Adopts Without Amendments:

FGI Residential, 2018

Part 1 General

Part 2 Common Elements for Residential Health, Care, and Support Facilities

Part 3 Residential Health Facilities

Part 4 Residential Care and Support Facilities

Part 5 Non-Residential Support Facilities

Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.
Appendix material, shown in shaded boxes at the bottom of the page, is advisory only.
A4.2-1.1.1 When creating environments that adapt to the changing physical challenges of the aging or of other special need populations, the principles of universal design should be employed to support maximum functional competence of the residents.
This chapter contains specific requirements for independent living settings that provide resident support services, including retirement communities.
A4.2-1.1.1.1 Independent living setting types. An independent living setting can be a freestanding house or cottage, an attached house, or an apartment (including condominiums, co-ops, and low-rise and high-rise buildings). The design of independent living settings varies according to social and economic factors and the model of care. Such a facility can be single- or multi-story, stand-alone or linked with other apartments or cottages, or part of the campus of a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). "Independent" refers to the level of services provided.
Independent living settings may be categorized into the following broad types:
  1. Freestanding house or cottage or attached house. These settings typically include a minimum of two bedrooms and have kitchen, dining, and living areas.
  2. Apartment (including condominiums and co-ops). Model senior living apartment and condominium settings provide private resident units ranging in size from efficiency to two- or three-bedroom apartments. A typical unit includes kitchen, dining, and living areas and is indistinguishable from apartment units available to the general population. Extra blocking in walls, wider door and corridor widths, and other elements required for adaptable use of the residence are recommended. In addition to their private apartments, residents may have access to common spaces (e.g., dining, lounge, activity areas) that support the social and programmatic aspects of the independent living setting.
A condominium differs from a rental apartment or an apartment in a CCRC in that the resident owns the unit and typically is assessed a homeowner's association fee for general maintenance and common amenities.
Where an apartment is part of a CCRC, the model usually includes an initial deposit for use of the building and thereafter a monthly fee for services, which may be either a life care plan or an a la carte fee-for-service plan.
Direct access to outdoor spaces from common areas and individual residential units should be provided.
The requirements in Part 2 (Common Elements for Residential Health, Care, and Support Facilities) shall apply to independent living settings as referenced in this chapter.
See Section 2.2-2 (Sustainable Design Criteria) for requirements for independent living settings.
Where the care population includes needs for persons of size, see Section 2.2-3 (Design Criteria for Accommodations for Care of Persons of Size) for requirements.
Where the care population includes residents with dementia, mental health issues, or cognitive and developmental disabilities, see Section 2.2-4 (Design Criteria for Dementia, Mental Health, and Cognitive and Developmental Disability Facilities) for requirements.
This chapter identifies minimum requirements for new construction and shall not be applied to existing facilities unless major renovations are undertaken. See Section 1.4-3 (Renovation) for more information.
This chapter identifies the minimum requirements for independent living settings of various configurations, which must also comply with applicable state and local requirements.
A4.2-1.1.3.2 Acknowledging that occupancy and building construction requirements vary among jurisdictions, the intent of this chapter is to establish basic guidance for safety and accessibility for an independent living setting in which care services are provided, regardless of the scope and scale of the physical environment or the services offered.
The sponsor of each project shall provide a functional program that:
  1. Defines the scope and scale of the independent living setting.
  2. Identifies resident needs.
  3. Facilitates occupancy approvals by authorities having jurisdiction.
  4. Addresses applicable provisions of this chapter.
See Section 1.2-2 (Functional Program) for additional requirements.
Where a project calls for sharing or purchasing services from another entity, appropriate modifications in space and parking requirements shall be permitted.
Where the independent living setting is part of (or contractually linked with) another facility, sharing of facilities for services such as home health, hospice, dietary, storage, pharmacy, linen, and laundry services shall be permitted.
A4.2-1.2.2.2 Shared services and facilities. Services may be contractually provided or shared with other entities. In some cases, all ancillary service requirements will be met by the principal facility and the only modifications necessary will be in the independent living setting. In other cases, programmatic concerns and requirements may dictate separate service areas.
See Section 1.2-1.3 (Environment of Care and Facility Function Considerations) and Section 1.2-4 (Environment of Care Requirements) for requirements.
A4.2-1.4 Environment of care recommendations
  1. Flexibility. Independent living facilities should be designed to adapt to the changing physical needs of residents.
  2. Supportive environment. The facility design should provide a supportive environment that facilitates the provision of services to enhance quality of life for residents living independently.
    • -Independent living settings and associated support spaces should be designed to meet the needs of differently abled populations who choose to live and/or care for others in an independent living setting.
    • -Some support services are provided in most independent living settings; these may include transportation, social activities, dining/food service, and housekeeping and maintenance services. Some independent living settings may also include access to a higher level of care services such as home health care, in-home hospice, portable dialysis treatment, care management, and other in-home community-based services.
    • -Independent living settings should be designed and constructed to provide a supportive residential environment that is conducive to day-to-day activities and consistent with the cultural, emotional, spiritual, and care needs of the residents.
      This supportive environment should:
      • Promote Independence, privacy, and dignity
      • Balance autonomy with safety
      • Provide choices for all residents in a manner that encourages family and community involvement
    • -The environment should support aging in place and acknowledge residents' socialization needs.
    • -The functional program for an independent living setting should include an evaluation of the use of resident-operated mobility devices and reasonable walking distances for individuals using these devices.
