Can we house seniors in buildings made of wood?

In a new white paper, JSA principal Christine Castaldo, AIA LEED AP looks at the latest IBC code updates for Assisted Living facilities.

IBC White Paper

Senior residents

When constructing buildings to house senior residents, concerns include how much physical effort the residents are expected to exert and how much stress they are expected to endure in the event of a fire.

But in Poland...

Many years ago, before I graduated from architecture school, I visited my cousin in Poland. In her crowded dormitory room, after a few beers, she and her fellow math majors asked, "Do you really live in a house made of wood?" They were worried about me and my answer did not alleviate their concerns.

How does this affect assisted living?

When a client recently asked if we could build the assisted living portion of the project with wood framing, I was reminded of that night in my cousin's crowded dormitory room. Can we house seniors who require assistance in a building made of wood? To answer that question, let's take a deep dive into the building code requirements.

There's ambiguity

The 2015 International Building Code (IBC), which is now being adopted by some states and municipalities, provides clarification...

Read the white paper.

Christine Castaldo, AIA, LEED AP is JSA's specialist in housing, both for senior living communities and for privatized military ventures. Her understanding of how buildings function results in projects with high operational integrity, bringing numerous repeat clients who rely on her expertise. She is an instructor of architecture in the Civil Technology program at the Thompson School of the University of New Hampshire and is a graduate of Pratt Institute.