memory | moment Kimberly Wicht Studio Stannard Winter 2013
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Age | Self Physical and emotional “growth”, “maturity”, or “development” are all well-praised pursuits, but as soon as we talk about “aging” people shudder. To many, aging equals loss: loss of friends, loss of independence, loss of strength, mobility, eyesight, and mind. Few thoughts are spared for the rewards of aging. Perhaps the greatest fear of many is the thought of losing one’s “self” to age related diseases which affect our memories and our very identities.
“For, after all, I am not an isolated fifty-seven years old; I am every other age I have been, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven . . . all the way up to and occasionally beyond my present chronology.” “I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be.” – Madeleine L’Engle
Alzheimers and Dementia Alzheimers is the most common form of dementia, a disease of the brain that impacts memory, cognitive function, and behavior. It is an irreversible degenerative condition which eventually impedes memory recollection and physiological function. The disease involves progressive brain cell failure, slowly reducing the brain’s ability to function smoothly. Most scientists agree that Alzheimers is likely caused by a complex combination of factors, which is now understood to include age and genetics. “Dementia” is an umbrella term describing mental decline which interferes with daily life. Any number of causes may result in dementia, including stroke, injury, aging, and vitamin deficiency. While dementia is associated with increasing age, serious mental decline is not part of the normal
aging process. The core mental functions associated with dementia are memory, communication and language, attention and focus, reasoning and judgement, and visual perception. In the case of Alzheimers, physiological formations in the brain called “plaques” and “tangles” form into the latest stage as mental decline becomes correspondingly apparent. In the early stages of the disease individuals may live in relative normalcy and few of their lifestyle patterns require change. As Alzheimers advances, direction and cue by caretakers or close relations can help alleviate accompanying confusion, memory lapses, and forgetfulness. Eventually around-the-clock care is required as bodily functions become uncontrolled and longterm memory affected.
Those at Risk The majority of individuals with Alzheimers are 65 years or older, and they number about 5 million people. Approximately 200,000 are diagnosed before the age of 65 with earlyonset Alzheimers. The Alzheimer’s Association reports sobering statistics: “Although Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of growing older, the greatest risk factor for the disease is increasing age. After age 65, the risk of Alzheimer’s doubles every five years. After age 85, the risk reaches nearly 50 percent.” The Administration on Aging’s middle series predictions indicate that by 2050 the average life expectancy for men will increase to 79 and women to 84, largely increasing the number of people at very high risk for developing the disease.1 Today in 2013, 1 in 3 seniors die with Alzheimers or dementia, it being the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. Family history and genetics are also contributing factors. If parents, siblings, or children develop Alzheimers, the likelihood of an individual doing so as well increases. Researchers have isolated risk and deterministic genes that also affect this chance. 2
Stages of Alzheimers Although Alzheimers progresses differently in each individual, Dr. Barry Reisman of the New York University School of Medicineâ€™s Silberstein Aging and Dementia Research Center developed a framework of seven stages to identify changes brought on by Alzheimers.
Normal Function No symptoms of Alzheimers
Mild Cognitive Decline
Severe Cognitive Decline
Difficulties with daily activities grow, which may include forgetting material just read and increasing challenges planning or organizing.
Forgetfulness of caretaker or spouseâ€™s names and awareness of surroundings. Requires assistance dressing properly and with personal care. Experiences major changes in behavior, personality, and sleep patterns.
Very Mild Cognitive Decline
Moderate Cognitive Decline
Very Severe Cognitive Decline
Minor memory lapses, such as the location of everyday objects. The effects of normal aging vs. Alzheimers are indistinguishable.
Forgetfulness and confusion about recent events or personal history. Greater difficulty managing finances or planning events and withdrawal from social situations.
Late-stage Alzheimers. Loss of response to environment and motor control. Words or phrases possible, but not conversation. Assistance with all personal care. Muscles stiffen and swallowing impaired.
Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline
Mid-stage Alzheimers. Confusion about where they are or what day it is. Difficulty with moderate mental arithmatic.
Exploration We have learned more about Alzheimers in the past few decades than in the thousands of years before that humans survived and thrived as a result of their powerful learning and memory capabilities. The brain is as uncharted a territory as space or the subatomic particle. Alzheimers and dementia are degenerative brain diseases that affect an increasing percentage of aging adults. Exploring contemporary responses to memory care and related themes of being provide insights into the action of architecture as a cue and a comfort as the mind changes.