  3. Barrier-free environment. The architectural environment should be barrier-free to provide for effective access to and use of space, services, equipment, and utilities appropriate for daily living.
    • -"Universal design" practices should be encouraged to promote barrier-free environments for residents with varying abilities, including (but not limited to) the following:
      • Adjustable height counters
      • Drawers or roll-outs in cabinetry
      • Raised-height dishwasher
      • Side-by-side refrigerator
      • Contrasting color/border treatment on countertops
      • Contrasting color/edge detail between floor and wall surfaces
      • Hand-held shower head with faucet controls accessible to resident and caregiver
      • Front-loading washer and dryer on raised platform
      • Provision of 5 feet by 5 feet of clear, level space both inside and outside the entry door to allow for maneuvering resident-operated mobility devices
      • General illumination at doorways
      • Accessible showers
      • Adaptable-height sinks
      • Adjustable shelves for cabinetry and storage
      • Raised-height electrical outlets
    • -Adjustable rods and shelves should be provided in resident closets.
    • -A peep hole should be provided at the entry door to resident living spaces. Consideration should be given to providing peep holes at alternative heights to accommodate residents of different heights and those using resident-operated mobility devices.
    • -See Section 2.4-2.1.2.2 (1) (Reduction of resident falls and associated injuries) for information on flooring types and transitions.
    • -Single-lever water controls (mixers) should be provided at all plumbing fixtures. See appendix section A4.2-6.2 (Plumbing fixtures) for additional information.
See Section Chapter 1.3 (Site Selection) and Section 2.1-1 (Site Elements-General) for requirements in addition to those in this section.
A4.2-1.5.2 Emergency access
  1. Fire department and emergency vehicle access should be provided in accordance with local requirements.
  2. Where an independent living setting is part of a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), emergency access should be defined by the highest level of care provided on-site (e.g., assisted living, nursing home).
See Section 2.1-2.2 (Availability of Transportation) for requirements.
See Section 2.1-2.3 (Security) for requirements.
See Section 1.3-2.4 (Access to Utilities) and Section 2.1-2.4 (Access to Utilities) for requirements.
A4.2-1.5.3 Site features
  1. Roads. Roads for access to the main entrance and service areas should be provided on the property where the independent living setting is located.
  2. Pedestrian walkways
    • -Minimum sidewalk width should be 48 inches (122 cm).
    • -Sidewalks and curb cuts should align to provide clear pathways to destinations.
  3. Parking
    • -Each independent living setting should have parking spaces sufficient to meet local zoning and operational needs.
    • -Where an attached or separate garage unit is included in conjunction with an independent living dwelling unit, universal design standards should be followed to support access to the dwelling unit.
    • -Where an independent living setting is part of a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), parking requirements should be applied to each level of care provided (e.g., assisted living, nursing home).
See Section 2.1-3.4 (Signage and Wayfinding) for requirements.
See Section 2.1-3.5 (Site Lighting) and Section 2.5-7 (Daylighting and Artificial Lighting Systems) for requirements.
  1. General. See Section 1.2-4.5.1 (Light) and Section 1.2-4.5.2 (Views of and Access to Nature) for requirements and appendix section A2.1-3.6.1 (Landscape features) for additional information.
  2. Outdoor activity spaces. See Section 2.1-3.6.2 (Outdoor Activity Spaces) for requirements and information.
  3. Outdoor water features. Where provided, open outdoor water features shall be designed to support maintenance of safe water quality to protect the public from infectious or irritating aerosols.
See Section 1.2-2.2.2.2 (1)(a) (Building orientation) for planning requirements and Section 2.2-2.1 (Sustainable Site Design) for design requirements.
See Section 2.1-5 (Environmental Pollution Control) for requirements.
The requirements in this section are typical of many independent living settings and shall apply where the areas described are included in a particular independent living setting.
A4.2-2.1 Space requirements for the resident dwelling units and common areas of a particular independent living setting should be identified in the functional program.
A4.2-2.2 Resident units. The resident unit is a group of dwelling units included in an independent living setting. The types of dwelling units (e.g., apartments, freestanding houses), community areas, and support areas that make up a particular independent living setting should be identified in the functional program.
A4.2-2.2.2 Dwelling unit. Design recommendations for resident bathrooms, resident storage, and resident kitchens include:
  1. Resident bathroom
    • -Bathrooms should be designed to meet universal design standards. See appendix section A4.2-1.4 (Barrier-free environment) for universal design recommendations.
    • -The number of bathrooms to be provided in each resident unit should be based on the population served.
    • -At least one bedroom in an independent dwelling unit should have direct access to an adaptable bathroom that includes the following:
      • Toilet with height appropriate to the population being served
        • — The toilet should be installed 30 inches (76.2 centimeters) from the centerline to the adjacent wall to allow for alternative grab bar configurations and transfers.
        • — Toilets used by residents should allow sufficient clearance on both sides to enable physical access and maneuvering by caregivers who may have to assist residents in wheelchair-to-toilet transfers and returns.
        • — To provide flexibility and adaptability, blocking should be provided to support grab bars, whether added during construction or in the future.
        • — Where grab bars are installed, their configuration should allow for both independent and assisted transfers.
        • — Towel bars should be of grab bar strength.
      • An adjustable-height sink and countertop. Provision of this feature should be considered depending on the resident population(s).
      • Sink with accessible controls. A single-mixing valve should be provided to avoid scalding.
