Independence Place Wellness Addition

BACKGROUND

The Independence Place Wellness Addition is an amenity building at Forest City Realty Trust's residential campus in Parma, Ohio that connects two existing senior apartment buildings with over 400 residents over the age of 55. Forest City recognizes senior homeowners in the marketplace are concerned with access to healthcare and opportunities for staying active while close to home. In response, Forest City has been designing unique market rate apartment communities in partnership with a local home healthcare agency with on-site healthcare centers.

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Forest City recognizes that saving money on energy is of special importance to senior homeowners, who are often living on a fixed budget. There are many assisted living communities in the US, but most of them are very expensive, with rents ranging from $3,000-$12,000 per month, and residents may not need all of the services provided by these communities as they age. The Wellness Addition was designed with several energy savings features in mind, while providing residents access to several health services to improve their quality of life and allow them to live safely at home on the Forest City campus. 

Forest City has recognized that there are a significant number of 65+ year old homeowners in the marketplace who are primarily concerned with having access to and understanding healthcare, staying active, and aging in place. The group has been designing a unique combination of market rate apartment living with access to services not provided by any other competitor. 

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SOLUTIONS

The design and construction of the Independence Place Wellness Addition, located 15 miles from Forest City Headquarters, presented a prime opportunity for Forest City’s Building Technology Services (BTS) department to pilot energy efficient technologies and be close enough to monitor and witness savings in person. These include electrochromic glass, variable refrigerant flow (VRF), and DC-powered LED lighting.  While VRF has been deployed at other sites, electrochromic glass and DC-powered lighting were two technologies identified by BTS as cutting-edge and worth investigating on a small scale before implementing on a full-scale residential building.  

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SageGlass windows were installed throughout the entire 9,300 square foot addition. The electronically tintable glass maximizes daylight and outdoor views in the building, while controlling glare and solar heat gain.  Read more here.

LED lighting fixtures typically converts clean DC power from AC, which occurs within the fixture. AC to DC power conversion results in power losses and heat generation. DC-powered LED lighting maximizes the energy savings from LED technology by avoiding conversion losses.

Independence Place Wellness Addition also features an energy dashboard to track energy consumption from the building. Visitors as a result can interact with the building’s sustainable design elements and also understand their associated energy savings.. The Wellness Addition is designed to be 30% more energy efficiency compared to an ASHRAE 90.1 2007 baseline and has applied for LEED certification.

 

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OTHER BENEFITS

A DC-powered LED lighting system is not only efficient, but also safe and reliable. It utilizes category 5 cables, eliminating the need for heavy copper wires and conduits in traditional electrical wiring. When factoring in material and labor savings, DC-powered LumenCache fall within 5-10% of the cost of traditional LED lighting systems.

The Independence Place Wellness Addition offers amenities and activities that provide residents with significant value, but the most attractive value for seniors is the access to unique healthcare. The local home healthcare agency provides residents with in-home nursing, therapy, and more that improve their quality of life.

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Annual Energy Use

Baseline (ASHRAE 90.1 2007 Baseline)
80 kBtu/sq.ft
Expected (2015)
60 kBtu/sq.ft

Energy Savings:

25%

Annual Energy Cost

Baseline (ASHRAE 90.1 2007 Baseline)
$11,600
Expected (2015)
$8,000

Cost Savings:

30%

Sector Type

Commercial

Location

Parma, Ohio

Project Size

10,000 Square Feet

Financial Overview

$2.5M Construction Cost

Exterior of Independence Place Wellness Addition
Exterior of Independence Place Wellness Addition

Interior of Independence Place Wellness Addition
Interior of Independence Place Wellness Addition

Interior of Independence Place Wellness Addition
Interior of Independence Place Wellness Addition

Energy Dashboard educates occupants about energy use and sustainable features
Energy Dashboard educates occupants about energy use and sustainable features