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 association’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 – 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, it’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 shouldn’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).