      • Horizontal surface and/or countertop adjacent to the sink
      • Mirror. Placement of the mirror should be evaluated to accommodate adaptable heights based on the resident population.
      • Accessible bathing fixture
        • — A height-adjustable, detachable showerhead or hand-held shower should be installed for flexibility of use.
        • — The bathtub/shower faucet should be located so it is easy for the resident and/or caregiver to use.
        • — The shower and/or bathtub provided should include an integral or movable/adjustable seat.
        • — Where the shower includes a threshold, a rubber gasket or removable threshold should be provided for wheelchair accessibility.
        • — Where the shower is curbless (open to the room), a sealed waterproof floor with a floor drain should be provided. Provision of a general floor drain in the bathroom, in addition to the floor drain in the shower, is recommended unless a trough drain is used for the shower.
    • -Personal storage accessible to the resident should be provided in the resident bathroom. This includes storage in the shower/bathing area and general storage in the resident bathroom.
    • -Space for a washer and dryer near or in the bathroom should be considered. Where the washer and dryer are stacked units, the appliance controls should be located where residents can reach them for optimal use.
    • -During the resident safety risk assessment (resident mobility and transfer risk component) conducted during the functional programming process, an evaluation should identify needed physical accommodations for lifting equipment in the resident bathroom. See Section 1.2-3.3 (Resident Mobility and Transfer Risk) for additional information.
  2. Resident storage. Storage should be provided for resident belongings, including resident-operated mobility devices. At minimum, storage space in the resident unit should equal 10 percent of the square footage of the unit.
  3. Kitchen. Where a kitchen is provided, it should be equipped with a dedicated sink and cooking, dishwashing, and refrigeration appliances.
    • -All appliance controls should be located so residents can easily access them.
    • -Wall cabinets should be designed to accommodate a variety of heights for residents of different sizes to optimize usability, flexibility, and adaptability.
The physical size and layout of an independent living setting shall reflect the care model and related services offered.
A4.2-2.2.2.1 Dwelling unit size and capacity. Each independent living dwelling unit or private living area in an independent living setting should provide living, dining, and sleeping areas and a kitchen. They should be flexible and sized to allow for transitions to models of care that may require more space.
  1. The number of residents an independent living dwelling unit should accommodate and the number of bedrooms/bathrooms to be provided in each unit should be identified in the functional program.
  2. Space planning for living areas should be designed for furniture of proper scale for the rooms and should be sufficient to avoid obstruction of walkways.
  3. Independent living dwelling units should be compact and easy to navigate. They should also be designed to permit resident(s) to move about with the assistance of a resident-operated mobility device and to provide easy access to windows, closets and storage spaces, and furnishings.
  4. Living units should be accessible to community areas as a way to facilitate socialization and reduce potential resident isolation.
  5. Universal design practices that promote barrier-free environments (see appendix section A4.2-1.4-Barrier-free environment) should be considered.
See Section 4.2-5.2.2.6 (Windows) for requirements.
A4.2-2.3 Resident community areas
  1. Personal services areas
    • -Where personal services are provided for independent living residents, the following should be included:
      • Accessible bathroom for resident use in hair salon/spa space
      • Washing and styling stations
      • Sinks should tilt and/or adjust to accommodate residents in wheelchairs
      • Display area for retail products
      • Washer/dryer for towels
      • Manicure station, either portable or fixed
      • Accessible pedicure station, either portable or fixed
      • Waiting area furniture, including chairs with arms
    • -Where a reception area is provided, use of a low transaction counter for access by residents using resident-operated mobility devices should be considered.
    • -Mechanical ventilation, including negative pressure, 10 minimum total air changes per hour, and exhaust directly to the outdoors, should be provided for hair salons.
  2. Outdoor activity spaces. Accessible outdoor spaces should be provided for use by residents, visitors, and staff. See Section 2.1-3.6.2 (Outdoor Activity Spaces) for information.
See Section 2.3-2.3.1 (Resident, Participant, and Outpatient Community Areas-General) for requirements.
Accessible mailboxes, either individual or centralized, shall be provided for an independent living setting.
A4.2-2.3.2 Lobby
  1. Vehicular drop-off and pedestrian entrance. Where included for an independent living setting, see Section 2.3-2.3.2.2 (Vehicular drop-off and pedestrian entrance) for information.
  2. Lobby. Where a lobby area(s) and community space(s) are provided, these may include the following:
    • -An accessible reception desk
    • -Public waiting area
    • -Public toilets
    • -Other amenity space(s) where residents can gather and participate in activities
    • -An area suitable for posting public notices that is visible and accessible to residents, staff, and visitors.
  3. Wayfinding. Depending on the population being served, the independent living residents' cultural background and languages used should be considered in developing posted signage, information, and wayfinding.
Where communal resident dining, recreation, and lounge areas are provided in an independent living setting, the space needed for these areas shall be determined in accordance with Section 2.3-2.3.3.1 (Dining, Recreation, and Lounge Areas-General).
