Former Goldman Sachs partner launches building wellness certification program

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 29 April 2019

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US: Delos, a NYC-based start-up, is backed by Bill Gates and valued at $800 million.

Delos founder, former Goldman Sachs partner Paul Scialla, has launched the company's "Well" initiative, a certification scheme that developers, employers and hotel operators can publicly display in their buildings and promotional materials. Features such as treadmill desks, easy access to water or the proximity of desks to windows are examples of the types of features Well rewards.

The Well certification is modelled on the LEED standard for green buildings, but unlike the nonprofit administrator of the LEED program, Delos is a for-profit company and charges around $20,000 to evaluate 100,000 square feet of building space for compliance with wellness standards. The LEED-evaluation fee for the same amount of space is $13,000.

Since its inception in 2000, the LEED program has certified 76,800 projects. So far, Delos has worked in 48 countries and finished 1,555 projects that total 314 million square feet.

Scialla has raised $237 million over the last five years from investors including former Fidelity Magellan fund manager Jeff Vinik and the personal investment office of Bill Gates. The company now has a $800 million valuation. Author Deepak Chopra and actor Leonardo DiCaprio also serve on the Delos board of directors.

Delos is also developing an app called Darwin that individual homeowners can buy for prices starting at $3,500 to determine the wellness of their homes, including quality tests of water and air. Australia-based homebuilder Simonds plans to install Darwin in 1,000 new homes this year, and KB Home is conducting a test of the technology in California.

Wellness is one of the topics that will be debated at Engage, a new event for corporate travel buyers, agents and bookers; serviced apartment, extended stay, hostel, student housing and apartment rental companies. Engage is part of the 2019 Serviced Apartment Summit Europe, which takes place n London on July 1 and 2.

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