Senior housing construction case study


A high quality of life supported by the most dedicated care. That’s what the folks at Stillwater Senior Living provide seniors in Edwardsville, Illinois. To create an environment that delivers on its purpose, Stillwater required a state-of-the-art facility — one built for care and designed to provide a home-like setting.

Cutting the ribbons in summer 2014, we proudly put the Korte name on this finished senior housing construction project. In this article, we walk you step-by-step through the building program and give you an example of how interior design, architecture design and senior living construction should support the dual purpose of a senior living facility.

Laying the ground work for the senior housing construction project

Kathy Long, owner and founder of Genesis Development Group, planned the project after careful evaluation of the senior housing market in Edwardsville, Illinois. Her goal was to build a facility that met the dual mission of quality care and quality of life.

“It’s all about person-centered care, “ Kathy said. “The different individual needs and wants of an individual person. To achieve that goal, we need to design our buildings and equipment inside buildings to compliment owner and staff that will be facilitating that role.”

A senior-friendly design

Stillwater Senior Living is functionally designed to enable quality care. It’s set up for people who have disabilities to navigate the facility and enjoy a comfortable residence. And the building helps the care staff take advantage of the latest technology too. The Stillwater facility and staff are equipped with an innovative “Our Care System.”

Kathy said:

It’s really important that you put the infrastructure in there. There’s going to be a lot of improvement in different types of nurse call systems that need good WiFi in a building. This is kind of a new procedure. Residents have a device, and when they go into a room, they scan the device. It tells staff when residents have entered a room. We know when meds are administered, when people fall and when care providers get there to help. We know when people need a shower. Caregivers have a device with reminders — we can put notes in files that say whether residents weren’t feeling good, or when it’s someone’s birthday. It helps us customize the care.

Designing a transgenerational home

The design of the facility incorporates a beautiful interior that uses warm colors and wood finishes to create a home-like atmosphere. It’s set up as a small, boutique hotel where seniors can enjoy their days. Perhaps, one of the most unique features of the facility is the way it takes into account transgenerational design. In addition to featuring private rooms with space for personal visits, Stillwater incorporates a children’s play area. Families can come and let kids run around while visiting their senior family members.

Building for future expansion and the continuum of care

As a new facility, Stillwater Senior Living did not opt to build their full vision all at once. Instead, they’re expanding in phases, filling their initial facility with residents, then growing their building to serve seniors at different stages of their lives. Beginning with assisted living, Stillwater plans to add areas for independent living and memory care. As the builder for this facility, The Korte Company incorporated future expansion into the initial senior housing construction plans. We accommodated it by extending wiring, piping and utilities where the building expansion would be located. And we used temporary, lower-cost materials for the parts of the facility that would be replaced.

Delivering savings and completing the senior housing construction project ahead of time

As part of the building program, we worked directly with the architect and expert subcontractors to reduce costs. Wherever possible, we found cost-saving solutions, and we completed the project under budget, delivering $20,000 back to Stillwater. Despite a wet spring that threw many challenges at the project team, we got the job done in a tight, six-month timeline.

Kathy said, “It went really well. It was an open book. I knew what the cost was going to be as I made every decision. They had a time crunch and couldn’t get started until March. But they had the project completed by the end of November, which is really very, very good. They did a tremendous job.”

Key trends in senior living

Want to learn more about key trends shaping the modern-day senior living facility? Fill out the form below to download The Owner’s Guide to Senior Living Design and Construction. In it, we show you how interior design, architectural design and construction are changing to support senior living’s dual purpose: quality care and quality of life.

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