A4.2-2.3.3 Dining, recreation, and lounge areas
  1. Dining areas. Where dining services are offered in the community areas of an independent living setting, the provisions in Section 2.3-2.3.3.2 (Dining areas) should be considered along with the following:
    • -Location of community dining areas in or adjacent to community living areas to support optimal accessibility
    • -Provision of scalable spaces for various size dining groups
    • -Use of natural light sources
    • -Provision of a minimum of 25 square feet (2.32 square meters) per resident in determining the size of dining areas if the resident population includes many individuals who use resident-operated mobility devices
    • -Storage for resident-operated mobility devices during dining
  2. Recreation, lounge, and activity areas. Where these areas are provided for independent living residents, they should be sufficient in number, size, and configuration to accommodate the following:
    • -Gatherings of residents, visitors, and staff, including caregivers, for identified resident activities
    • -Private consultation and visits with family and/or staff and caregivers
    • -Occurrence of more than one distinct, separate activity at the same time
A4.2-4 Facilities for support services. The following facilities are commonly included in independent living settings.
  1. Food service facilities. Where food service facilities are included in the independent living setting, they should conform to the standards in this section and other applicable food and sanitation codes and standards.
    • -Food service facilities should be easy to clean and maintain in a sanitary condition.
    • -On-site facilities. Where food service facilities are provided on-site, the functional elements in this section should be included:
      • Control point. A control point for receiving and controlling food supplies should be designated. This is typically monitored by a purchasing or procurement agent who is responsible for ordering and receiving food service items. Therefore, the control point should have direct sight lines to the receiving area.
      • Food preparation area. Facilities should be provided for food preparation based on the types of food service provided for the independent living setting. Hand-washing station(s) should be located in food preparation areas.
      • Warewashing facilities. Facilities for dishwashing and for washing pots should be provided based on the types of food service provided for the independent living setting and applicable local code requirements.
    • -Support areas for food service facilities
      • Offices(s). Dietary staff office(s) should be provided as needed.
      • Storage. At minimum, refrigerated, frozen, and dry storage should be provided based on the type of food service provided.
      • Environmental services room. If food service is provided, an environmental services room should be provided in accordance with appendix section A4.2-4-C (Facilities for support services-Environmental services rooms).
    • -Waste management. Based on the type of food service provided, waste sorting and storage space should be provided as well as designated waste and recycling pickup areas (accessible to the outside).
      • If composting is conducted on the independent living site, the facility should provide appropriate sorting, storage, and/or pickup locations for compost materials.
      • To prevent issues with rodents or bugs, the facility should provide an integrated pest management program.
    • -See Section 2.3-4.5 (Food Service Facilities) for additional information.
  2. Linen and laundry service facilities. Space should be provided for the laundry services offered in the independent living setting.
    • -See appendix section A4.2-2.2.2 (Dwelling unit-Resident bathroom) and appendix section A4.2-1.4 (Barrier-free environment) for recommendations on laundry facilities in the dwelling unit.
    • -Central laundry areas. Central laundry areas provide a place for independent living residents, families, housekeepers, and/or personal caregivers to do a resident's personal laundry. Where provided, these areas should include the following:
      • Washer(s)
      • Dryer(s)
      • Laundry tub(s)
      • Hand-washing station
      • Folding area
      • Seating area sized to accommodate the number of individuals estimated to use the laundry at one time
    • -Commercial central laundry. Where a commercial central laundry is located in an independent living setting, the following requirements should be met:
      • Layout. Equipment should be arranged to permit a workflow that minimizes cross-traffic of clean and soiled operations.
      • Laundry equipment
        • — Washers/extractors should be located between the soiled laundry receiving and clean processing areas.
        • — Dryers should be provided in the clean processing area.
        • — Provision of laundry tubs should be considered based on the types of laundry being serviced.
      • Hand-washing stations. These should be provided in all areas where untagged soiled laundry is handled.
      • Equipment and supply storage. The following should be provided:
        • — Storage for laundry supplies
        • — Carts or hampers for soiled laundry storage
        • — Carts, baskets, hanging space, or other means of storing clean laundry
      • Laundry room access
        • — A service entrance, protected from inclement weather, for loading and unloading laundry should be provided. This could be shared by other services requiring service entry access.
        • — A control point for pickup and receiving should be provided. This could be shared by other services that have pickups and deliveries.
  3. Environmental services rooms. Accommodations for environmental services should be included in all independent living settings. Environmental services rooms provided should meet the following requirements:
    • -Location. Environmental services rooms should be provided throughout the independent living setting as needed to maintain a clean and sanitary environment. However, stand-alone independent living houses, cottages, townhouses, or similar settings without common corridors or community spaces do not require a dedicated environmental services room.
    • -Number. The number of environmental services rooms provided should be based on the configuration of the independent living setting. Where a facility has multiple floors and common corridors, provision of one environmental services room per floor should be considered.
    • -Facilities. Each environmental services room should include the following:
      • Floor receptor/mop sink
      • Blocking for mop hangers
      • Floor space for housekeeping equipment and cart(s)
      • Storage space for cleaning supplies, including storage for pre-measured chemicals for housekeeping tasks, if used
  4. Facilities for engineering and maintenance services. Independent living settings should provide the space necessary to effectively accommodate building systems and maintenance functions.
See Section 2.3-4.1 (Facilities for Support Services-General) for requirements.
These area(s) shall be provided where required to serve resident activities and needs in independent living settings.
Secured storage shall be provided for resident personal information.
See Section 2.3-4.2.4 (Equipment and Supply Storage) for requirements in addition to those in this section.
Storage space(s) for supplies and for activity and recreation items shall be immediately accessible to support activities and recreation offered.
Storage space(s) for resident equipment and supplies shall be immediately accessible to support services offered.
See Section 2.3-4.3.1 (Support Areas for Staff-General) for requirements.