“The more we study the more we discover our ignorance.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley
Status Quo A variety of care strategies exist to address the specialized needs of Alzheimers and dementia patients. These range from the additional attention of an individual to an institution. One of the most important choices a person with Alzheimers and their loved ones must plan for is where he or she should live based on their required and desired level of care. As the disease advances, the individual will require increasingly more assistance and supervision, and their needs to ensure comfort and engagement will change. Many caregivers prefer to maintain the primary care role themselves and keep their loved one in their own home as long as possible. A key point in the disease and the patientâ€™s best housing interests occurs when the person with Alzheimers begins to wander and night and to fall. Currently four primary architectural and service models dominate the available market. These are in-home care, adult care centers, assisted or supported living, and skilled nursing or memory care settings.
In the early stages of Alzheimers, little changes in the daily life of the individual and they can very capably live at home. As their needs grow, a dedicated caregiver such as a spouse can continue to provide the attention that a person with Alzheimers requires.
Adult Care Center
This option allows caregivers the possibility of balancing work with care during the day and also provides a wider social community and activities for individuals with Alzheimers.
Assisted or Supported Living
This option is for individuals who remain capable of much of their self-care but who benefit from smaller quarters and assistance with physically strenuous or complex tasks. A combination of housing, service and dining, and recreation options are available to choose from.
Skilled Nursing or Memory Care Settings
When 24 hour staff and full care services are required for the long term, this type of facility may be the best option. These are available at all scales, shapes, and sizes. Most employ a full spectrum of medical personel and assist with all areas of daily life.
Themes Studying themes closely tied to the reality of aging and being is helpful in understanding how to interpret and apply appropriate solutions and foster an atmosphere of wholeness and wellness. The true challenge comes in integrating the knowledge of clinical facts with the heart-exercise of compassionate design. These themes can serve as guiding principles to identify key areas of important focus that distinctly impact the world of individuals with Alzheimers and dementia. Introducing these themes architecturally creates a place where the deepest ideas of living with, loving, and caring for Alzheimerâ€™s affected people are addressed by the built environment.
Memory Architecture and memory are deep, reflective areas of study. Intriguingly, memory is both carried by and creating its vessel; how we define ourselves is based on our cumulative experieces. In parallel, the individual composes his or her environment every day, at the same time as space influences them in return.
Loss In the case of Alzheimerâ€™s, first short-term memory begins to fade. Daily tasks become more difficult for individuals until it is unwise for them to live independently. Eventually long-term memory is affected, and with it the suffererâ€™s relationships and sense of self.
Scalable Time Often the concept of memory is limited to a recollection of past events. More than that, the mind entertains both collective and individual memories of seasons, routines, texture and material associations, and fleeting moments.
Choice The act of choosing is important to fostering a sense of independent identity, self-worth, and individuality. Our choices affect the life we build for ourselves and how we communicate who we are and what we value to others. Often choices are the first things to fade as Alzheimers and dementia worsen, with tangible results.
Autonomy The element of choice in the life of an Alzheimer’s patient plays a crucial role in his or her dignity, independence, and confidence. Related to the significance of choice, variety also plays an important part in a resident’s well. An assortment of spaces with different qualities enables the resident to choose where and how they dwell.
Personhood Despite the discouraging reality of Alzheimer’s eventual conclusions, until later stages of memory diseases an individual’s story and personality remain very much who they are. Because of this, it is also important to thoroughly explore how architecture may promote all aspects of personhood and stimulate physically, socially, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.
Relationship | Relation As the long-term memories that form personal identity and define interaction with people become increasingly unreliable, individuals with Alzheimers must look to their environment for cues to inform them of themselves, their relationship to others, reality, and promote joy in the moment. Relationships are based on history. Relation is based on the present. From an architectural angle, as formerly established associations with the environment are lost, sensation and relation take over in the experience of space. While an individual may be lost in her own home, smells from the kitchen may remind her that sheâ€™s hungry. Levels of natural light throughout her house may regulate her circadian rhythm.
Response With the identification of these themes - memory, choice, and relation(ship) - comes the challenge of engaging them in design. Any architectural response to Alzheimers must rigorously and integrally address these overarching ideas. Offered here are three specific responses to inform the nature of design strategies and objectives.
Experiential Architecture is inherently experiential; inhabitation is key to its value. With its vocabulary of tactile, spatial, visual, audial, and even aromatic qualities, the designed environment is capable of yielding delight for its dwellers, their loved ones, and caregivers - in the case of someone with short-term memory impairments, often time and time again.
