University of Waterloo Architecture Alumni Andrea Lam is currently featured in the October 2014 edition of eWEAL (Waterloo Engineering Alumni eLetter). Please read the article below or visit the eWEAL website:
Re-thinking residences for an aging population
By Cynthia Kinnunen
With the population shifting more heavily to higher age brackets, many areas of industry are being affected. Savvy professionals and organizations are seeing that there will be unique needs for this demographic and are developing opportunities to address those needs.
Andrea Lam (BAS ’10, Architectural Studies; MArch ’13, Architecture) is one of those individuals who feels personally compelled to research and address the concerns of an aging marketplace. Lam developed her interest and skills in addressing design considerations for end-of-life care during her thesis work around hospice environments.
“It is thanks to the way that the curriculum is shaped that I was encouraged to delve deep into the research of this topic and emerge with some expertise and my own ideas,” she explains.
Her experience would play directly into an exciting new initiative that Greenvilla Homes, where Lam is a project manager, is one of two builders involved. The Living City Campus project at Kortright Centre (partnered with the Toronto Conservation Authority), is part of the international BRE Innovation Park Network and involves seven groups, including: Greenvilla, Del Ridge Homes, The Endeavour Centre, The Canadian Passive House Institute (CanPHI), Mohawk College, Ryerson University Consortium Partnership and First Nations/Solstice Regenerative Solutions Partnerships. These groups have been chosen to expand the Archetype Sustainable House that currently exists on the Kortright Centre property into seven new buildings, with each group focusing on a theme for their site.
Greenvilla has taken the senior/accessibility theme and will incorporate sustainable design methods and technology into the building. It is a complex and dynamic development process, involving working with designers, tradespeople and suppliers to help streamline the sustainability and accessibility angles, gaining what will ideally be a senior-ready model home for the future.
As the project is a non-profit undertaking, one of the main challenges will be garnering funding and attracting volunteers to donate supplies or time to make the project a reality.
“There is also an ongoing research component that would be amazing to dovetail with the research of grad students, building this as a living/working home for data collection,” Lam notes. “I would love to find a way to involve Waterloo students and alumni with this worthy project.”
The Living City Campus site, with its seven unique new buildings, will serve as an educational tool for school groups, education seminars, professional development sessions, etc. that visit the Kortright Centre. “We are looking forward to breaking ground on site servicing by end of 2015 and seeing the project develop along the way.”