Archive for category: Senior Living

The Right Sized Household by Scott Heaney, AIA

Scott Heaney, AIA

What is a household? In senior living design, a household is a tool for providing a relatively new care concept – resident centered care. This concept has evolved over the last 10 years and utilizes households as repeatable blocks of ten to twenty private resident rooms sharing a central dining, activity, and living area. They are self-sufficient and have their own visual identity or way-finding theme. Often the central space is defined by a large hearth and vaulted ceilings with high windows that capture natural light. Interior furnishings are high quality and richly patterned, while being highly durable. Households are connected to a central administrative hub, but the daily resident experience is in his or her own “home-like” atmosphere.

In contrast, the industry standard for the past 60 years has been to organize buildings into wings or pods of semi-private rooms dependant on a central hub for bathing, dining, and activities. The resident wings were repeated monotonously and outfitted with institutional grade interior furnishings. The “nursing home” quality of life available was sterile, depressing.

There are several factors that influence how we tailor household size. External factors include lot size and shape, topography, zoning restrictions, and proximity to neighbors. Internal factors include the company culture, religious affiliations, resident care levels provided, connectivity and travel distance, building and accessibility codes, extra amenities, food service concept, staffing concept, and technology. Ultimately, the right size household is customizable.  Customizable so the finished project dignifies residents, family members, and staff.

Facility Assessments {and the value they provide to Senior Living communities, homes and service providers} By Mark Higgins, AIA


Mark Higgins, AIA

Typically, a facility assessment is undertaken to determine the condition of a Senior Living Community building(s) and associated site infrastructure. The process involves assembling a team of seasoned building design professionals to 1) observe and document existing conditions of the building systems, 2) identify deficiencies, 3) make recommendations to correct these deficiencies, 4) prepare cost estimates to implement corrections, and; 5) assign a priority to the correction which conveys (or expresses) the urgency of the implementation. This information can also be illustrated in a table of capital, operation and maintenance expenditures anticipated during the coming years.

Other features of a facility condition assessment could include a review of regulatory requirements such as building, life safety or accessibility codes and standards and a determination of the remaining useful life of major building equipment or systems.

A facility condition assessment basically answers the question, “If we do nothing, what will it cost to keep what we currently have?” Additional benefits include the ability to plan to reduce deferred maintenance backlog, enhance planning by addressing resources to the highest priority needs, renewal forecasting and as baseline data to inform planning for repositioning, renovation, addition, transfer or replacement of property. [My next post will cover the separate but related Functional Assessment]. Read more

© Copyright - Schemmer