From windows that are a cinch to crank open, to extra-wide garages so car doors can swing wide for better access, to walkways with gentle slopes and no curbs for mobility whether on foot or in a wheelchair, the 48 new cottages designed by Bernardon Haber Holloway Architects for Kendal~Crosslands Communities have set a new benchmark in residential architecture for this leader in communities and services for older adults.
Attention was paid to sustainability in Bernardon Haber Holloway’s design of both the buildings and the site. For example, stormwater is percolated back into the ground to recharge the aquifer, and the landscaping is drought-tolerant native plant varieties. The houses have geothermal heating and air conditioning systems which use the earth as a heat source in winter and a heat sink in summer. The cottages are registered with the U.S. Green Building Council with the goals of Gold (for the 38 single-story cottages) and Silver (for the 10 cottages with basements) certifications under USGBC's Kendal Cottages LEED program. The LEED Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.
Design choices also deliberately create a healthful environment, both indoors and out. For example, carpets, paints and flooring materials that emit very low quantities of noxious gases were selected. Physical activity is encouraged by seamless, stepless pathways to the community’s activities center.
The cottages are sited in the rolling terrain so that each one has natural vistas rather than views of adjacent houses, while their overall arrangement has the comfortable feel of a neighborhood.
Five different floor plans range from 1,250 square feet to 3,775 square feet for those with walk-out basements. All have a three-season room, an open-plan kitchen, nine- and ten-foot ceilings, and a garage. Additional sustainability features include high- efficiency appliances, lighting, windows and water heating, and plumbing fixtures that achieve 25 to 30 percent water savings beyond U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements. +