Element5 in conjunction with Farrow Partners have developed a new approach to senior living dubbed “Treehouse”. Treehouse is a concept that takes full advantage of mass timber’s sustainable and biophilic properties and then intertwines those benefits with design principles grounded in neuroscience. It rethinks senior-living environments as places for engagement and social connectivity through incremental interventions and adaptations to space.
A New Paradigm In Senior Living To Enhance Well Being
Sustainable Mass Timber Retirement Living Building Solution
Healing benefits of wood
Beyond its sustainable virtues, wood has physiological and therapeutic benefits. Its aromatic and tactile qualities have proven to relax tense muscles and slow-down heart rates. Exposed wood also absorbs airborne sound, dulling the sharper vibrations encountered with steel and glass. Science has also confirmed that when natural materials are visible and surround older adults, they become more accepting of life’s transitions.
Connected to nature
Treehouse gets its name from its double-height common area located multiple floors above and featuring generously sized windows that face onto a surrounding tree canopy. The vantage point provides a naturally therapeutic, vitamin-enriching connectivity with the changing seasons and weather patterns.
Ground-level suites could be designed as townhouses for families, creating a seamlessly embedded multi-generational community within the building. Not only does this model de-stigmatize retirement housing, it also encourages residents to support one another. Younger adults, for instance, could receive child-rearing help from elders, while elders benefit from the variety and spontaneity of younger people.