Last spring we took a preview of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) Idea House 2010, which was built and on display for the associationâ€™s annual meeting in Los Angeles. Designed by THW Design of Atlanta, the Idea House presents a 2,500 square-foot model of the future of senior housing â€“ aging in place design, use of technology, and sustainability.
In terms of sustainability, the model was designed to be a net-zero energy structure, though, of course, itâ€™s not a completed home and operating under such standards. If it were, you'd also see a lush green roof and on-site, helical, wind turbines spinning among the trees.
The Idea House has southern exposed courtyards, exterior shade devices, proper ventilation, recycled-content materials, water-saving products, and energy-saving devices.
In terms of technology, the Idea House includes a HydroWorx pool for massaging and exercise, a robot named Bandit to interact with and keep seniors active, and a no-threshold Masco Bath for easy showering.
Homes shouldnâ€™t need extensive rehabilitation to be usable, they can be built from the beginning to accommodate changing life circumstances. Universal design as is shown here will become a more prominent aspect of new homes and will help us conserve resources in the process.
Credits: AAHSA and THW Design (rendering).