Designing for Community, Aging and Energy Efficiency

Presented by Charles Durrett, AIA -- The Father of Cohousing in the U.S.
Keith Diaz Moore, Ph.D., AIA -- Dean, College of Architecture & Planning, UofU
Dave Brach, AIA, -- Principle, Brach Design LLC

Session Description

This educational panel discussion gives an overview of three key design elements you need to understand before planning a senior-friendly cohousing community. A successful community design will encourage social interaction, provide ample space for privacy, prepare for an aging population and promote environmental stewardship for living lighter on the planet.

Charles Durrett, AIA – Designing for a Strong Sense of Community
The best design includes an interlocking set of common indoor and outdoor spaces that supplement private living areas and encourage incidental interactions that over time foster deep, life-long relationships; an interlocking of the physical and the social. Building a highly functioning cohousing community requires that the residents remain true to the UNIQUE ARCHITECTURE of cohousing. Chuck will share the cohousing design elements that create a strong sense of community and why McCamant & Durrett Architects approaches environmental design as much like anthropologists as architects.

Keith Diaz Moore, Ph.D., AIA – Designing for an Aging Population
The best design includes features that further both agency and belonging in older adults. These include features of inclusive design that permit continued use by those experiencing physical and/or cognitive challenges such as design elements that enable visitability of the home, but also design features that allow for self-display, passive and active engagement and the importance of place-identity.

David Brach, AIA – Designing for Energy Efficiency & Net Zero Design Features
How would you craft a dwelling if there were no electrical grid or natural gas infrastructure to plug into? The architecture would truly need to be oriented toward the human body an it's relationship with the local weather, climate and landscape. This is what we call PASSIVE DESIGN—achieving a cozy interior milieu in winter, and an oasis from the blazing heat in summer without negatively impacting climate or ecosystem. We approach the building design from the standpoint that every kilowatt-hour of energy is a precious gift from the sun.

Learning Objectives: As a result of attending this session, attendees will:
1. Understand of the unique architecture of a cohousing
2. Understand that community must receive as much consideration as privacy in the design process.
3. Understand the principles and aspirations of inclusive design
4. Identify design elements that may enable greater continuity for older adults in their chosen home
5. Be able to describe the main principles of climate-specific Passive Design
6. Be able to describe the technical definition of a Zero-Energy building

About the Presenter/s

Charles Durrett, AIA, Principle, McCamant & Durrett Architects, with his wife Kathryn McCamant, introduced the concept of cohousing to the U.S. with their book Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves . They coined the word “cohousing” for which they are credited in the Oxford English Dictionary. Charles recently authored, Senior Cohousing: A Community Approach to Independent Living-The Handbook . Charles has designed over fifty cohousing communities in the United States, including Muir Commons, the first cohousing community in North America. He has also consulted on many more around the world. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Architecture, and a wide variety of other publications.

Keith Diaz Moore, Ph.D., AIA | Dean, College of Architecture & Planning, UofU
Dean Moore earned a Ph.D. in architecture from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee in 2000. He is a registered architect with experience in a wide range of professional roles in Illinois, New York and Wisconsin. He is also an accomplished scholar who examines the intersection of culture and design, with emphasis on environmental design for aging populations. During his tenure at Kansas, Dr. Moore instituted a new doctoral program in architecture, interdisciplinary internship and study abroad programs, and sustainable building efforts.
Diaz Moore, K.(2014). “Ecological Model of Place for the Aging.” International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 79(3):. Published, 11/2014.

David Brach, AIA | Principle, Brach Design LLC
Dave is a Registered Architect in Utah and expert in Passive and Zero-energy Architecture. His firm has been at the forefront of integrating building-science-based computer energy modeling with architectural design to achieve zero impact homes and apartments since 2008. He also travels and teaches other architects across North America as an instructor for the Passive House Institute U.S. His work has been published in numerous local and national magazines, blogs, and books, including ECO Living by Chris Van Uffelen published by Braun in 2012.