Homes designed to support the holistic health of their occupants
WITH the hectic lifestyles of people today, it is imperative that residential developments place importance on social aspects for the physical and mental wellbeing of its occupants.
To this end, housing developers have begun to offer wellness real estate as a solution for people to attain healthy living.
In Malaysia, KL Wellness City Sdn Bhd has planned an integrated township named KL Wellness City that incorporates wellness real estate – built on 10.7ha of land in the lively neighbourhood of Bukit Jalil.
KL Wellness City adopts the seven key wellness domains set by non-profit organisation Global Wellness Institute (GWI):
> Healthy eating: Expanding access to nutritious diets and encouraging everyone to make healthy eating choices.
> Physical activity: Supporting people of all ages to engage in the recommended levels of physical activity to stay healthy.
> Mental wellness: Improving individual and community resilience, especially to address stress and loneliness.
> Traditional and complementary medicine: Increasing its safety, quality and efficacy; expanding consumer access and protecting its resources.
> Wellness in the built environment: Creating physical environments that support all dimensions of wellness and encourage healthy lifestyles.
> Wellness at work: Enabling all to work in an environment that improves rather than reduces their health and well-being.
> Wellness in tourism: Ensuring that all tourism is wellness-enhancing for visitors, destinations, and local communities.
“Many projects, be it medical or property-driven, are unable to fit the bill of wellness real estate because they probably have adopted only one or two of the components in the domains,” says KL Wellness City Sdn Bhd executive director (branding, sales and marketing) Datuk Seri Dr Vincent Tiew.
“But at KL Wellness City, all seven key wellness domains set by GWI would be available.”
On healthy eating, Tiew shares: “One of our key components, The International Tertiary Hospital that has a 1,000-bed capacity and 22 operating theatres, will have a central kitchen to cater to local and foreign patients.
“This will indirectly benefit KL Wellness City residents as they can order food delivery from the hospital kitchen, which acts as a big and healthy F&B centre within the township.”
He says the multidisciplinary hospital would emphasise mental wellness – offering mental health programmes and a mental wellness section with psychiatrists.
The developer has invited neuro-linguistic programming gurus, mental wellness gurus, spiritual leaders and motivational experts as well as traditional Chinese medicine, ayurvedic and related practitioners to set up practice at KL Wellness City.
For physical activities and recreation, besides the 0.5ha central park, there will be leisure and common areas at all buildings in the township.
“At the central park, people can take walks or they can practise tai chi, pilates, Zumba, yoga and others. The park will be a good starting point for people to do regular exercises,” says Tiew, adding that the entire township will be wheelchair-friendly.
Growing wellness economy
According to the GWI January 2018 report Build Well to Live Well: Wellness Lifestyle Real Estate and Communities, there were then more than 740 wellness lifestyle real estate and community developments built or in development across 34 countries.
“The global wellness economy was valued at US$4.4tril in 2020,” adds Tiew.
“GWI states that our wellness economy, which is among the top 10 markets in the Asia-Pacific, was valued at US$24.4bil in 2020. We were ranked 26th out of 150 countries, in terms of wellness economy size.”
KL Wellness City Sdn Bhd is seeking Green Building Index certification for The International Tertiary Hospital and The Nobel Healthcare Park, both of which are under construction in the first phase of the development.
“We invested money in planning the space, equipment, and even the type of material for windows.
“We had to comply with a lot of conditions – from water recycling, garbage handling, waste disposal to power consumption and others to fulfil green building requirements,” says Tiew.
The hospital is expected to be completed by the end of 2025, and targeted for soft opening in the first half of 2026.
As for The Nobel Healthcare Park, it will have four components – medical, wellness, retail and business suites.
Under the first phase, the developer has opened up 110 units of the 379 medical suites, which saw a 75% take up rate by local doctors.
Of the 512 wellness suites, 300 units were made available of which 65% have been snapped up – for investment or to be offered for rent as holiday homes.
Thirty of the 55 retail suites were sold to players in the field of medical and healthcare services.
Next month, the 50 business suites starting at 500sqft per unit will be offered for purchase to companies which provide services complementing healthcare and medical services.
The upcoming phases of the township development will see the construction of retirement and independent living quarters, serviced apartments, a healthcare mall, and an oncology centre.