A4.2-4.4 Pet accommodations. If pets are permitted in the independent living setting, waste areas for pets and other accommodations should be considered in the facility and site design.
Community space for family and visitors shall be provided if required in the functional program.
Space for sleeping accommodations for visitors shall be provided if overnight guest stays are part of the independent living setting requirements.
A4.2-4.4.2 Overnight guest accommodations. Provision of separate guest suites or apartments is recommended as a means for accommodating overnight visitors.
See Section 2.3-4.7 (Materials Management Facilities) for requirements.
See Section 2.3-4.8 (Waste Management Facilities) for waste collection, storage, and disposal requirements.
Offices or an open office area with private conference space shall be provided for business transactions, admissions, and social services and for the use of administrative and professional staff.
Space for conferences and meetings shall be sized according to operational needs and shall be permitted to be shared by several services.
A4.2-4.11.1.1 Conference space. Conference space with provisions for the use of visual aids and technology should be available for residents to meet with staff, visitors, family, or other residents. Provision of kitchenette facilities, including under-counter refrigerator, microwave, and sink, should be considered for the conference space.
Staff office space and file storage shall be provided based on operational requirements.
Space for storage of office equipment and supplies shall be provided based on operational requirements.
See Section 2.4-1.2 (Building Codes and Standards) for requirements.
See Section 2.4-2.1 (Architectural Details, Surfaces, and Furnishings-General) for requirements.
A4.2-5.2.2 Architectural detail recommendations
  1. Doors and door hardware
    • -Door openings
      • All doorways should have a minimum clearance of 3 feet (91.44 centimeters). Wider doors should be used where necessary to meet the needs of the population being served.
      • Doorway widths should be evaluated and, if necessary, increased to accommodate turning radii of resident-operated mobility devices.
    • -Door hardware
      • Lever door hardware should be used.
      • Where door closers are used, they should be ADA-approved or an equivalent to allow for ease of use and minimal resistance.
    • -Insect screens. A door to the exterior that is opened for ventilation purposes, with the exception of an approved exit door, should be effectively covered with screening. Where regionally appropriate, this recommendation should not apply.
    • -Door protection. See appendix section A2.4-2.2.4 (Door protection) for recommendations.
  2. Hand-washing stations. Where hand-washing stations are provided, they should follow the requirements in Section 2.4-2.2.8 (Hand-Washing Stations).
  3. Grab bars
    • -To provide flexibility and adaptability, blocking should be provided to support grab bars, whether added during construction or in the future.
    • -Grab bar configurations (e.g., a grab bar as part of a countertop) and aesthetics (e.g., matching towel bars) should be evaluated to maintain a residential environment.
    • -Provision of value contrast between grab bars and adjacent surfaces should be considered.
    • -Based on the resident population being served, alternative grab bar configurations are acceptable. See Section 2.4-2.2.9.3 (Alternative grab bar configurations) for additional information.
    • -Where a toilet is placed with 30 inches (76.2 centimeters) from the centerline of the toilet to the adjacent wall, swing-up grab bars are recommended. This configuration allows space for both independent and assisted transfer. Note that a variance from local building official(s) may be required.
See Section 2.4-2.2.1 (Architectural Details-General) for requirements and other information.
See Section 2.4-2.2.2 (Corridors) for requirements.
A4.2-5.2.2.2 Corridors
  1. All corridors should have a minimum clearance of 3 feet (91.44 centimeters).
  2. Corridor widths and turning radii should be evaluated and, if necessary, increased to accommodate resident-operated mobility devices.
See Section 2.4-2.2.3 (Ceiling Height) for requirements.
See Section 2.4-2.2.5 (Thresholds and Expansion Joint Covers) for requirements.
See Section 2.4-2.2.6.1 (Windows-General) for requirements.
A4.2-5.2.2.6 Windows in independent living dwelling units
  1. Dwelling units should have windows that maximize provision of natural light with a maximum sill height of 32 inches (81.28 centimeters) above the finished floor.
  2. Each room or group of rooms open to one another (e.g., a combined kitchen and dining room) should have an exterior window(s) in accordance with Section 2.4-2.2.6 (Windows).
  3. Window hardware for operable windows should be easy for residents to operate.
  4. Exterior windows in independent living dwelling units should include insect screens.
See Section 2.4-2.2.7 (Glazing Materials) for requirements.
*(1)  For handrail requirements for community space and public corridors, see Section 2.4-2.2.10 (Handrails and Lean Rails).
(2)  Handrails shall not be required in independent living dwelling units.
A4.2-5.2.2.10 (1) Blocking in corridor walls/partitions in independent living dwelling units should be provided to allow for the addition of handrails as required to support aging in place.
See Section 2.4-2.2.11 (Protection from Heated Surfaces) for requirements.
See Section 2.4-2.2.12 (Signage and Wayfinding) for requirements.
Where decorative water features are used in the facility design, see appendix section A2.4-2.2.13 (Decorative water features) for recommendations.
A4.2-5.2.3 Ceiling finishes
  1. Ceiling surfaces should have a matte or satin finish to diffuse light and prevent reflected glare.
  2. Ceiling surfaces in dietary and laundry areas, bathrooms, bathing/shower rooms, soiled utility rooms (where applicable), and environmental services rooms should be non-pervious and moisture-resistant. The face of ceiling tile, drywall, or other substrate as well as the suspension system and/or exposed support system in these areas should be moisture-resistant.
