BELLEVUE, WA - Aegis Living, a national leader in senior assisted living and memory care, broke ground on the world's greenest senior living community, Aegis Living Lake Union set in the Eastlake neighborhood of Seattle, Wash. and blocks from the Lake Union waterfront. The building is on track to be the first assisted living community to meet the most rigorous global green/sustainability building standards with a Living Building Challenge certification and is participating in the City of Seattle's Living Building Pilot Program. In addition to a novel emission-free design approach, the organization developed new energy and water consumption benchmarks for the senior living category.
"This first-of-its-kind development is an incredible milestone for Aegis Living and the senior assisted living community as a whole," said founder and CEO Dwayne Clark. "Charting new territory to create a sustainable, green-certified facility that meets the unique needs of our residents demonstrates that building green can be achieved in this industry."
Built to be emission-free, Aegis Living Lake Union will use standard electricity to support the entire 70,000 square-foot building, including large appliances and kitchen equipment, significantly reducing overall environmental impact. The community will offset more than the building's total energy demand through various energy reduction measures, an onsite solar array and an offsite solar energy farm. Key features include improved insulation such as triple pane windows and thermal insulation for exterior walls, heat recovery through forced-air ventilation, a recirculating heat pump system, LED lighting and sensors to monitor use, installation of all high-efficiency appliances and more. The community will save approximately 320,000 kilowatt-hours annually – equivalent to planting more than 12,000 trees each year. Another 1.7 million kilowatt hours will be generated between the solar array and offsite energy farm.
All non-drinking water will be supplied through captured rainwater and treated greywater; the community will reserve potable water for consumption only. These measures will save more than 140,000 gallons of water annually for the life of the building.
Assisted living communities are behind the green building curve largely due to the challenge of residents spending approximately 95 percent of their days on the premises, more than any other building occupancy type. This constant use of resources makes it more difficult to mitigate demand with green building mechanisms.
"Navigating how we would offset our building's total energy demand with fulltime resident use has been a challenging, yet rewarding process," said Walter Braun, senior vice president of development. "We look forward to the development process and seeing our vision come to life."
Modeled after a modern shellhouse, the building design will pay tribute to the 1936 University of Washington men's rowing team that took gold at the Berlin Olympics. The building features 79 living spaces, including a mix of studio and one-bedroom options and select apartments dedicated to memory care. Amenities include a spa/wellness center with a salon, massage parlor and fitness center. Signature for Aegis Living communities, residents will enjoy a variety of gathering spaces to spend time with family, friends and neighbors, including an onsite cinema and sky lounge and a terrace with views of Lake Union. More details on building design and amenities will be released closer to the building's opening in Spring 2021.
The Lake Union community (located at 1936 Eastlake Ave. E) is one of seven new properties currently in development for Aegis Living. Earlier this year, Aegis Living broke ground on an expansive waterfront property in Kirkland, Wash. Its Overlake/Bellevue, Wash. community is set to open in late 2020 and will be the largest property in company history. Other Washington communities will soon be built in the Greenwood, Laurelhurst, and Ballard neighborhoods of Seattle. The company also has plans to open Aegis Living San Rafael (California) in 2021.