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Tried and True Amenities
"If I look back five to 10 years, the community and location were once truly
secondary to our design process, but now it's integral from the initial charrettes
and programming," says Britney Gilley, vice president of design, Builders Design.
According to Gilley, who has specialized in multifamily design for 10 years, the
location and community are equally as important as the interior amenities and units
themselves. Everything needs to work together in a cohesive way.

the World's First Home Wellness
Intelligence Network

"There are ways in design to find the commonalities between millennials and
boomers," says Gilley. "But, interestingly, if you tour these apartment communities
after they've leased up, you'll find millennials living in a space that may have more
boomers (because they're seeking a quieter, more relaxing lifestyle). Or, conversely,
you may find boomers living in a more high-energy and prominently millennial
apartment community."
According to Gilley, despite all the cool amenities we hear about-such as a sea salt
spa or cigar lounge-the most in-demand amenities are still the fitness center and
pool. "However, no matter what amenities you have, creating a great environment by
the management group is key," she explains. "It's all about encouraging use of the
space through planned events and offering service amenities.
"The common spaces should really feel like an extension of their home, so it's
important to understand the personalized aspect of design, as well as the codes and
guidelines," she adds. One of the reasons Gilley loves multifamily design is because
she uses commercial skills-there are so many safety and accessibility considerations
in every project-but having residential experience also is key.
Gilley sought LEED professional accreditation because she believed there would
be a strong push for LEED and WELL buildings. While she's seeing it occasionally in
new Class A product, it's not as common as she thought it would be. "I believe it
could be the ongoing concern in this industry about the upfront costs vs. the long-term
savings. Usually, you have two separate budgets: your development component that
covers the initial build-out, then it transfers to the management budget," she explains.
"So, the developers don't seem to want to make the investment, as they may not
be the ones to see the savings. As we continue to see innovation in that market, we
will likely see affordability level out and hopefully see a bigger push for these types of
healthy spaces for both the residents and the planet."
In order to succeed in the stimulating and competitive multifamily market, interior
designers must have the right mix of talent and business acumen. Those who can
envision life through the lens of apartment residents-and are able to articulate this
vision to developers-have the opportunity to shine in multiunit residential design.

"As we continue to see innovation in
[the sustainability and wellness] market, we will
likely see affordability level out and hopefully
see a bigger push for these types of healthy
spaces for both the residents and the planet."


is a New York-based interior designer
and media consultant. She also is the
2017-2019 communications director for
the ASID New York Metro chapter.

i+D - May/June 2019

Delos is a technology and solutions company focused on
health and wellness in real estate. One of its latest innovations,
DARWIN, is the world's first Home Wellness Intelligence
network. DARWIN monitors, detects, and responds to the
changing conditions of the home to help enhance occupants'
health and wellness needs throughout the day.
"Delos is particularly excited about this new technology, as its
intuitive regulation occurs automatically in the background
without you lifting a finger, and you can also choose from a range
of mood-specific wellness experiences. In addition to single-family
homes, multifamily residences have already begun to integrate
DARWIN," says Paul Scialla, CEO and founder, Delos.
DARWIN is a technology solution for private residences,
not a building standard. "Base buildings and common spaces
absolutely can and should pursue WELL certification for the
most holistic approach to wellness for the people who move
about these spaces," adds Scialla. However, DARWIN can play
an important role in enhancing private family spaces by offering
a personalized and customizable wellness experience within
each home environment.
"While developers and building owners could pursue
DARWIN without WELL, they would be missing an opportunity
to holistically impact human health and wellbeing beyond the
components that DARWIN addresses," adds Scialla.
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is a
wholly owned subsidiary of Delos. IWBI delivers the WELL
Building Standard and offers WELL certification, plus the
WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP) program. IWBI
works independently of Delos to administer WELL,
which is third-party certified through IWBI's collaboration
with Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the same
organization that certifies LEED buildings.
According to Rachel Gutter, IWBI president, since the launch of
WELL certification in 2014, there are now about 200 multifamily
projects WELL certified or currently pursuing WELL certification.
As people across the globe increasingly become aware of the
impacts that their home environments can have on the health
and wellness of themselves and their families, it has become
progressively important to verify the performance of the places
where they live.
Gutter notes that, according to the 2018 Global Wellness
Institute report "Build Well to Live Well," homebuyers are
willing to pay more for spaces that can improve their health
and wellness, including proximity to green spaces, walkability,
healthy home features, and environmental sustainability
features. Gutter adds: "Multifamily project owners tell us
they are seeking WELL certification to attract and retain
residents, maximize rent potential and building resale value,
differentiate their properties, and promote optimal health
and wellbeing for residents."



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