IRVINE, CA - According to Manny Gonzalez, AIA, LEED AP and principal with award-winning national architecture and planning firm KTGY Group, Inc., creative new concepts in age-qualified housing will be the key to catching the big wave of approximately 10,000 Boomers a day turning 65. "The sheer number of baby boomers will fuel a demand for new housing in every age-qualified sector, from single family to assisted living. But healthy active lifestyles and aging in place will require rethinking the old models and the creation on new, innovative living environments," said Gonzalez.
What are the new senior apartment layouts? Gonzalez states that it is a great room plan with an inboard bedroom, which allows the traditional 700-square-foot unit to live like a single-family home. In single- family living, Gonzalez says that is critical to keep in mind the spatial relationships that accommodate the needs of today’s active adult such as locating a domestic suite adjacent to the owner’s suite, locating the entertaining kitchen and Costco pantry near the owner’s entry and locating a "snore room" with a back door from the owner’s suite. He also adds that outdoor Living Rooms are a must.
When asked about the innovative products and the latest Universal Design principles for ageless living, Gonzalez stated that it isn’t as much about new products as it is about new thinking to incorporate Universal Design in tomorrow’s homes. "'The snail shower,' the horizontal laundry chute and the Costco pantry are all examples of simple design features that allow for ageless living," said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez explains that a "snail shower" is a walk-in shower with no door that is shaped somewhat like a snail so that water can’t get out. It also features controls that you can access at the entry so that you don’t have to walk all the way to the back to turn on.
Community amenities that are “so yesterday,” as Gonzalez puts it, include the mail room (email, texting and online bill pay have replaced the post office), and the catering kitchen (the demonstration kitchen has replaced the catering kitchen to teach healthy cooking and eating).
"Wii games have been replaced by WiFi and social media. And, 5 bars on your cell phone is a must," Gonzalez said.
According to Gonzalez, today's newest amenities for age-qualified communities are a state-of-the-art fitness center with "Fitness on Demand" and "Total Wellness." Fitness on Demand is a life size personalized video fitness training class that residents can access on their own time. It lets them select the type of class they want from Pilates to Spin and the level they desire. Total Wellness incorporates all aspects of a healthy lifestyle from fitness to proper eating as well as activities that engage residents in body, mind and spirit.
Gonzalez will present his insights on "The Next Generation of Age Qualified Housing" at the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, 50+ Housing Council luncheon on December 10, 2013 at 11:00 a.m., held at the Cobb Galleria Centre, 2 Galleria Pkwy SE, in Atlanta, GA.
Gonzalez is a frequent guest speaker and panelist at various industry events and webinars and will be a featured speaker at the International Builders' Show in February 2014. Gonzalez has more than three decades of experience in design, land planning and production of residential, retail, and mixed-use developments throughout the western US. With his strong interest in livable communities, he focuses on well-scaled, contextual architecture that shapes vibrant environments. Gonzalez's commitment to the industry includes serving on the NAHB Multifamily Leadership Board, 50+ Education Committee and the University of Housing as well as being on the Editorial Advisory Board of 50+ Builder.
Some of Gonzalez's 55+ projects include St. Joseph's Assisted Living in Roswell, Georgia, which includes both Assisted Living and Memory Care facilities, and recent award-winners LEED Platinum Heritage Oaks, LEED Gold Dana Strand and Parkview Living, to name a few. Gonzalez is based in KTGY's Santa Monica, Calif. office.
Celebrating 22 years, KTGY Group, Inc., Architecture and Planning, is a national award-winning firm providing comprehensive planning and award-winning architectural design services for residential communities, retail, hospitality, mixed-use and related specialty developments. KTGY delivers innovative solutions that reflect clear understanding of development, market and consumer trends, and financial performance. Serving clients worldwide, KTGY maintains offices in Irvine, Oakland and Santa Monica, Calif., Denver, Colo., and Tysons, Va.