Exterior view of a small courtyard area. A small patio table with umbrella sits in the foreground, with a wood pergola in the background. Grass and shrubbery plantings surround concrete walkways.

In a new white paper, Sandra Hodge, IIDA and Robin Tufts, AIA describe JSA’s research into designing healthy environments for vulnerable populations.

Keeping residents of senior living communities healthy during a pandemic
As a viral pandemic threatens our health and wellbeing, the architects and designers at JSA Design are working with clients to ensure their facilities provide the safest, healthiest environment possible. How do we keep communities safe from this virus? Even with a vaccine in the works, our country’s leading scientists say it could be a year or more before we will see life returning to normal. And what will normal look like, particularly in our senior living communities, as we prepare for the inevitable next pandemic?

We have worked to understand how the virus is spread, sought feedback from architects across the country, participated in webinars, and spoken with current and past clients. Our research has led us to reconsider some of the basic design assumptions we’ve made for years.

We will need to provide greater program and spatial flexibility, especially as it relates to common areas; a requirement of more space for social distancing is inevitable; outdoors accommodation will expand; advances in technology will prevent viral spread and mitigate the negative impacts of social distancing; more sophisticated mechanical systems will become standard; and easily cleaned, antimicrobial finish materials will become commonplace.

Sandra Hodge, IIDA is a JSA Design principal and leads the interior design studio. Sandra is a pro at finding new and innovative products and finishes for best practices in communities of all kinds.

Robin Tufts, AIA is a JSA Design senior associate who has been designing healthy living environments for both seniors and students for over 30 years.

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