It is a TreeHugger mantra that the green home has to be healthy as well as energy saving. In New York City, a new real estate firm, Delos, is building the ultimate in healthy living. Robin Finn describes it in the New York Times:
Well Building Standard, "a simple, comprehensive performance-based standard for protecting human health." A killer board of advisors involves doctors, ex-politicians and Jason McLennan of the Living Future Institute and Deepak Chopra. It is an elaborate standard dealing with "Air, Water, Light, Nourishment, Fitness, Comfort, and Mind."
The purest air and water and the most intense soundproofing are promised: there is a buildingwide water purification system; filters will screen out air pollutants, allergens and toxins; and a circadian lighting system will stream energizing light in the morning and melatonin-enhancing light in the evening. Then there’s the posture-supportive flooring system and the WELL Shield coating, which destroys bacteria in the kitchen and bathrooms.
There are five units in the renovated building, starting at $15.5 million and running up to $50 million for the penthouse, which sounds steep but as we always say, quality costs money and it is New York City after all. And don't forget the trickle-down theory; as the real estate agent Dolly Lenz notes,
It’s going to start with wealthy people buying into the amenities, but this type of technology can filter down to all levels. It’s going to be the Whole Foods story of real estate. These guys are six years ahead of everybody else with their product. They’re out in the uber-stratosphere of the healthy housing movement.
The developer, Paul D. Scialla, tells the Times that "a light bulb went off. Why build homes and offices just so they’re good for the environment? Why not build them so they’re good for people, too?" He has a point. The trouble is, that light bulb went off for green builders all over the world long ago. But they have to look out the window for their circadian lighting and go outside for their melatonin. Delos clients get it all delivered on a silver platter. Furthermore, these apartments may be good for people (if you believe all this wellness stuff) but it is at the expense of the environment.
The rich are different than you and me; they can afford healthy buildings. The rest of us have to eat the CO2 and mercury produced making the electricity needed to run 10,000 square foot apartments with built-in juicing stations, 78 bottle wine coolers, giant saunas and circadian lighting systems. More at Delos and in the New York Times