Vital by Design
In less than twenty years there will be more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 19 – that is, more older adults than children and teenagers. This age swing already exists in places like Sarasota, Florida, where there are more people 85 years and older than children under the age of 6.
The Vital by Design Initiative (VBI) addresses the challenge of facing an aging society with current systems and environments in place that were not built or created with an aging population in mind. VBI is a member of the first cohort of the AIA’s Consortium of Health and Design Research.
The faculty, students and community partners associated with VBI are conducting and translating research to craft design and policy strategies that improve occupant safety, environmental quality, active living and social connectedness in the myriad of residential settings occupied by older adults.
High-performance buildings are typically associated with energy, water, and resource efficiency. We intend to shift this paradigm to also include high-performance buildings and community infrastructure for occupant health.
VBI’s first-year activities associated with the AIA Consortium are described here. Below are listings of UF faculty and graduate students involved in the VBI Initiative, and links to publications. For further information about the initiative, please contact Sherry Ahrentzen.
Core UF Faculty and Centers
Jason Alread, AIA, LEED AP
Sheila Bosch, PhD
Nichole Campbell, PhD, LEED GA
Randall Cantrell, PhD
Stephen Golant, PhD
- The Village at Gainesville
- Cathedral Terrace, Jacksonville
Key Publications and Reports by VBI Faculty and Graduate Students
- Community Design & Active Aging in a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC)
- Flying Solo: A Review of the Literature on Wayfinding for Older Adults Experiencing Visual or Cognitive Decline
- The Role of Building Design and Interiors in Ageing Actively at Home
- Characterization of Indoor Air Quality and Resident Health in an Arizona Senior Housing Apartment Building
- The Effects of an Energy Efficiency Retrofit on Indoor Air Quality
- Thermal And Health Outcomes Of Energy Efficiency Retrofits Of Homes Of Older Adults
- Accessible Housing Availability for the Growing U.S. Elderly Population
- Exploring Perceptions of Designers and Medical Staff in South Korea about Design Elements for the Elder-Friendly Hospital
- Physical Design Factors Contributing to Patient Falls
- Designing an Ageless Social Community: Adapting a New Urbanist Social Core to Suit Baby Boomers in Later Life
- Designing for Social Needs to Support Aging in Place within Continuing Care Retirement Communities
- Designing Retirement Community Third Places: Attributes Impacting How Well Social Spaces Are Liked and Used
- Factors Predicting Retirement Community Social Space Success
- Third Place Characteristics in Planned Retirement Community Social Spaces
Affiliated Publications and Reports
- Healthcare Facility Design and Health
- Housing Needs for Older Adults in Florida
- Toward a Framework for Designing Person-Centered Mental Health Interiors for Veterans
Work In Progress
Active residential living environments for an aging population: Case Studies from North America and Europe (book chapter). Contact: Dr. Ruth Steiner
Green design and health (book chapter). Contact: Dr. Sherry Ahrentzen
Spatial analysis of patient hospital falls in Veteran’s Administration Medical Centers (proposal). Contact: Dr. Ronald Shorr