On a promontory overlooking Beverly Hills, the city skyline stretches 180 degrees in both directions. A plaque rests at the entry gate, where the words “The Summit” offer the first introduction to “Summitridge,” a newly constructed architectural compound by developer Ron Corvino, who integrated the pioneering wellness technologies by Delos into the breathtaking design. Kathy Marshall, Craig Shapiro and Aram Afshar of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Beverly Hills represent the landmark residence.
“Good health is the ultimate luxury,” proclaims Corvino, a former advertising executive and now real estate developer who is collaborating with custom building veteran John Finton on Summitridge. “I wanted to create a home focused around lifestyle that appreciates historic Los Angeles architecture yet still seeks out the finer things — and that includes living well.”
Beverly Hills is a fitting stage from which to launch America’s first single-family wellness home. The midcentury modern-inspired mansion, set to be completed in May 2017 and spanning over 11,000 square feet, is likely to find a responsive audience of stylish, well-heeled, health-conscious, fitness-focused and environmentally minded Angelenos.
“The idea of infusing wellness with real estate was really intriguing to me,” says Finton. “Today, everybody cares about what they eat. They’re concerned about the balance in their lives. For most people, their home is the single largest investment they will ever make. It’s the place where their friends and family gather. It’s their sanctuary. It’s where they spend the most time.”
The wellness technologies selected for Summitridge — which focus around light, air, water and indoor environmental quality monitoring — are the result of years of research conducted by Delos. The idea that there is a link between one’s habitat and health has guided Delos’ solutions around the built environment since its inception in 2009. The company’s Wellness Real Estate concept merges health and science with design and construction to reinvent the role of the built environment on our health. Through the Well Living Lab, Delos created the first scientific research in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic to use exclusively human-centered research to understand the interaction between health and well-being and indoor environments.
“Americans spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors,” explains Delos CEO Paul Scialla. “What many people don’t realize is that buildings, and everything in them, can affect human health and well-being. We saw that there was a need for living spaces that positively impact the people inside them.”
This observation eventually led the company to unveil the WELL Building Standard in 2014, a first-of-its-kind, performance-based certification currently optimized for the commercial and institutional real estate sector that is focused around air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. The International WELL Building Institute has since taken over the standard to support its administration globally and expand its reach to additional market sectors. It’s tempting to compare the WELL Building Standard to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification program and other green building guidelines, which have been steadily embraced by the design and construction industries since 1994. Scialla, however, sees wellness building as “continuing a more holistic dialogue around sustainability.” Indeed, Delos’ residential programs expand upon sustainability considerations focused on physical health, such as indoor air quality and reducing exposure to toxic chemicals — but place emphasis on nutrition, fitness, and psychological and emotional well-being, too. That may explain why self-help guru Dr. Deepak Chopra sits on the Delos advisory board.
“I have always seen the natural environment as an extension of our bodies,” Chopra reveals. “Residences that are in harmony with nature help to create harmony within our bodies and minds.”
The idea of expanding the wellness concept to home environments was a natural evolution for Delos. The home, after all, is the place where people spend a majority of their time with their loved ones.
“When you have a house that is constantly and passively working on behalf of your well-being and your family’s well-being, your house becomes not just a place to live but a place to thrive,” says Scialla.
The builders of Summitridge agree. Corvino and Finton aggressively sought out Delos for their masterpiece project, which contains an exacting level of detail cultivated by the two hands-on visionaries themselves, plus two designers — Mike Lee and Deborah Rumens. Notes Corvino: “I believe that this is the start of a movement in homes nationally, and I wanted to be a part of it.”
Scialla goes one step further: “At some point, I would like to think that this will just be viewed as the right way to build. I hope that in a decade, it will be standard practice to prioritize the human condition in homes and buildings, and that all spaces will be designed to be conducive to a human being’s health and well-being.”
The agents representing Summitridge believe that the wellness concept will dramatically increase the resale value of the home. They point to the wellness platform as a major selling feature and view Summitridge as on the cutting edge of a trend that will likely gain traction in Los Angeles, where so many people already strive to lead a healthy lifestyle.
“There is built-in value in Summitridge’s status as the first Delos luxury new construction single-family detached home,” notes Craig Shapiro. “What’s better than coming home to your sanctuary, which feeds your mind, body and soul?”
Sanctuary at Summitridge
Summitridge embraces a modernist vision in harmony with nature, body and mind. Indoor spaces extend to the pool terrace, where glass doors open wide enough to allow someone in the living room to carry on a conversation with someone in the infinity pool. A lifestyle of ease unfolds in meticulous detail: a custom-made glass elevator in matted stainless steel; a glass-walled 500-bottle wine cellar; a 16-seat theater with bar; and a master suite with canyon-to-ocean views and a shower that allows you to be one with nature as you bathe both inside and outside the home. Wellness becomes a part of life with a private gym, salon and spa suite with massage area, beauty station, sauna and steam shower.
Behind the stunning architecture and design, Summitridge reveals a pioneering wellness technology system by Delos, intended to deliver a healthier living experience.
A dynamic lighting system that delivers the Circadian Day by Delos, powered by over 200 LED lights, is designed to be conducive to the resident’s circadian rhythm, nurturing the appropriate production or suppression of melatonin and serotonin, and designed to improve energy levels, mood and sleep quality. A customized home automation system has been implemented to deliver the wellness scenes and experience.
“Circadian lighting is so powerful,” explains Finton. “Our bodies are on a 24-hour clock, all based around sunlight. You can program the lights to turn on at 6:30 in the morning, which will be a soft glow intended to mimic the sun at that time. The curtains will rise. You’ll feel naturally refreshed. You walk into the dressing area, which has mirrors lit with circadian lights, to suppress melatonin and energize you for the day. If you happen to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, you have a lighted pathway with the touch of a button, which is set at the right color temperature and ambiance so it won’t keep you up.”
Adds Scialla: “Studies have shown that occupants have better energy levels during the day and better metabolic rates, thanks to circadian lighting.”
The air purification system specified by Delos — based on studies that found indoor quality can be worse than outdoor air quality — utilizes advanced filtration techniques to remove allergens, toxins and other pollutants from the air in the house.
“The A/C system in Summitridge will regulate air quality to a higher degree via a multi-stage filtering system,” says Finton. “In addition, the system uses powerful UV lights to kill mold spores. If there is a wildfire nearby or even when new furniture off-gases, the system would detect it, notify you and regulate the air through circulation.”
Adds Corvino: “The air will be so clean that you can actually feel it and smell it.”
The smart water filtration system at Summitridge filters out contaminants, toxins and other pollutants before they even get to the house. The smart filtration system continuously monitors membrane integrity to ensure that optimal performance standards are maintained.
“Your drinking water at your sinks in bathrooms and kitchens is going to be filtered at the highest level,” says Finton.
A state-of-the-art indoor environmental quality (IEQ) sensor platform has been integrated throughout the house to continuously monitor the residence, providing real-time data on air quality, including PM10, PM2.5, TVOCs, and CO, as well as humidity and acoustics. If air quality or water quality dips or even if thermal or acoustic comfort changes, the owner will be notified. The owner will also receive a quarterly data report.
“It’s like a home health alarm system,” explains Corvino. “The home is constantly working toward your health, both actively and passively. We believe buyers are really going to appreciate this technology. We think of it as the body and the home merging into one.”
By Alyson Pitarre
Article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 edition of Homes & Estates magazine.