A sustainable home for the elderly
Residenza Camponogara, a model for sustainable design of homes for the elderly, is a project developed by Health Invest and located in Camponogara, close to Venice.
The project, with a total developed area of about 18000 m2, achieved LEED® for Building Design and Construction: New Construction with Gold level.
How to make a nursery home green
The building that insists on the plot hosts the rooms for the guests and related services, such as a gym and doctors’ offices to ensure the utmost attention to patient’s health and wellbeing.
The physical health of users is not the only matter to which special attention has been paid in the design: mental health has played a key role in the decision-making process too. Namely, common areas for recreational activities are present both inside and outside the building.
The outdoor space is indeed physically accessible and guarantee the availability of spaces for social interaction to guests and visitors. The integration of green spaces aims at helping the elderly to feel less lonely and strengthening theirs sense of belonging to a community.
Next to creating social areas, the design of outdoor space implements strategies for rainwater management on site, as well as mitigation of urban heat island effect. The planted vegetation, which requires little watering, and the presence of an infiltration pond allow indeed for management of rainwater and helps reduce surfaces temperatures by providing shade. The mitigation effect on urban heat island is enhanced by the materials selected for paving and roof, which are characterized by high solar reflectance and solar reflectance index, which helps lowering outdoor temperature, thus reducing cooling loads.
The selected systems guarantee reduction in water and energy demand. Water demand is lowered through the installation appliances with low flush and flow rates. Through the careful selection of water fixtures a reduction in annual water consumption of almost 40% compared to a baseline building was achieved.
Furthermore, energy savings of more than 50% were achieved with the implementation of high-performance equipment for cooling and heating production, heat recovery systems and radiant floor, which provides thermal comfort too. Also, the design of the façade that is characterized by large openings with dedicated shading systems allows for daylight that helps reduce energy demand while avoiding overheating. In addition, the photovoltaic field on the roof provides renewable energy to cover 15% of the energy demand of the building by cost.
Indoor environmental quality is ensured not only by the availability of daylight and efficient thermal systems, but also by the implementation of sustainable materials with low VOCs emissions, which improve air quality and reduce hazards, thus enhancing the attention paid to the health of the elderly.
Sustainability and reduction of environmental impacts associated to the building were paid special attention throughout the whole design and construction process. In particular, during the construction phase, 88% of the total waste generated was recycled, avoiding disposal in landfills.
All these aspects considered as a whole give shape to a project whose key features are all about comfort, health and wellbeing, and efficiency of systems and materials, stating the importance given to the elderly by Health Invest.
Such example of nursery home pushes to rethink the current standard model we are used to, by integrating sustainable principles into the design of spaces that should also guarantee the maximum comfort to their users.
GET has given its contribution by supporting Health invest as LEED Consultant in the process of certification from the first stages of the project, through the whole construction process, until the achievement of the LEED Gold certification.
LEED – acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is a certification that awards sustainable, healthy, and efficient buildings and neighborhoods.
The certification is intended to meet the growing need to provide a set of standards and construction practices and techniques in the construction industry to be followed respecting the environment and sustainability principles.
LEED certification applies to new construction, renovation, interior projects but also to neighborhoods.
In particular, LEED for Building Design and Construction (LEED BD+C) provides a framework for building a holistic green building, giving you the chance to nail down every sustainability feature, maximizing the benefits. (U.S. Green Building Council – LEED for Building Design and Construction).
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