Senses Our awareness of and participation in architecture and the environment is not complete without engaging the full range of senses. The qualities of the built environment more richly communicated when sensations compliment each other and complete a holistic experience. A crumbling stone wall, a soft chair, and a sunny window each contribute to a genus loci with the power to influence individual well-being.
Delight in the Moment Eventually the memories that give meaning to relationships, identity, passions, professions, and pasts are lost forever. Later, motor functions such as walking, speaking, and swallowing pass away. What remains throughout are the simple pleasures, and sharing joy in the moment becomes the special thing that loved ones and caregivers can still treasure with Alzheimerâ€™s and dementia patients.
Proposal Home A dedicated memory care home can greatly enhance the quality of the years that individuals with Alzheimerâ€™s or dementia spend with their loved ones. For the inhabitant, the benefits include familiar people and more intimate environment, personalization of space, opportunity for choice, security, and a maintenance of dignity. More importantly, the atmosphere of and identification with â€œhomeâ€? promotes a sense of belonging and meaning. A small community of 15-20 residents is a carefully balanced scale of active, interesting society and familiarity. The care model may be inspired by the Greenhouse care model, a long term approach which emphasizes small, home-like communities and encourages a full and active life. Work Purposeful design is an opportunity to not only promote a warm environment for individuals with Alzheimers and their friends and family, but also plan for the staff and coordination involved in making a memory care home a rewarding place to live. With care and observation, designers can facilitate efficiency, atmosphere, workplace well-being, and ease of care.
Community Vision A supportive community is essential to easing the long road for patients and caregivers alike. Integrating a memory care home within a larger community is an opportunity for intentional placement and relation to that community. Status Quo As it is, changing needs often require an individual to move away from the community theyâ€™ve invested in. As nuclear family members pass on or move away, an individualâ€™s social network significantly affects well-being and happiness, at the same time as their needs from the spaces they live in change dramatically. Essential Integration A master-planned senior living complex that facilitates connection with and between the memory care home and the greater community derives several mutual benefits in a long-term model of continuing care and social support. The site shows promises of mixed-use potential and contribution to a vibrant city life.
Precedents Researching precedents plays an important role in understanding the possibilities and creative potential inherent in an exploration of architecture and aging. Precedents are present in all areas of design consideration, and models may be found in existing buildings, aesthetics and styles, care models, natural forms and patterns, and material applications.
Therme Vals | Peter Zumthor; Vals, Switzerland Peter Zumthorâ€™s Therme Vals is an exquisite case of powerful materiality and provocative architecture. As a collection of opposites the baths offer a variety of sense experiences. While the senses of sight and touch are wellcatered to throughout, Zumthor also succeeded in delicately engaging the subtler senses of sound in the Echo bath and smell in the Flower bath. This collection of spaces and variety allows the bather to customize their own unique, rewarding experience.
Shoji | Japan Shoji are traditional Japanese sliding windows, doors, or partitions made from tough paper over a wood latticework. It is a feature of the shoin style from Japan’s ancient Kamakura period between 1192 and 1333, but is adopted in many contemporary designs for its elegance and function.1 The strengths of shoji are grace and versatility. When closed, the translucent paper diffuses light throughout a space, and the lattice grid establishes a regular rhythm and clarify proportionality. The panels are exceptionally adaptable. In comfortable weather shoji are opened to the outside. In ancient applications spaces often faced a meticulously composed landscape, forming a true “exterior room” connecting space to nature and blurring interior and exterior distinctions. The feature embodies the best in user choice, allowing the occupant to tailor light, views, ventilation, and boundary.
Westminster Gardens | Pasadena, California Westminster Gardens is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in southern California. Historically a place for Presbyterian missionaries to enjoy a lovely and affordable retirement, this community and others like it are increasingly recognized and pursued as a preferred answer to the question of aging. The advantage of CCRC’s is that as the needs of its residents change they don’t have to leave the life that they’ve built to move to another facility which would better suit their abilities. Instead, many different housing, dining, socializing, and medical plans are offered. In cases like Westminster Gardens, the whole spectrum of housing from independent townhomes to skilled nursing and hospice is available on-site. The community is gated and selfsufficient, but close to the cultural hub of Los Angeles and near amenities such as grocery stores and shopping centers. As such, the property maintains a sense of safety and identity. Importantly, memory care is included as an aspect of the continuing care model. “The Hacienda” is a large home for about ten residents, whose activities and staff are specially dedicated to care for Alzheimers and dementia patients. The Hacienda is well-integrated into the community fabric and incorporates sensitive gestures into its model to encourage the spirit of the individual.