  3. The color/value of ceiling surfaces should have a light reflectance value in the range of 75 to 90 percent for maximum distribution of light in a space.
See Section 2.4-2.3.1 (Surfaces-General) for requirements.
See Section 2.4-2.3.2 (Flooring and Wall Bases) for requirements.
A4.2-5.2.3.2 Wall bases
  1. Wall bases in areas that require frequent wet cleaning (e.g., kitchens, soiled and clean utility rooms, environmental services rooms with mop sinks) should be continuous and coved with the floor, tightly sealed to the wall, and constructed without voids that can harbor insects or moisture.
  2. Wall bases in resident community areas (resident rooms, corridors, dining and activity rooms) and public bathrooms should match the color/value of the walls and provide a strong contrast to the floor to distinguish the vertical and horizontal planes.
  3. Use of alternative materials such as melamine board should be considered when specifying wall bases.
See Section 2.4-2.3.3.2 (Wall protection) for wall protection requirements.
A4.2-5.2.3.3 Wall finishes
  1. Wall finishes should be washable, and where located near plumbing fixtures, should also be smooth, clubbable, and moisture-resistant.
  2. Wall surfaces should have a matte finish rather than a shiny or glossy surface.
  3. The color/value of wall finishes should be evaluated to ensure a clear delineation between vertical and horizontal planes.
  4. A light reflectance value of 60 to 80 percent should be evaluated to maximize light distribution in the space.
A4.2-5.2.4 Casework, millwork, and built-ins
  1. In resident use areas, corners should be rounded or eased.
  2. Provision of value contrast between casework, millwork, and built-ins and adjacent walls, and between casework hardware and adjacent casework, should be considered.
See Section 2.4-2.4.1 (Furnishings-General) for requirements.
See Section 2.4-2.4.3 (Furniture) for requirements.
Window treatments in community areas shall comply with NFPA 101: Life Safety Code.
A4.2-5.2.4.4 Window treatments
  1. Window treatments used in resident dwelling units and in community areas should be easy for residents to operate safely.
  2. Blinds, sheers, or other resident-controlled window treatments should be provided in resident dwelling units to allow residents to control light levels and glare.
A4.2-6 Acoustic design systems. Provision of acoustic systems should be considered for independent living settings. See Section 2.5-8 (Acoustic Design Systems) for details.
See Section 2.5-1 (Building Systems-General) for requirements.
A4.2-6.2 Plumbing fixtures
  1. General. Plumbing fixtures should be evaluated based on the population being served. Accessible solutions that allow independent living residents to age in place should be considered. Provisions for adapting the height of toilets, sinks, appliances, and other plumbing-related equipment should be considered.
  2. Hand-washing sinks. Where hand-washing sinks are provided, they should meet the requirements in Section 2.5-2.3.2 (Hand-Washing Sinks).
  3. Showers. Where showers are included in independent living dwelling units, the requirements in Section 2.5-2.3.3.2 (Accessible showers) should be considered as amended here:
    • -If grab bars are not installed during construction, blocking for vertical and horizontal grab bars should be installed in the shower area to accommodate future installation of grab bars. See appendix section A4.2-5.2.2 (Architectural detail recommendations-Grab bars) for additional information.
    • -An adjustable-height shower head should be used.
  4. Toilet placement. Depending on the level of aging in place incorporated in the independent living setting, toilet locations that allow two people to assist in resident transfer (dual or double) should be considered. See appendix section A4.2-2.2.2 (Dwelling unit-Resident bathroom) for additional toilet placement recommendations.
  5. Clinical sinks. Where clinical sinks are provided, see Section 2.5-2.3.5 (Clinical Sinks) for information.
See Section 2.5-2.1 (Plumbing Systems-General) for requirements.
See Section 2.5-2.2 (Plumbing and Other Piping Systems) for requirements.
A4.2-6.3.1 Ventilation and space conditioning. All rooms and areas in the facility should have provision for continuous ventilation.
  1. Operable windows. Based on the independent living population, the opening width of operable windows should be evaluated to reduce the risk of accidental falls. See Section 2.2-4.2.1.6 (Operable windows) for additional provisions based on the resident population.
    • -All resident bedrooms should include operable windows.
    • -Living rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens in resident dwelling units should be evaluated for inclusion of operable windows based on the unit floor plan and location in the building.
    • -All community spaces should be evaluated to determine where operable windows can be located on an exterior wall.
  2. Humidity control. The relationship between humidity and resident comfort and between humidity and resident outcomes (e.g., the influence of humidity on resident dehydration, dry skin, skin tears, skin breakdown, and respiratory conditions) should be evaluated during the mechanical system design process. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55: Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy recommends 30 to 60 percent relative humidity for comfort. In cold or arid climates, achieving a relative humidity as high as 30 percent may not be practical. For facilities without central ventilation systems, these humidity requirements may not be achievable. For more information about humidity control, see Chapter 25, "Eldercare," by Lew Harriman, Geoff Brundrett, and Reinhold Kittler, in Humidity Control Design Guide for Commercial and Institutional Buildings (ASHRAE 2001).
  3. Higher levels of care. If a higher level of care is planned for an independent living setting, provision of ventilation and space-conditioning requirements for the higher level of care should be considered.
For independent living dwelling units, see ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2: Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings for basic HVAC system requirements.
Where independent living dwelling units are housed in high-rise buildings and/or in buildings that include community space, see ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1: Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality for basic HVAC system requirements.
