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The New Look in Senior Living: Two Approaches Toward Social Interaction

October 1, 2006
by Long-Term Living Editors
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Based on interviews with architects Dan Rosenthal, The Lawrence Group Architects, and Steve Brown, Bernardon Haber Holloway Architects, PC

The architectural elements are rather controlled in a TND. You have restrictive covenants; in some communities that may be the architectural style. In The Village of WestClay, the buildings must be designed to reflect a certain 19th century period and only certain architectural styles are allowed. So how do you integrate modern-functioning buildings into a 19th century fatade? We've come up with clever ways to hide rooftop equipment-using mansards and parapets-that really reflect what you would have seen on a 19th century main street. Constant challenges are how to hide back-of-house functions-dumpsters, cooling towers, and transformers-from pedestrian paths and from the views within the building. These facilities are dense, so you have to be clever about how to accommodate air-conditioning systems and infrastructure. We're seeing four-story buildings with courtyards and most of the equipment on the roof, and we're screening the rooftop so that it is integrated in the community.

There are great opportunities for sustainable architecture-green architecture. I think there are opportunities for incorporating the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ideals in the TND, such as having a green roof. We're also using less land. Higher density housing is, in itself, a sustainable solution. There are always opportunities for conserving water resources, for instance, with the use of new technologies. These projects have incorporated very high-tech, low-voltage systems. We're using the electronics of a smart building for elopement control, security, keyless entries, and point-of-service monitoring. I think we can also use some of that technology for mechanical/electrical systems' efficiencies; for example, lighting systems can be used to help integrate daylighting and minimize artificial lighting. There is also the opportunity in the operations to incorporate green activities. Many of The Stratford's residents in other sites have expressed interest in recycling, which can be an opportunity for additional social interaction.

For more information, phone (866) 680-5700 or visit   Steve Brown is an Associate and Project Director at Bernardon Haber Holloway Architects, PC, the architects-of-record for the design of Meadow Ridge at Willow Valley, an assisted living facility in Willow Street, Pennsylvania.

The men's lounge. Dan Gair (
  Our goal was to create a homelike environment with spacious rooms that have a warm, residential feel; to capture the views of the Lancaster County countryside; and to design a variety of unit types while adhering to a strict budget.