Wellness is being taken to an entirely new level with the high-tech WelPod therapeutic and meditation structure. The 10×10-foot smart room is a mixture of ancient remedies, such as glowing Himalayan salt brick walls and cleansing charcoal, merged with Loxone intelligent lighting, music and climate controls. The end result is a unique standalone sauna-like structure designed for full immersion yoga, meditation, stretching, deep relaxation, rehabilitation, and therapeutic cleansing.
Using the Loxone Miniserver, integrator The Smartest Builder based in Westminster, British Columbia, Canada, controls the heating, ventilation, lighting and sound in the WelPod, which is designed and constructed by Circle Wellness Studios in Vancouver. WelPods start at $50,000 but the specific cost for this tech-controlled unit is unavailable.
The most unique feature of the WelPod are the glowing Himalayan salt brick walls. According to the company, in addition to storing heat and increasing efficiency, unrefined salt cleans the air, relieves skin problems, cleanses the respiratory system and emits negative ions, which elevates mood. A custom-built rail system is used to mount the salt bricks without adhesive or mortar, allowing for easy maintenance and dismantling.
Moreover, unlike a typical sauna, the WelPod requires no preheating and remains warm at all times because of the efficient building envelope, interior salt brick walls that act as a thermal mass, and the intelligent control system. The energy-efficient design consumes considerably less power than a traditional sauna, swimming pool, or hot tub.
Additionally, the natural radiant heat emanating from the salt walls naturally elevates body temperature. Lastly, the natural salt composition of the walls neutralize odors and clean the air due to their antifungal and antibacterial qualities. Other unique features include Korean-style charcoal filters that purify the air, and an option for exterior siding made from Asian-style, blackened wood that is UV, insect and fire resistant.
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According to Paul Hennessey, founder of Circle Wellness Studios, “Instead of creating static and single-purpose amenities, we create environments that can be used for many activities, depending on the personal lifestyle of our clients. We use specialized materials, features, and building techniques to increase efficiency and to create functional diversity. We are re-thinking the ways that wellness spaces are built.”
Loxone Controls HVAC, Music, Lights
On the tech front, The Smartest Builder smart home automation consultants was brought on to not only control the system, but provide a unique interface that can withstand the elements of the sauna-like structure. Inder Kanwal, founder of The Smartest Builder, deployed the Loxone Miniserver, Touch Tree and Tree Extension as the primary solution.
“Loxone was the only system that could offer complete control in addition to the programming – this is what makes it unique! With the press of one button, the user is immersed into a fully curated wellness experience,” he says.
The WelPod contains a Loxone Touch Tree interface that the user activates to start a personalized wellness session. The Touch Tree includes built-in sensors for constant monitoring of temperature and humidity. The Loxone Touch Tree can operate in temperatures ranging from -4 to 158° F, with a maximum of 95% non-condensing relative humidity (RH). Kanwal was able to control the precise climate inside the wellness room using the Miniserver.
“Everything” is being controlled, according to Kanwal. “Since the project was implemented, everything has been running smoothly and we have continuously increased functionality as Circle Wellness Studios expands,” he notes.