Submitted by: Kala Letts
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Set in a tucked away site in Alexandria, Virginia, the Inova Regional Department of Alzheimer's and Dementia has assigned an exclusive long-term care wing attached to its new facility. The interior features uses of daylighting in all public and patient areas along with employee zones. The new wing will also be taking advantage of the expansive roof by having planters and greenery available to the patients as a secure and stress eliminating environment.
This facility is designed to feature the hearth as the center of the home, a well-known concept for comfort. In order to give release to the compressed, enveloping spaces, the motif of an open breezy meadow is used to pull in biophilic elements of nature without compromising sanitation and allergy issues common to elderly long-term care.
The building itself utilizes gray water filtration systems, rain water capture, and solar panels on the roof to help reduce energy usage. The building also pulls from geothermal energy and is directionally facing north in order to promote daylighting and the overall reduction of artificial lighting, which is known to help the circadian rhythm of Alzheimer's and dementia patients. The natural landscaping features local grasses which carries through the concept of release by a meadow.
The interior focuses on natural or sustainable materials such as linoleum flooring, low VOC paints, adhesives, and coatings, and upholstery that not only meets LEED point criteria, but has low emitting vapors and is extremely durable to withstand the intense cleaning practices required in healthcare facilities. All veneers and wood paneling systems are certified sustainable forestry.
The facility is designed to relieve stress in order to make the deterioration of the patients being treated more manageable and possibly slow the onset. The Inova Regional Department of Alzheimer's and Dementia wing will not only help the environment, but it will also use biophilic principles to promote healing and well-being.
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