Specialist construction company Stepnell claims it can build care homes 30% faster and 25% cheaper than traditional builders using a flexible pre-designed model.
Construction of the first care home using the model is underway in South Cerney, Gloucestershire, where a 64 bed nursing home is being built.
The 3,600m2 Lakes Care Centre, is being built by Stepnell in partnership with care home investors and developers Brackley Investments and Hunter Architects.
The property will be leased to the Order of St John’s Care Trust (OSJCT) when completed at the end of 2016.
The two-storey building will be the first StepCare specialist dementia care scheme in the country. It will be made up of four ‘households’, each with 16 ensuite bedrooms. The households are connected to a central hub that houses shared services.
StepCare uses intelligent 3D building information modelling (BIM) to optimise the functionality and performance of the building.
The scheme is modelled on environmental design principles that promote and enable dementia sufferers to live more independently. It has been developed in conjunction with the University of Stirling, a world leader in the design of services and environments for people with dementia.
The scheme’s flexible design allows for the Lakes Care Centre to make adaptations to the building to meet residents’ requirements and work in harmony with local architecture and landscapes.
“Each household has access to communal gardens or a balcony terrace as well as its own lounge and dining space for smaller eight-person groups and there is also a larger lounge and sitting room at the end of each wing,” explains David Brill, design and build director for StepCare developer, Stepnell. “The households also all have their own care office, assisted bathroom, WC and clinical storage facilities,” he adds.
As well as slashing construction time and cost, the project aims to set a new standard for nursing homes that will serve increasingly demanding residents.
“The baby boomer generation has raised our expectations of living safely, comfortably and as independently as possible in old age. It’s therefore important that the design of the building enables people to feel empowered in their living accommodation rather than marginalised which so often happens to dementia sufferers in traditional nursing care homes,” explains Stepnell’s David Brill.
“People with dementia don’t want to feel ‘institutionalised’. They want to be able to enjoy and feel comfortable in their surroundings so that they can get on with the business of living life to the full, and as independently as possible. The StepCare care home model is designed specifically to support and improve quality of life for people with dementia.”