Sentinel Plaza Senior Housing center achieved LEED Gold Certification

November 29, 2012

As the baby boomer generation ages and reaches retirement, high-quality senior care centers will become a greater necessity. Because these properties have the ability to quickly run up utility costs, some developers are striving to put a green aspect to their design.

A senior housing center in downtown Tuscan, Arizona, was recently opened in August 2012. The Tuscan Citizen reports that the building has achieved the LEED-Certified Green building status.

"This is our second senior project that has been certified LEED Gold, and it was built at $110 per square foot," Tom McQuillen, Principal at Lizard Rock Designs, told the news source. "We incorporated a lot of sustainable design features that produced a tangible benefit for the residents. We visited residents in the middle of the summer, and they didn’t have the air conditioning turned on. The building is so well insulated, they didn’t need AC."

The six-story building holds 143 residential units and is available to low-income seniors. The news source reports that the structure was built with recycled materials, low VOC paint and sustainably harvested wood. As more developers look to increase the use of sustainable materials, and improve the quality of life of seniors, LEED certification for elderly living facilities may become more popular.

"The U.S. Green Building Council is proud to help celebrate Lizard Rock Designs, Senior Housing Group and Evergreen Partners’ commitment to greener living," said Michelle Moore, Senior Vice President of Policy & Market Development, U.S. Green Building Council.  "Their leadership – demonstrated at Sentinel Plaza – is at the national forefront of quality – and their example can help us all to live better by reducing our environmental footprint, cutting our utility bills, and coming home to a healthier place to live."

The Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) was established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as an Energy-Regional Innovation Cluster. The organization hopes to promote the integration of green energy technology into commercial building design. Located in Philadelphia, the agency may find itself partnering with developers in the future to develop senior friendly facilities that incorporate the highest standard of green design.