Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - 40

EFA DESIGN SHOWCASE

says. "As we see independent living projects
becoming more modern and appealing to baby
boomers, blurring the lines with urban marketrate condominiums, the licensed care component needs to stand on its own merit and not be
second rate."

New models in action
This year's Showcase submissions also represented several shifts taking place in the market,
most notably in high-rise housing and urban infill
projects. "The development industry is preparing
for a future where property is more finite. Land
will need to be designed smarter with higher
density, utilization, and integration," Sanada
says. And jurors identified some areas where
that shift could likely translate to several positives for both residents and staff.
For example, DeGroff says she noticed more
openness to integrated communities where
memory care residents, specifically, aren't
segregated-something she hopes will become
a new standard of care. "Perhaps with the spatial
challenges of going vertical, the emergence of
integrated communities will be a natural progression," she says.
And as a shortage of land as well as market
demand moves more senior living projects into
urban sites with smaller footprints, jurors note
advantages tied to both boomers' desires to
be integrated within a larger community and
the senior living labor shortage. "Communities cannot staff the amenities that residents
require, and urban infill allows residents to take
advantage of existing infrastructure," says Keith
Stanton, director of design development at
Thoma-Holec Design (Phoenix). "The community will not need a bus if the city bus/light
rail is conveniently located, food service can
be supplemented by local restaurants, fitness
classes can be organized at the local gym, art
classes at the local park district, hair care at
the local salon, doctors' appointments at the
local hospital/medical plaza, etc. Programming
and labor costs can be reduced or eliminated
to reduce the rent and provide more affordable
housing and care," he says.
Stanton's comment supports yet another
trend emerging this year: affordable housing that
answers the needs of the middle market. "The
senior living development industry is preparing
for the future of baby boomers where they live
longer, work longer, and are accustomed to
more modest home and material goods
in exchange for a higher quality of life
40

EFAmagazine.com * Spring 2020

experience and community," Sanada adds. Hiatt
also notes that "change is in the air," as resident
stereotypes of decades ago are now being
replaced by "a market that's still defining itself or
being identified through various efforts to reach
the breadth of income levels and emphasis on
aging in local communities," she says.
And, finally, as owners/operators introduce
more projects in urban settings or on tight sites,
jurors noted that master planning and landscape
architecture emerged as commendable elements
on many projects-starting with how designers
answered the need to provide outdoor space
and views of nature. For example, in high-rise
settings, project teams delivered rooftop terraces
and gardens and even floor-to-ceiling windows
for amazing views. Meanwhile, in projects that
worked to integrate communities into the surrounding community context, campus plans
focused on walkability and the pedestrian
experience. "Connection to the outdoors with
thought about how wheelchairs and walkers and
mobility-challenged people can participate is
really encouraging," Bursey says.
Additionally, projects also demonstrated
proficiency in thinking about how to provide
residents with necessary outdoor experiences,
even in locales with challenging weather conditions. "Being mindful of the climate in which
we're building may warrant thinking about
outdoor space differently-how can climatecontrolled spaces still have the feel or experience of being outdoors?" DeGroff says.

Next steps
Looking forward, jurors noted that emerging and
future design trends will be guided by goals to
further improve the quality of resident and staff
experiences. "This drive toward the
end-user experience is a notable

objective and a natural development in senior
living design. As the industry creates differentiators and focuses on specialty experiences, it has
the potential to create vibrant and diverse communities for future residents," Sanada says.
Bursey similarly encourages the industry to
further consider design details down to the furniture, fixtures, and equipment, through the lens of
the resident, considering what will be successful
not just for marketing but to truly support needs
as we age. "Any one of us can do beautiful, and
many of the projects were very beautiful, but
what can we do to provide contrast to the aging
eye? What choices are we making on furnishings
that do not just look good but are the right scale
and heights for seniors? How do we provide
spaces for personalization and choice?"
With elements being introduced from urban
infills, high-rise projects, and affordable models,
Stanton says further innovation will be required
moving forward, stressing that the industry must
take on a "start-up mentality." "We need disruptors to navigate the bureaucracy of caregiving.
We have an aging population dependent on federal entitlements needing care and a labor shortage about to intersect," he says. And it won't
just be boomers in the driver's seat on where
we're all heading, adds DeGroff. "The boomers
are hitting the gas pedal in terms of pivotal shifts
in marketability; millennials are steering how care
is provided and technology is integrated; and
our wallets are putting on the brakes to push
for a model that works for everyone's abilities,
finances, and expectations," she says. EFA
Jennifer Kovacs Silvis is editor-in-chief of Environments for Aging magazine. She can be reached at
jennifer.silvis@emeraldx.com.


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Environments for Aging - Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Environments for Aging - Spring 2020

Environments for Aging - Spring 2020
Contents
EFAmagazine.com
Editorial
Show Talk
Bulletin
Photo Tour
Community
New traditions
Smart techniques
Welcome
2020 jury/award winners and finalists
Forward thinkers
Meet in the middle
Standout solutions
Top marks
Project directory
EFA Design Showcase
The Spark
Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - Environments for Aging - Spring 2020
Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - Cover2
Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - 1
Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - Contents
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - 4
Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - 5
Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - EFAmagazine.com
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - 8
Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - Editorial
Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - Show Talk
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - Bulletin
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - Photo Tour
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - Community
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - New traditions
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - Welcome
Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - 2020 jury/award winners and finalists
Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - Forward thinkers
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - Meet in the middle
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - Standout solutions
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - Top marks
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - Project directory
Environments for Aging - Spring 2020 - EFA Design Showcase
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