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Ariva development being built for residents' health and wellness

Live WELL at Ariva

Timing works in mysterious ways.

The Ariva development has now started construction, but the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the 200-unit condominium estate that will overlook Okanagan Lake from West Kelowna.

That pandemic slowdown allowed Ariva to register for the second version of WELL certification through the International WELL Building Institute. It will enable residents to live in a building that features a globally recognized standard for health and wellness, as well as a health and safety rating that is directly connected to post-COVID-19 best practices for facility operations and management.

Ariva is striving to become Canada’s first WELL Community, which is why the project’s motto is ‘Live Well and Play More.’

“It’s about how people interact with the building, what the environment is like in the building and the systems available to help people in regards to air quality, water quality and things like that,” says Kevin Johnson, who is developing the project with his dad, Barry. “Instead of just focusing on the brick and mortar, it’s about people’s interaction with the building.

“People want space, they want a home office, they want a sanctuary and they want to be part of a safe community and environment.”

Ariva’s design and engineering teams are addressing each of the 10 concepts of WELLv2 and WELL Community Standard certification. Those concepts are air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind and community.

As an example, water for Ariva will be drawn from a low depth of Okanagan Lake, where the quality is exceptional. As for nourishment, Ariva will feature an organic farm and community gardens that managed by residents and overseen by Grown Here Farms. When it comes to sound, the 12.5 acres are located in a tranquil environment across the lake from downtown Kelowna, and all floors and walls have a sound transmission class rating of 60.

Another concern in the Okanagan is wildfire smoke, and WELL certification improves the air quality. Carbon filters can be added to filter out the smoke, and ultraviolet light will be used to kill bacteria in the amenity areas.

Part of the WELL certification also revolves around physical activity and mental well-being. Bocce tournaments and a pickleball league will be just some of the outdoor amenities for residents to enjoy.

“We have an onsite activities co-ordinator,” Johnson says. “They’ll be able to put on events, excursions and seminars that focus on mental health and nutrition. So it’s not just the air and the water. It’s also movement, comfort, community and the mind—all that kind of stuff as well.”

The units at Ariva will feature an exceptionally large balcony with sliding glass doors that retract to combine the balcony with the great room to create an indoor-outdoor living space.

“It’s scientifically based, dynamic and validated,” Johnson says. “This is the future. This is what people want.”

The pandemic has also led to specific design changes at Ariva.

“We’ve redesigned the outdoor, farm-to-table area,” Johnson says. “We had these really cool long farm tables where people could have a big harvest dinner, but instead we’ve broken them up into a series of smaller tables and larger aisles, keeping people social distancing in small groups but still being part of a larger event.”

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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