What is good practice? How does design and construction impact ageing populations? What can be done to ensure that these homes and those that live in them integrate with the wider community?
When designing homes suitable for older people, accessibility, layout, location would quite rightly be the top priorities. But the fabric of the building also needs to be considered, because it’s at this early design stage when products can be incorporated which can have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of the residents, now and far into the future.
For example, we’re keen to ensure our older friends and relatives can heat their homes properly during the cold winter months. Conversely, overheating has been identified as a problem in new build properties. With older people likely to be more vulnerable to the effects of inadequate climate control, we should be specifying the technology which addresses this.
While this might seem a tall order, there are now products on the market - our own Radiana system for example – which manage temperature, humidity levels and air quality, to provide the end user with a comfortable, healthy, ‘perfect’ environment in which to live.
The technology is a modular plasterboard ceiling panel system which contains a radiant heating and cooling system. They’re starting to make an impression on the new build market because the benefits they offer the end user far outweigh those of their traditional counterpart – air conditioning. Maintenance and running costs for example are heavily reduced, the environmental and health issues associated with air conditioning are no longer an issue, and our Radiana system is noiseless, provides draughtless cooling and is far more responsive for the user.
Creating the perfect environment for an ageing population needs to give consideration to a sustainable solution for climate control – not only for the comfort and wellbeing of occupants, but also for making developments more marketable.