retirement villages that offer a full spectrum of co-located services that will be
accessible to independent seniors. Réseau Sélection’s flagship CA$250 million
project in Montreal will include apartments ranging in size from studios to two
bedrooms, assisted-living units, a health clinic, retail spaces, and a community
health and fitness center that will encourage interaction between seniors and
A recent economic downturn in Spain has halted a number of private senior-living construction projects, so local governments have stepped in to retrofit
residential and commercial structures to help seniors more easily engage with
their communities. These projects include installing automatic doors, access
ramps and elevators in public and private spaces.
“Local shops and town centers are more and more accessible to the elderly,
but it is not enough,” says José Luis Lagos Martínez, PMP, senior project manager, Acciona Infrastructure, Madrid, Spain.
This demand has opened the door for construction and engineering companies like Acciona to develop integrated, government-funded senior-living
properties that offer everything from physical therapy to on-site drug stores as
part of their health and wellness services.
“We are looking to do more construction projects that are specific to senior
needs, but everything will depend on the public budget,” Mr. Lagos says.
His recent projects include a senior day center in the Ventilla district of
Madrid that houses 178 individual residences, a library and a chapel, and offers
health services that range from chiropractors to occupational therapy.
Senior facilities intersect many different types of people, so project managers have to identify and engage stakeholders early on, Mr. Douglas says.
“You might start a project with only the developer, but you’ll end up working
closely with nurses, a director of physical therapy, kitchen providers, executive chefs and a slew of licensing officials and inspectors. You have to know
all of the building codes and health inspection codes going into a project,”
Because those regulations vary by location, project managers need to learn
the rules and plan ahead—or risk upending the project. In the U.S. state of
Michigan, for example, a skilled nursing facility is required to have a hand-wash
sink in a residence room in order to comply with the state’s health inspection
codes for infectious disease control. Mr. Douglas says that specification was
coming from that
shiny new assisted-
living facility down
looks like a resort—
and that’s driving a
lot of remodeling
projects right now.”
—Bruce Douglas, PMP, The Douglas
Company, Toledo, Ohio, USA
The Douglas Company’s
development in Jensen
Beach, Florida, USA