Rainforest Layers The rainforest encompasses a wide range of conditions and habitats due to varying levels of sunlight, precipitation, accessibility, etc. Habitat zones form within the resulting â€œlayersâ€? of the rainforest. Some creatures travel in and among these different layers as they search for water, food, shelter, safety, and recreation throughout the day. As needs surface animals move throughout in their pursuit of meeting those needs. The vast variety of plants and species that habitate the rainforest levels create unque, beautiful landscapes.
House N | Sou Fujimoto; Oita, Japan This single family residential project is a striking example of blurring the distinctness of interior and exterior spaces. Being in the presence of nature, usually associated with â€œoutsideâ€?, is no longer limited by a strict boundary; rather, one can enjoy a natural atmosphere in a space still defined by and identifying with the house as a whole.
SFCS Senior Living Design | Roanoke, VA The East coast-based design firm SFCS brings together the contributions of architecture, engineering, planning, and interior design to offer project proposals that are both thoroughly considered from every angle and beautiful. The Senior Living studio works all over the country to design communities that are specially detailed and thoughtfully scaled for a diverse variety of mature populations. Their tastefully contemporary interiors served as proof that senior living is not limited to the â€œcountry cottageâ€? aesthetic in all of its exhausted interpretations, but can communicate the ideas of home and belonging in a present, comfortable palatte that is accessible to multiple generations.
Site When traveling, the company kept can add more to the memory of the trip than the places visited. This is also true here - the place and context of a memory care home and community benefits as much or more from thoughtful placement and siting as it does the building itself. Important considerations for siting include climate, accessibility, connection, vitality, tolerance, available ammenities, and the special, unique feeling of place.
Genius Loci: the distinctive atmosphere or spirit of a place.
Ventura, California Ventura is a vibrant coastal town in southern California, fit snuggly between its beautiful waterfront and foothills. The political climate is supportive and enthusiastic about maintaining and re-enlivening its downtown, and an active, vocal resident population is invested in the city they love. It is divided into three districts. West Ventura has a distinctly small-town feel, and enjoys the benefits of a healthy downtown life. The city is connected to long distance transportation routes and nearby Santa Barbara and Los Angeles via Amtrak and Metrolink stations. Ventura also has a well-integrated system of buses which many citizens use for daily trainportation to work and school The city residents enjoy a lively arts and culture scene, which include local theater, studios, annual Ventura ArtWalk, farmers market, concerts, museums, and the beachscape.
Ventura Avenue and Santa Clara Street _ central downtown location _ low + medium density urban _ light commercial + residential _ intersection of 3 bus routes _ lively arts and culture scene _ people watching _ overnight accommodations _ local theater, concerts, studios _ annual ArtWalk exhibition _ weekly farmers market _ nearby services health center post office library vons salon gym + fitness
Grocery Cultural Attraction Health and Wellness Transportation
5 ut e
m w al k
Applicable Building Codes The site designated part of Ventura’s official “downtown” community, indicated for redevelopment by city documentation. The site is 3.6 acres on a corner lot with applicable setbacks and height restrictions. The site is noteworthy in that it bridges multiple scales, including residential, civic, industrial, and commercial. It is also under the review jurisdiction of Ventura’s Design Review Committee.
Architectural Encroachments: Balconies, bay windows, chimneys, cantilevered rooms, and eaves may encroach into required setbacks as identified below and as may be further limited by the California Buidling Code. 1. Balconies: 6’ max. into Street Buildto-Line, Side Street Build-to-Line, and Rear Setback. 2. Bay windows, chimneys, cantilevered rooms, and eaves: 3’ max. into all Setback areas identified.
Heights: maximum 3 stories for Primary building (15% of building footprint may be 4 story). Floor to Floor 14’ min and 17’ max ground floor for the shopfront frontage type; 15’ max ground floor for all other frontage types; 12’ max second floor and above.
Average Wind Speed (mph) 8 6 4 2 0
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Average Precipitation (inches) 6.0 4.5 3.0 1.5
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
This is one of the more comfortable climates, so shade to prevent overheating, open to breezes in summer, and use passive solar gain in winter.
