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BY ADITI ROY
The perception of ‘premium’ means in real estate has moved from snob value to define family wellness and health.
As one deals with the global COVID-19 pandemic, developers and buyers are focusing on features in residences which enhance hygiene, wellness and sustainable living which need to be inherent in the design and makeup of housing projects.
“Wellness amenities such as yoga studios, meditation rooms, spas, gymnasiums, tennis courts and jogging tracks became the new rage among urban homebuyers. Such features eventually transcended luxury home projects and came to be expected in mid-range homes, as well. Wellness amenities now deliver a far more convincing ‘premium’ punch than architectural eye-candy. Branded developers were quick to sense the shift and began integrating such features into their projects,”says Prashant Thakur, Director & Head – Research, ANAROCK Property Consultants.
“The world we live in has suddenly been sharply redefined. In times of unprecedented job insecurity, rent is a burdening expense, property ownership is a vastly more attractive investment rationale than reposing faith in volatile financial markets, and the home is a focal point of an entirely new work ethos,” Thakur adds.
“Premium” beyond branding
The current lot of homebuyers are willing to pay extra for premium products and features. For most Indians’ homes are the single-largest lifetime investment they make so it makes sense to secure the best options available within one’s means. While branded builders deliver premium via superior properties and locations, the concept of premium in the backdrop of the severest healthcare crisis is wellness, says a survey by ANAROCK.
Wellness as a Project Design Imperative
Real estate that encompasses wellness elements in a building’s design, materials and amenities is a major global trend. Wellness features in a residential (and also commercial) building enhance its desirability as it improves the overall environment and well-being. Among the most popular wellness amenities are gyms, yoga/meditation rooms, roof gardens and enhanced natural lighting and ventilation. As we edge more into the luxury domain, buyers also seek projects with art studios, hobby rooms and Zen gardens where they can unplug and rejuvenate.
The practice to get buildings certified for wellness is being followed by several international developers. This trend, which is being seen in residential, commercial and even avant-garde retail spaces, involves the building receiving a wellness certification based on its design and operational strategies. Similar to the LEED certification program by the U. S. Green Buildings Council, where a building’s ‘green’ features are evaluated and rated, wellness ratings assess the wellness features of a real estate development – how much they contribute to the health and wellbeing of occupiers.
Green Commercial Real Estate
While the residential real estate is gradually catching up to it, this trend is currently more visible in contemporary commercial spaces. Globally, owner-occupied commercial establishments are driving demand for green features and practices. Some of these features include active stairways, biophilia, enhanced air quality, natural sunlight, vertical gardens etc. Such amenities are seen as a way to attract and retain young employees who are highly focused on working in healthier environments.
Even Indian developers are savvy to the trend of tenants placing a high premium on wellness. An increasing number of Indian employees now look for workplaces which help them retain a certain level of fitness and wellness. India Inc is already replete with Grade A office spaces that feature gymnasiums, breakout areas, jogging strips and meditation corners. Coworking spaces, which millennial workers and start-ups favour, have been among the earlier adopters of this trend.
The ‘Premium’ Is High
There is a significant cost attached to incorporating wellness amenities into a building’s architecture, so properties in such buildings cost more than those without any features. The upkeep of such features also adds to the overall maintenance expenditure of the building. However, these features translate into benefits such as improved employee efficiency, performance and retention in office buildings, and a higher happiness and satisfaction quotient in housing projects.
Given that such amenities are in increasing demand, developers now look at including such features in their buildings’ design, over and above providing innovative health-centric amenities. Buildings in India which have wellness baked into their DNA are still a relative rarity, but even a lower saturation of wellness features can be a USP. Definitely, interest in such features in housing projects has never been higher than in COVID-19 era, which has brought the need for complete self-sufficiency in residential real estate front and centre.
Unfortunately, because of the high costs involved, we are unlikely to see this trend percolating down into affordable housing very soon. Such amenities come for a premium, and developers need to keep affordable housing… well, affordable. Nevertheless, some of the latest affordable projects being developed in the less expensive peripheral areas of our major cities do have a degree of basic wellness features.
These projects are preferred because many buyers are willing to compromise on the conveniences of central locations – but not on the health of their families. Homebuyers with such an orientation can look for internationally recognised wellness ratings such as WELL Building Standard and Fitwel rating, which measure and certify wellness features positively impacting human health and wellbeing. (IANS)
As a legal battle plays out in the courts, the Biden administration has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block a Texas law that bans most abortions in the state.
The Justice Department asked the high court Monday to reverse a decision by an appeals court that allows the law to remain in effect while litigation over the policy continues.
