Portland Senior Living is Going Green
New senior living communities continue the environmentally friendly building trend
Green design has made its way to the senior living industry and several new communities in the Portland area are a testament to that green philosophy. Environmentally minded contractors, architects and designers are implementing green design into new buildings because they understand that consuming less energy, conserving water, and improving indoor air quality benefits the residents as well as the natural environment.
The key elements to reducing a building’s greenhouse gas emissions are energy efficiency, waste management, water conservation, and indoor air quality. Many new senior living communities are using this green strategy in their design and operations because a sustainably designed building can literally improve a senior’s physical and mental health.
For example, many green buildings are designed to let in as much natural sunlight as possible. Studies have shown that exposure to daylight reduces depression. Improving the air quality inside a building by using low VOC paint, frequently cleaning coils and vents, and using effective weather stripping means seniors breathe much fresher air. This is especially important for seniors who spend most of their time inside and who can be especially susceptible to pollution because of emphysema and asthma.
Laurel Parc at Bethany Village in northwest Portland is an example of a senior housing development that has incorporated many green features into the building’s design. For example, the orientation and shape of the building and the placement of windows increases the natural lighting as well as ventilation, underground parking will reduce water use by lessening ground level surface space, and energy efficient lighting and Energy Star appliances will prevent light and energy waste.
Other steps taken during the design and construction phases of Laurel Parc include recycling 100% of construction waste, installing an efficient HVAC system, featuring strategically placed skylights to increase natural light, having low-flow showerheads and flush toilets, and starting a recycle program.
Going green is not a money saver at the outset. It usually adds 3 to 5 percent to a project’s upfront cost and sometimes will deter a company from moving in the green direction. However, once the building is complete the additional costs incurred during construction are returned through reduced energy costs. The long term benefits definitely outweigh the initial costs and contribute to the well-being of our seniors and our planet.
About Laurel Parc at Bethany Village
Laurel Parc at Bethany Village is a unique senior living community located in the heart of Northwest Portland. Set to open in March of 2009, Laurel Parc will feature independent senior apartments as well as assisted living suites.
Provided by: Barbara Keyes, Laurel Parc at Bethany Village
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