Posts tagged ‘aging population’

June 28, 2017, 9:00 am

The Implications of an Aging Population on Facility Managers

june28_2017

Facility managers know every demographic and societal shift has its effect. When populations flocked to the suburbs, the demand for downtown multifamily facilities decreased while the demand for offices and retail centers with parking facilities increased. Recently, the purchasing power of millennials has made all things tech and green popular. As our society grow older, we will see another shift again.

According to leading U.S. demographer, John Maketa, “One baby boomer is retiring in this country every eight seconds.” The U.S. census bureau estimates that by 2050, the number of Americans over 65 will be double what it was in 2010, reaching 88.5 million people. And the number of Americans over 85 will triple, reaching 19 million. Everyone will need comfortable, safe places to live, work and play.

When it comes to housing, many members of our aging population will seek out multifamily buildings for the sake of convenience and community. Facility managers suddenly catering to older tenants will adjust to this population’s needs by developing a hyper-focus on physically safe spaces without losing focus on smooth day-to-day operation. That means reliable mechanical systems enabling healthy spaces will be more important than ever.

Outside of the home, commercial and public spaces will need to be managed with the aging in mind. Hospitality, workplace, healthcare and retail spaces will all need to be accessible, for example, by featuring wider hallways and doorways. Beyond being accessible, these spaces will also need to provide reliable, trouble-free comfort.

Ultimately, facility managers can be a voice for the aging, urging building owners or HOA boards to go beyond requirements. Separate entrances that accommodate this population can be stigmatizing, for example, as can systems focused on just a few individuals, like personal air purifiers. Facility managers can help ensure that a facility is welcoming to an aging populace. It’s a responsibility and an opportunity, and it’s one that will only feel more urgent as our population ages.

To read more about building livable communities, check out the most recent Facility Management newsletter here.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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June 7, 2017, 9:00 am

The Rise of Livable Communities

june5_2017

For years now, builders have been focused on the aging population and their housing needs. That’s a wise move. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2050 there will be an estimated 88.5 million Americans over the age of 65 and 19 million over the age of 85. The sheer size of this group has created demands that builders have worked hard to meet. An additional challenge is how this population’s demands have shifted and evolved over the years.

One shift was revealed by a recent AARP Public Policy Institute survey. Many survey respondents expressed a desire for their home to be in a “livable community.” Livable communities are designed to be safe and vibrant environments that address issues such as land use, housing and transportation ‒ all relevant to aging in place. Typically, these environments allow the elderly to access public transportation, retail stores and even green spaces.

The actual homes within a livable community speak to these same needs. To keep their housing convenient, cost-friendly and worry-free, this generation asks for compact, maintenance-free spaces. This is where selecting smart cooling and heating solutions can make a difference. Certain mechanical systems offer a smaller footprint, increased energy efficiency and user-friendliness for this population.

Livable communities by definition are more than houses or apartments; they include commercial spaces like grocery stores, retail and restaurants. Builders may not be responsible for the design and construction of these commercial spaces, but may have the opportunity to partner with other professionals who are responsible. Ideally, these partners will share the builder’s vision of creating truly livable communities. That collaboration and synergy will produce the communities of the future.

Here at Mitsubishi Electric, we want to support builders’ plans for these vibrant, livable communities. On our webpages, you’ll learn about our smart, flexible technologies that support this important work.

To read more about building livable communities, check out the most recent Builder newsletter here.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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