The Republican-backed law bans abortions once cardiac activity has been detected in an embryo, which typically occurs at six weeks, a point when some women are not aware they are pregnant.
The law also allows members of the public to sue people who may have facilitated an abortion after six weeks.
The Supreme Court has already ruled on the issue once before in a lawsuit filed by abortion providers. In a 5-4 vote last month, the court allowed the law to remain in effect as the legal battle over it continues.
The Supreme Court, however, has not yet ruled on the constitutionally of the Texas law.
The high court became more conservative under former President Donald Trump, who appointed three justices to the nine-seat bench. Conservatives now hold a 6-3 majority.
The court's handling of the abortion issue is being closely watched since it allowed the restrictive Texas law to take effect last month. Later in September, the court announced it would hear arguments in December in a case that directly challenges Roe v. Wade, the decades-old ruling that gives women the right to an abortion.
The court scheduled oral arguments for December 1 to hear a case concerning a Mississippi state law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The case asks justices to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that allows women to have abortions in most circumstances. Roe v. Wade establishes a woman's constitutional right to an abortion before a fetus is viable, typically around 24 weeks of pregnancy.
The court's latest actions have fueled speculation that a majority of the justices could be inclined to formally curtail abortion rights.
A poll released by Monmouth University last month found that 62% of Americans believe abortion should either always be legal or be legal with some limitations. Twenty-four percent said it should be illegal except in rare circumstances such as rape, while 11% said it should always be illegal. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Abortion Law, Texas, Biden Administration
The Olympic Flame that will be burning for the Beijing 2022 Winter Games was ignited on Monday at the birthplace of the Games in Ancient Olympia, Greece. During the traditional ceremony, actress Xanthi Georgiou in the role of an ancient Greek High Priestess used a concave mirror to focus the sun's rays and light a torch before the 2,500-year-old Temple of Hera, a goddess in ancient Greek mythology.
At the end of the ceremony, the High Priestess handed over the flame to the first torchbearer, Greek skier Ioannis Antoniou, inside the stadium which hosted the first Games centuries ago. A total of three torchbearers will relay the torch in Ancient Olympia. Former Chinese short track speed skating athlete Li Jiajun was the second runner, reports Xinhua.
Following a short symbolic torch relay, the flame will be transferred to Athens to be passed over on Tuesday to the organizers of Beijing 2022. The XXIV Winter Olympics will take place from February 4 to 20, 2022, followed by the Paralympics Winter Games. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: ancient, olympics,torchbearers,chinese,beijing,olympia,ceremony,winter
At the recently held Lake Fashion Week X Fashion Design Council of India event which took place in Mumbai, actress Soha Ali Khan was muse for Megha Jain Madaan. The festive collection by Madaan for her label Abstract was a luxurious line of creations. Khan dazzled in a sensational, black, will-powered gown with horizontal gold braiding, while the deep olive train added a regal touch. IANSlife caught up with the celebrity on the sideline of the events to discover her take on fashion.
Q: Are you looking forward to on-ground fashion events and the energy that comes with physical shows and appearances?
A: I am I mean, I think that it's been a while that we've all been at home and the livelihood of artisans, designers make-up artist, hairdressers has suffered. Everyone's looking forward to being backed and last but not least me; there's a different energy, of course.
Q: The outfit chosen for you at the show, how does it complement your style?
A: I really think that the outfit complimented my body type because it sort of showed off my arms which are very toned and strong. I've been working on them. So I'm happy that they chose, an off-shoulder outfit. The beautiful train, added length which I require a little bit off. So, I think it was very feminine, and I think the silhouette was a good one for me.
Q: What are your travel essentials?
A: Wetwipes, sanitiser, spare masks and water. I would say a book but I haven't read a book since I've become a mother. I would say iPad, cotton wool for ears, and a lollipop.
"One should reuse their clothes. You don't need to buy new clothes, all the time." said Soha Ali Khan. | Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash
Q: A book, a movie, the gym, or a night out. What is your perfect way to unwind?
A: If you really work out some point in the day, it just helps you to wind down. So I really believe in physical exercise. Well, I love massages and I really enjoy good conversations with good friends.
Q: How do you support sustainable fashion?
A: One should reuse their clothes. You don't need to buy new clothes, all the time. We share clothes, among friends with similar body types, all the time, whether it's children's clothes as well as my clothes. Recycle, you know, if a pair of jeans have started to fray, cut them into shorts, you can also T-Shirts in a number of different ways. So you can recycle, use materials that are good for the planet, don't use plastic and things like this.
Q: What is an experience in your life that you're waiting to have?
A: A goodnight sleep will be great.
(Aryciel originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: feminine,travel,essentials,recycle,clothes,fashion, soha ali khan, bollywood