Legacy Tower at Miami Worldcenter has some novel features that may become more popular as the demand for ‘healthy’ buildings grows

Legacy Tower at Miami Worldcenter, a 55-story building with 310 residences, 219 hotel rooms, and 10 floors of medical facilities, broke ground in summer 2021. In doing so, it became the first new construction to begin at Miami Worldcenter since the start of the pandemic.

While Legacy Tower certainly won’t be the last addition to this 27-acre community, it could provide a blueprint for how more new construction will look in the future. That’s because the building comes with a plethora of anti-COVID and ‘healthy’ features, including onsite healthcare facilities, built-in air purifiers, water filtration systems, touchless technology, and UV robots.

Here’s a look at some of the amenities Legacy Tower offers and what it could mean for CRE developments in the coming years.

Onsite healthcare

The most noticeable ‘feature’ at Legacy Tower will be the Blue Zones Medical Center, the building’s medical facility. This component alone represents about $100 million in investment and, upon completion, it will become one of the world’s most advanced healthcare and wellness facilities.

The services of the “120,000-square-foot health and well-being center” will “include diagnostic, surgical, medical, spa, fitness, lifestyle medicine and well-being improvement programming.” Residential complexes with such in-house facilities could become more popular given the persistence of COVID or simply because more people—including an aging population—find them appealing and convenient. 

Air-decontamination systems

Proper ventilation and air decontamination have become central components of containing COVID, especially in but not limited to healthcare settings. Airborne transmission is the primary way the virus spreads, so managing and sterilizing the air supply is becoming a core component of “healthy buildings.”

Legacy Tower will include a central air decontamination system that aims to reduce the viral spread in the building. It will likely use some combination of HEPA technology, which is 99.97% efficient at cleaning the air, and UV light, which sterilizes air and improves ventilation quality. 

Air decontamination is becoming an increasingly important feature as the demand for healthy buildings grows. Beyond the pandemic, these HVAC improvements limit the harmful environmental toxins that enter or accumulate structures and are breathed in by inhabitants.

Touchless technology

We know that touchless features in the office are becoming more common, but we could see that trend extend into more residential buildings, too. Legacy Tower incorporates some of these features into its design.

Automated doors are nothing new, but things like voice-activated elevators, phone-controlled suite entry, and hands-free light switches make it possible to enter a residential building and get into your home without touching anything. 

Even as we’ve learned that COVID is primarily an airborne virus, touchless technology has a place as a cold and flu mitigation strategy—in addition to a convenience amenity—in the coming years.

Water filtration

In 2019, the Miami Herald reported that South Florida has some of the country’s most contaminated drinking water. The same report noted that 7.5 million Florida residents received water from sources violating the Safe Drinking Water Act. 

While plans are underway to improve the region’s potable water supply, buildings with their own water filtration systems are in demand throughout Florida. Predictably, Legacy Tower will have onsite water filtration capabilities so that all residents will have access to quality drinking water. 

UV robots

Legacy Towers will utilize UV robots as part of its cleaning procedures when it opens. These UV-disinfection robots are becoming common in hospitals — and more popular in other settings — because they automatically kill many viruses, bacteria, and other micro-organisms that make people sick. Using this technology in the common areas of a medical office, hotel, or apartment building reduces human error during cleaning and decreases the need for surface disinfectants. 

A look at a healthier building future

We’re almost two years into the pandemic, and public health concerns remain front and center. But while everyone may learn to live with a weaker form of the virus, the emergency has highlighted and accelerated the demand for healthier buildings.

Property owners should stay up to date on the latest in healthy building certifications and specific property features and consider incorporating those that make sense — from financial, tenant demand, and safety perspectives.

Contact Morris Southeast Group today at 954.474.1776 for more information. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or kenmorris@morrissegroup.com.