Organize the floorplan so winter sun penetrates into daytime use spaces with specific functions that coincide with solar orientation.
On hot days ceiling fans or indoor air motion can make it seem cooler by at least 5 degrees F (2.8C) thus less air conditioning is needed
Sunny wind-protected outdoor spaces can extend living areas in cool weather
Design Strategies | Climate Consultant 5
Flora and Fauna
Historic Architectural Character Ventura boasts a long and proud tradition of historic architectural beauty. Grown over generations in a variety of styles, downtown Ventura is most notable for its examples of Craftsman, Victorian, and Mission architecture. Bordering the siteâ€™s East property line are two houses designated as Landmark properties by the city of Ventura. The site itself falls within the bounds of the Mission District, which includes the Mission San Buenaventura, one of the original communities established by the Spanish along El Camino Real.
Contemporary Character Paralleling the contribution of historical style to the architecture of downtown Ventura is more recent, but no less well-suited, contemporary design. Examples range from private residences to public cultural buildings, such as the Museum of Ventura County on Main Street. Each project establishes its own approach to neighboring structures, whether nodding to and re-interpreting contextual themes of the past or existing as-object as a mark of the present.
Design Development Design encourages a variety of methods and thought-provoking studies. In exploring a built solution to the architectural issue of aging and Alzheimers, I employ pursuits ranging from abstract material studies to furniture construction.
Vellum Furniture Competition This branch is a one in a million find, which grew and fell in Santa Rosa, California. The natural topography of the manzanita trunk is a beautiful series of moments winding around the tree. It was designed as a â€œlanding zoneâ€? - the space to put the keys, the book, the reminder note. The strongest characteristics of the trunk are its vertical nature, size, and threedimensionality; therefore, the design attempts to maintain these features in its altered form by preserving the whole and enabling a perspective of the piece from all sides. The structure and elements of the table are almost exclusively repurposed objects or found materials.
Space-Feel Charrette Instructions were to fabricate or compose a demonstration of what a space within the project would feel like. Isolating the elements of choice and sense, I created a multi-level structure of interconnected spaces. Each space is texturally unique. The goal was to create a harmony of opposites between open and closed, inside and outside, high and low, covered and uncovered, smooth and rough, sturdy and delicate, dappled and solid, etc.
Design Prompt Charrette
Expressively Climate Responsive
Tension | Flow
Program Proposal: Memory care home and independent/dependent senior community mixed housing Site: 3.6 acres Minus Setbacks buildable area - 142,120 sqft 100-300 units Memory Care: 15-20 occupant rooms in residential care community. Table A - Open Space/Density Tables (Housing for the Elderly, page 16) 100 Units, Urban-Suburban, 4 stories Density 25 units per acre 11% building coverage Open space 74% Parking Coverage 15%
Memory Care Home • 15-20 • Access to view, daylight, and ventilation • Private toilet • Full kitchen • Dining area • Activity space • Library/“retreat” • Consultation room • Outdoor garden • Staff station • Staff lounge • Laundry • Dirty, Clean Utility Senior Community • Independent Living apartments • Assisted Living apartments • Standard and larger units • Community gathering space • Dining room • Kitchen • Offices and administrative • Utilities and mechanical • Pool or spa, gym • Security Landscape Park Playspace Parking
Maintenance + Utility
Staff Central Arrival + Staging
Kitchen + Pantry
Room Visual Connection Physical Connection Services + Administration Circulation Node Resident Room Common Gardens Common Gathering
Activity Space Outdoor Environment Living Room
Room Room Room
Memory Care Adjacencies
Wandering: Sensory Delivery The courtyard building is a commonly employed archetype in design for mature populations. In the case of memory care, it proved equally appropriate. This floorplan capitalizes on particular opportunities that courtyard buildings allow. “Wandering” describes several behaviors common in Alzheimers and dementia and may occur at any stage of the disease. Individuals may wander as they try to find their way “home” or go to work, become disoriented or confused, or simply move restlessly, anxiously, or aimlessly. This proposal aims to transform wandering from a risky behavior into a healthy, stimulating activity. All areas of the community are continuously, circulously linked via a common habitable indooroutdoor corridor. As residents travel the loop, they pass staff checkpoints and areas of gathering. Opening wall systems connect the courtyard and hallway and deliver sensory experiences intended to promote momentary delight: a ray of sunshine, blooming shrub, refreshing breeze, or interesting sound. By encouraging the distribution of individuals at every stage of Alzheimers instead of segregating groups by the impact of a disease, the social community benefits from individual’s diversity of ability. Viewing diversity positively also means that residents don’t have to relocate within the community where they have established their place and patterns as memory and physical difficulties progress.
