

Aside from the grand views, Skyhaus is also located within walking distance of most facilities, including transport, parks, leisure centres, educational, hospital and retail and dining.

Residents on the first 20 levels will be moving in before Christmas and in time to enjoy the New Year fireworks from their Skyhaus balconies.

The upper levels will be available around February next year.

First home buyers, savvy investors and locals who are downsizing are among the first to buy into Skyhaus.

Feedback from these buyers suggests the two main factors behind their decision was the high level of luxury finishes and – not surprisingly – the incredible views on offer at this new south west region residential icon.

How much does it cost? The top two penthouse levels have recently been released with prices for a two bedroom apartment starting at $629,000.

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Booming towers planned for Liverpool as evidence grows of a high rise future

THE Liverpool skyline is under redesign.

Plans are currently before Liverpool Council for a $95 million, 90m-high development which would tower over the central business district from the southwest.

The proposal from Sydney developer Lateral Estate is for two 29-storey towers on a site at the corner of Macquarie St and the Hume Highway.

The development will be known as Skyhaus.
The building will include two 29-storey towers and a third six storeys high.

The development will be known as Skyhaus.

Known as Skyhaus, the development would have 424 residential apartments, commercial space and 487 above- and below-ground carparks.

It would be about three times higher than any existing building in the Liverpool city area.

A third residential block, six storeys in height, would also be included.

The proposal is before council planners but will require sign off from the South West Joint Regional Planning Panel before it can be built.

Lateral general manager Tony Johnson said he was “excited” plans were before the council and hoped development could begin before the end of the year.

Liverpool councillor Wendy Waller said the development would need to meet the “expectations” of the community.

“We’ve got parking issues in the city and our streets are already at capacity. Overdevelopment is not the main game,” she said.

Mayor Ned Mannoun said the project received two submissions during a period of public exhibition.

He added Liverpool was attracting more interest from developers looking to build skyward to cater for the city’s growing population.

“In recent months, a number of developers and major landowners have approached council officers about significant development proposals for a number of key strategic sites,” Cr Mannoun said.

It is understood a proposal is also being drawn-up for a large mixed-use development on a site in Elizabeth St.

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