See Section 2.5-3.2 (Mechanical System Design) for requirements.
A4.2-6.3.2 For independent living settings, use of alternatives to through-wall units that allow for better thermal comfort control should be considered.
Where rooms with fuel-fired equipment are provided, see Section 2.5-3.3.2 (Fuel-Fired Equipment Rooms) for requirements.
Where areas of refuge are provided, see Section 2.5-3.3.3 (Areas of Refuge) for requirements.
Where commercial food preparation areas are provided, see section 2.5-3.3.4 (Commercial Food Preparation Areas) for requirements.
A4.2-6.3.4 Thermal insulation. For individual cottages, duplexes, townhouses, and similar individual dwelling units, consider the requirements in ASHRAE 90.2: Energy-Efficient Design of Low-Rise Residential Buildings and local building codes. For multiple-unit dwellings, such as apartments, condominiums, and similar settings that may or may not include community space, consider the requirements in ASHRAE 90.1: Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.
See Section 2.5-3.4.1 (Thermal and Acoustic Insulation-General) for requirements.
A4.2-6.3.4.2 Acoustic insulation
  1. Provisions for acoustic insulation should meet or exceed local building code requirements.
  2. Consideration should be given to construction of demising walls and floors in a manner that provides for speech privacy between units and between floors.
  1. For individual cottages, duplexes, townhouses, and similar individual dwelling unit settings, see ASHRAE 90.2: Energy Efficient Design of Low-Rise Residential Buildings and local building codes for requirements.
  2. For multiple-unit dwellings, such as apartments, condominiums, and similar types of settings that may or may not include community space, see Section 2.5-3.5 (HVAC Air Distribution) for requirements.
See Section 2.5-3.5.2 (HVAC Ductwork) for requirements.
A4.2-6.3.6 Filter efficiencies
  1. For non-central recirculating room systems, HVAC units should:
    • -Not receive nonfiltered, nonconditioned outdoor air.
    • -Serve only a single space.
    • -Include the manufacturer's recommended filter for airflow passing over any surface that is designed to condense water. This filter shall be located upstream of any such cold surface so that all of the air passing over the cold surface is filtered.
  2. Filters should be replaced and/or cleaned per the manufacturer's recommendations to maintain indoor air quality.
For individual dwelling units, see ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2: Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings for requirements.
Where independent living dwelling units are housed in high-rise buildings and/or in buildings that include community space, see ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1: Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality for requirements.
A4.2-6.3.7 Heating systems, cooling systems, and equipment
  1. Heating systems. Requirements for heating systems in independent living settings should be based on the geographic location and the needs of residents. However, provision of a permanently installed heating system capable of maintaining an interior minimum temperature of 72° F (22° C) under heating design temperatures is recommended.
    • -If a community includes a central heating plant, the need for capacity redundancy should be evaluated based on the resident population, geographic region, and other operational needs. Completion of an emergency preparedness plan that includes an evaluation of the geographic region and need for extended operations during emergency outages (e.g., those caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes) should be completed before building occupancy. Information on completing such assessments is available in NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code.
    • -Boiler plant accessories. If a community includes a central plant, major supporting components of the heating plant (including feed water pumps, fuel pumps, and condensate transfer pumps) should be provided with redundancy that makes it possible to meet the required heating capacity of the plant when any one of these components is out of service due to failure or routine maintenance.
  2. Cooling systems. Capacity requirements for cooling systems in independent living settings should be based on the geographic location and the needs of the residents. However, provision of a cooling system capable of maintaining an interior maximum temperature of 75° F (24° C) under cooling design temperatures is recommended.
    • -If a community includes a central cooling plant, capacity redundancy should be evaluated based on the resident care population, geographic region, and other operational needs. An emergency preparedness plan should be completed prior to building occupancy and should include an evaluation of the geographic region and need for extended operations during emergency outages such as those caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes.
    • -Chiller plant accessories. If a community includes a central chiller plant, major supporting components of the cooling plant (including pumps and heat rejection equipment) should be provided with redundancy that makes it possible to meet the required cooling capacity of the plant when any one of these components is out of service due to failure or routine maintenance.
See Section 2.5-3.7.4 (Temperature Control) for requirements.
See Section 2.5-4.1 (Electrical Systems-General) for requirements.
Where independent living settings include essential electrical systems, these systems shall comply with NFPA 101: Life Safety Code.
A4.2-6.4.2 Power-generating and power-storing equipment
  1. Emergency lighting. Where independent living settings include emergency lighting, an essential electrical source should provide lighting and/or power during an interruption of the normal electrical supply. Emergency lighting for safe egress and access should be evaluated for all independent living settings, including different types of dwelling units. For more information on lighting, see sections 4.2-6.7.3 (Artificial Lighting Systems) and 2.5-7.3 (Artificial Lighting Systems).
  2. Generators. Where generators are provided for an independent living setting, exhaust systems (including mufflers and vibration isolators) for internal combustion engines should be located, designed, and installed to minimize objectionable noise.
A4.2-6.4.3 Receptacles
  1. Placement of receptacles. Height and location for receptacles should be evaluated based on the population being served. Receptacles available for residents to charge resident-operated mobility devices should be placed at a height above the finished floor easy for residents to access.
  2. Essential electrical system receptacles. For corridors, community spaces, and dwelling units that include an essential electrical system, electrical receptacle cover plates or electrical receptacles supplied from the essential electrical system should be distinctively colored or marked for identification. If color is used for identification purposes, the same color should be used throughout the facility.
