On World Environment Day last week I introduced you to Embody – the Sydney fitness and wellness centre I designed in 2016. Then, last week, I found out that Embody won the Hospitality and Leisure Venues category at the 2017 Better Business Partnership Awards. I’ve been dying to share this project with you and, now it’s out there, I thought I’d take you on a virtual walk-through of this pioneering urban sanctuary.
My brief from the Embody team was to design a beautiful fitness and wellness centre with sustainable materials and sustainability in mind.
Eco-consciousness was the byword so, wherever possible, the materials I used had to be in touch with the environment. It was fascinating to research and identify the range of fitness centre-friendly sustainable materials and transform them into the business owner’s vision.
One of the materials I employed extensively is bamboo – a fast-growing and therefore highly sustainable wood option – that we used to make the centre’s flooring and walls.
Bamboo has a versatile structure and makes a lesser environmental impact on waterways when it is produced than cotton, so I also opted for bamboo in the soft products that will be used in the studio. This included organic soft fibre bamboo gym and bath towels, washable organic bamboo hand towels in place of disposable paper towels in the bathrooms, and a line of bamboo clothing in the retail area. (Funny to think you can line your floors with one of the hardest-wearing timbers and the same material can be turned into baby soft towels on your skin!)
The floor of the personal training studio needed some elasticity so I used a material that includes a percentage of recycled rubber car tires. I covered the studio’s bench seats in James Dunlop Textiles recycled fabrics which, when they are nearing the end of their life, can be returned to James Dunlop for further recycling. The Jardan furniture in the consult rooms is made with the same philosophy and will be recycled at the end of its life, rather than heading to landfill.
The gym sells re-usable water bottles to discourage people from buying disposable bottles and they have a take-away cup ban, instead serving their teas in glasses and encouraging patrons to stick around and enjoy the carefully designed communal areas. Food and drink on offer is ethically sourced, additive, GMO, phosphate, artificial colouring and sugar-free.
The people behind the centre believe in having a business that benefits the environment, as well as their customers. This aligns with their belief in holistic wellness, and their commitment to creating an environment where people can leave the every day behind and enjoy a blend of physical, mental and emotional balance.
Naturally, all the products used at Embody are…well…natural, from the complimentary organic beauty products in the bathrooms to the cruelty-free, eco-friendly cleaning products.
One of the most remarkable features of the centre is a green, living wall, which runs throughout both levels of Embody and helps regulate humidity, purify the air and connect people with the great outdoors, while minimising impact from traditional air conditioning.
The centre is lit with LEDs throughout whose long life expectancy of seven years, and low energy input, maximise their sustainability.
These are just some examples of Embody’s eco-consciousness. New members receive an induction that includes an explanation of the centre’s sustainability initiatives and a recent survey of members revealed that 40% of members chose Embody because of its sustainability principles.
And one of the best things about this project is that it’s being rolled out around the world. Stay tuned… Embody could be coming to a neighbourhood near you!!
Learn more about Embody on their website and find them on Instagram @embodyaustralia.