Australian Financial Review: Lendlease and a former banker bring wellness to real estate
Australian Financial Review, March 22, 2016
By Robert Harley
Australian building owners and occupants are warming to the new WELL Building Standard: a certification that aims to measure the performance of the built environment so it can support health and wellbeing.
Paul Scialla, the founder of Delos, which pioneered Wellness real estate, and the founder of he International WELL Being Institute which administers the WELL Building Standard, said that per capita the interest in WELL in Australia was the most significant of any country so far.
Two hundred projects in 14 countries are being assessed for WELL. In Australia, seven projects are seeking WELL certification or WELL Core and Shell compliance.
They include Macquarie Group’s headquarters in Sydney’s Martin Place, the Grocon/ DEXUS office tower at 480 Queen Street in Brisbane and the new Mirvac headquarters on Sydney’s George Street.
Lendlease and Delos formed an alliance in November. Now they have furthered the partnership and will work together on WELL Core & Shell Certification as a “pathway” to the WELL certification of how the space performed for its occupants.
Lendlease’s three Barangaroo towers in Sydney will be the first globally to gain the new WELL Core & Shell Certification. Lend Lease will also seek platinum WELL certification for its headquarters within Barangaroo.
Lendlease’s Group head of sustainability, Geoff Dutaillis, said the new WELL program elevated human health and wellness to the forefront of building practices and supported Lendlease’s vision of creating the best places.
“Our customers – the people who use the places we create – are increasingly focused on encouraging healthier, more active lifestyles and reducing exposure to harmful materials, he said.
The WELL Building Standard focuses not on the building, but on the health and wellness of the people within the buildings, using a performance-based, and evidence-sourced, approach to assess the impact of factors like air, water, nourishment, light, fitness and comfort.
It can be applied across different types of buildings, including apartments. Lendlease is now testing the value premium that attaches to WELL-certified apartments, with features like better light and air, at the Elephant & Castle project in London.
Mr Scialla is a former investment banker who, after 18 years on Wall Street, created Delos to merge the world’s largest asset class – real estate – with the world’s fastest growing industry – wellness.
“It started with a question about sustainability … what about the people?” he said. “So I got some architects and doctors together and was shocked by their lack of knowledge on the human condition.
“The millennials are used to wellness in everything they buy. This is the wellness version of real estate,” he said.
Mr Scialla will speak at the Green Building Conference in Sydney on Wednesday.