Garage + Maintenance
Staff + Administration
Bird + Butterfly Garden
Outdoor Entry Court
Foyer Living + Activity
The User Triangle: Resident, Visitors, Staff The building form encourages wandering patterns as productive exercise and a positive social and sensory experience. Plentiful daylight and exterior exposure to the changing sky also reduces sleep disruption â€œsundowningâ€? syndrome and rates of depression, easing care burdens.
Visitors can feel welcome and comfortable in an open atmosphere where residents and their loved ones and friends can move about with autonomy. Spatial variety from busy common areas to intimate nooks allows for choice in where residents and family spend time with each other.
A memory care community should be just as pleasant a place to work as it is to live. A work environment that is sensitively designed and daylit improves staff morale, performance, and turnover. In addition, organizing spaces within a single building allows staff to efficiently care for individuals with very different needs without requiring relocation.
â€œGarden Varietyâ€?: Multisensory Characters
Bird + Butterfly Garden
The Resident Room Bed
Stepped back from public, centered on private natural viewing experience
Dwell and gather zone
Desk + Memory Wall
Interface between public corridor and private unit; view through corridor to courtyard
Public circulation and indoor-outdoor habitable space
Operable folding doors open and close to maintain comfort levels and extend indoor space
Pocket Garden: Living Painting
As residents decline, eventually their bed will be their world. It is centered on a window overlooking a pocket garden, so at every stage they are afforded the delight that natural media possess; although they may draw a shade over the Memory Window for privacy from the public corridor, sensory delight remains deliverable.
In combination with daylighting, viewable sky helps maintain regular circadian rhythms, as well as contextualizes an individual to time of day and year.
Light embodies great potential for aesthetic, emotional, and spiritual provocation. Functionally, appropriate application ensures that daylight does not contribute to glare, but provides the additional lumens that mature eyes require for proper seeing.
HEED Energy Modeling California Climate Zone: 6 Characteristics: Mild year-round weather, ocean breezes from south, and plentiful sunshine make Zone 6 the least energy-intensive zone for comfort level maintenance in the whole state. Passive and Solar recommendations: space and hot water heating; photovoltaics; natural ventilation
Building Description: The resident wing is organized in a southfacing courtyard, in the aim of allowing each individual unit exposure for direct solar gain during winter months and creating a central, communal natral space. This analysis isolates the energy use of one unit, narrowing the scope of the energy discussion to the patterns of an individual.
Comparative Analysis: Memory Care Unit Scenario 1: Copy 2: Mem Care Unit, P This scenario is based off of the given form and minimum or conventional requirements. Assumptions include a 7 panel photovolteic array, double pane Low-E windows, 2x4 wood framing construction, low sloped cool roof, carpeted concrete slab-on-grade floor, and energy code minimum furnace and air conditioner units, and fixed window overhangs. Scenario 2: Mem Care Unit, Overhangs Primary changes in this scenario focused on building features and systems to reduce energy loads and increase the number of hours when passive techniques are adequate to maintain indoor comfort levels. These included upgraded windows to Argon-filled double pane Low-E, radiant barrier in roof to reflect incident sunlight, indicating high natural ventilation and operable translucent internal shades, and removing the furnace and air conditioning units from the calculations. Predictably, eliminating the electricity required to run these mechanical systems reduced total annual electricity use per residential unit noticeably.
Scenario 3: Mem Care Unit, Energy The focus of this scenario was to further tailor the energy requirements of a unit to reduce its use of non-renewable fuels. Indicating reduced appliance fuel requirements since residents aren’t expected to use dryers or cooktops in their units resulted in a more accurately depicted (and lower) consumption. Additionally, manipulating the number of expected hours of electric light use according to waking hours also lowered electricity expectations somewhat (although not significantly). Conclusions Ultimately, fine-tuning the performance of a residential unit indicates the significance that cumulative small changes may have on the building’s energy patterns and resident comfort. While extremely informative, HEED is far from exhaustive. Given Ventura’s high count of sunny days per year, solar water heaters are a viable avenue for exploration in order to replace the fuel HEED indicates the building requires to heat water.
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Published on May 11, 2014