  1. See NFPA 70: National Electrical Code for requirements.
  2. For cottages, duplexes, town homes, and other similar settings, see local building codes for corridor requirements.
A4.2-6.4.3.2 Receptacles in corridors. For corridors in public spaces, duplex-grounded receptacles for general use should be installed approximately 50 feet (15.24 meters) apart in all corridors and within 25 feet (7.62 meters) of corridor ends. The need for additional outlets should be indicated in the furniture and equipment layout.
For apartments, condos, and similar dwelling units, see local building code requirements.
Ground fault interrupters shall comply with NFPA 70: National Electrical Code.
If ventilator-dependent residents are part of the care population, see Section 2.5-4.4 (Electrical Requirements for Ventilator-Dependent Resident Rooms and Areas) for requirements.
A4.2-6.5 Call systems
  1. Resident apartment or dwelling unit call stations
    • -Where a hardwired resident communication system is used in resident dwelling units, each resident should be provided with a call device. Calls should be initiated by a resident activating a device that sends a call signal to the staff call station or a handheld mobile device carried by a staff member.
    • -Use of a wireless communication system should be permitted and, if provided, should comply with UL Standard 2560: Emergency Call Systems for Assisted Living and Independent Living Facilities.
  2. Emergency call system
    • -Community spaces should be evaluated for provision of an emergency call system at each public toilet room, shower room in locker rooms or pool areas, and any other space with a high risk for resident falls.
    • -Emergency call systems should comply with UL 2560: Emergency Call Systems for Assisted Living and Independent Living Facilities.
    • -If outside home health care systems are used, the systems should comply with UL 1637: Home Health Care Signaling Equipment.
  3. Technology equipment and teledata room(s). See Section 2.5-5.3 (Technology Equipment and Teledata Room) for design recommendations for rooms housing networking equipment, servers, and data storage devices that serve the independent living setting.
  4. Grounding for telecommunication spaces. See Section 2.5-5.4 (Grounding for Telecommunication Spaces) for recommendations for grounding, bonding, and electrical protection for telecommunication spaces included in an independent living setting.
  5. Cabling pathways and raceway requirements. See Section 2.5-5.5 (Cabling Pathways and Raceway Requirements) for design recommendations for cabling pathways and raceways to serve an independent living setting.
The requirements in this section shall apply where the following systems are provided to meet the needs of the independent living population being served:
A4.2-6.5.1 Provisions for communication systems should be considered for all independent living settings where support or care services are provided.
Call system
Information system
Telecommunications system
See Section 2.5-5.1.2 (Communication System Equipment Requirements) for requirements.
See Section 2.5-6.1 (Electronic Safety and Security Systems-General) for requirements.
See Section 2.5-6.2 (Safety and Security System Equipment) for requirements.
See Section 2.5-6.3 (Fire Alarm System) for requirements.
See Section 2.5-7.1 (Daylighting and Artificial Lighting Systems-General) for requirements.
See Section 2.5-7.2 (Daylighting Systems in Resident Living, Participant, and Outpatient Areas) for requirements.
See Section 2.5-7.3.1 (Light Fixtures) for requirements.
See appendix section A2.5-7.3.2 (Lighting in transition spaces) for recommendations.
A4.2-6.7.3.2 Lighting requirements for specific locations
  1. Building corridors used by residents
    • -Building corridors used by residents should have general illumination with provisions for reducing light levels at night.
    • -Corridors and common areas used by residents should have even light distribution to avoid glare, shadows, and scalloped lighting effects.
  2. Resident bedrooms and bathrooms
    • -Resident bedrooms and bathrooms should have general and task lighting.
      • Task light controls should be readily accessible to residents.
      • Resident bathrooms should provide general illumination with provision for reducing light levels at night.
      • All light controls in resident areas should be quiet-operating.
    • -Provision of night-lighting between resident bedrooms and bathrooms should be considered for independent living settings. Where night-lighting is provided, it should be located in the pathway to and from the bedside and the bathroom.
    • -Night-lighting in resident rooms:
      • Research has established that older adults sleep best in total darkness. Therefore, to minimize resident sleep disruption, night-lights should provide very low levels of illumination and be located to minimize light scatter and reflections on room surfaces. To achieve a low light level, night-lighting should use amber or red lamping; white, blue, or green lamping should not be used.
      • Switches for night-lights are recommended for some care populations.
      • Night-lighting should be mounted no higher than 2 feet (61 centimeters) above the floor.
      • Night-lighting should be controlled separately from ambient lighting.
      • Because night-lights may disturb resident sleep even when properly specified, located, and operated, care providers should be permitted to use portable light sources or switched night-lights for added control of this light source.
A4.2-6.9 Elevator systems. All buildings having resident use areas on more than one floor, with the exception of resident apartment or condo units and cottages, should have electric or hydraulic elevator(s). The number of elevators should be determined by the applicable code and the resident population being served.
  1. Elevator car size. At least one elevator should be sized to accommodate an ambulance gurney and resident-operated mobility devices.
  2. Handrails. Where commercial elevators are provided in an independent living setting, elevator cars should have handrails on all sides without entrance door(s). See Section 2.4-2.2.10 (Handrails and Lean Rails) for additional information.
Where elevators are used, see Section 2.5-9.3 (Leveling Device) for requirements.
Where elevators are used, see Section 2.5-9.4 (Installation and Testing) for requirements.
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