Wellness is a major component in senior living design. Retirement communities are attracting a new type of senior that is health conscious, sociable and expect their community to promote a healthy lifestyle.
There are 7 dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, occupational and environmental. To stay competitive and attract new residents, design for a new community needs to promote these 7 areas.
Much like LEED for the environment, the WELL Building Standard certifies that a building can contribute improvements to an occupant’s health. This is achieved through 7 features: air, light, nutrition, fitness, comfort and mind. The testing system is performance-based and monitors features of the built environment that impact health and well-being.
“It kind of layers on top of LEED and just makes it better,” says George Wilson, Managing Principal of Meyer Architecture + Interiors, whose firm designs sustainable and healthy buildings. “LEED is about buildings and WELL is about people—you mix the 2 together and … ‘home run.’”
In the January/February issue of LeadingAge Magazine, two Meyer Senior Living Studio team members, George Wilson, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP and Allie Thompson, NCIDQ, LEED GA, were interviewed to discuss LEED design principals and the WELL Building Standard respectively. More on LEED and wellness design in senior living, can be found within the article at leadingage.org.