* Healthy Community for Seniors | Architectural Concept
* Mennonite Senior Rehabilitative Living Community Construction Plan
Architectural Concept: healthy living for the seniors

The Mennonite team hopes to build an ideal community for the seniors based on the concept of "Total Healthy Life Style for the Elderly." The architectural model includes comprehensive medical care, live-in rehabilitation, education, recreation and social services. The facility will allow autonomous life style for the healthy seniors and 24-hour nursing care for the dependent elderly; all seniors should be able to enjoy fully functional living quarters and disability-friendly facilities.

This conceptual model will integrate home health services, community services, and institutional care to optimize utilization of resources, thus creating an ideal model of long-term care for Taiwan. Furthermore, we hope to use this facility as an educational center to provide training for the caregivers specialized in needs of the elderly.

Architectural design of Mennonite Senior Rehabilitative Living Community is based on three principles; the goal is to achieve total healthy life style of mind, body and spirit, and to achieve a higher level of living. These principles are: (1) We hope to develop a calm and soothing environment that is totally disability-friendly in order to provide meticulous care for its residents. (2) We wish to facilitate interaction and exchanges between our residents and the neighboring communities through educational and art/cultural programs to achieve the quality of life in the community. (3) We want to deliberately utilize outdoor open space and maintain a sustainable environment. In the community, outdoor rehabilitative therapy, horticultural therapy, and the "Five-Sense Garden" will be implemented. For instance, the "Five-Sense Garden" is established for growing vegetables and fruit by our residents to emphasize environmental awareness and to improve the five senses of the residents.

The Living Community will be located on a piece of land in Shoufong township of Hualien county. The land is alluvion of Hualien River which is flat in general but southwest is slightly higher than northeast, around 550m in length and 250m in width, and almost 15 hectares. The land was originally used for cultivating clams. Northwest of this land lies Sufu River which streams along in a northeast direction. The south side on Hope Road will connect to the outside highway. Along the south side of Hope Road an irrigation channel is passed by. The channel eventually drains into Sufu River. Across from Sufu River and the irrigation channel is the area where clams were cultivated. Neighboring to the east of the Senior Community is Dong-Hua community, with the Promised Land Resort immediately to the east of it. Due to its proximity to river and channel, this land is abounded in underground water. To avoid that the developing project shortens the rainfall runoff duration and increases the peak flood volume of Sufu River we will construct a detention basin, according to the natural landscape, at the northeast of the Living community for retaining water and preventing flooding of the Sufu river during the typhoon season.

Because of some of the residents' limited mobility, roads will be situated to surround the community, thus providing safety and comfort for the casual activities.

* Optimizing resource potentials

Construction of the facilities includes two major divisions: medical and independent living facilities. The medical division, which is aimed to manage illness, includes the Shoufong long-term hospital, the nursing home and the rehabilitation center. The independent living division, which is designed to achieve autonomy for the residents, includes a center for arts and crafts, a fitness center, a chapel, a day care center and living quarters.

Facilities within each division have proximity to each other to allow centralization within each division. The layout separates the facilities into two major divisions which is originally proposed to simplify and avoid confusion. Based on this layout, each division will also be able to centralize communications and activities within each division, thus facilitating communication and improving participation in all activities.

A small-scale man-made river is utilized as a landmark at the center of our construction plan. The ditch not only serves as an important role in drainage, but also provides recreational and horticultural functions in the community. Compared to a conventional design, which constructs a central road, the design mentioned above is better because it avoids the interruption by vehicles, increases the safety of residents, and improves the living quality of the community. From a financial standpoint, less landfill and related spending will be required to complete this project.

Southern part of the Community will have an information center and a plaza; northern part of the Community will have a chapel and a water pool. These were intended for cultural and spiritual activities to rejuvenate the spirit and life.

* Architectural design: perfect view, total safety

The open and flat landscape gives us an opportunity to optimally utilize the maximum amount of land available during construction, and thus to avoid a typical pitfall in Taiwanese building constructions, namely the need to build high rises due to shortage of space. The magnificent mountains also provided the perfect settings for our tranquil community.

Phase 1: The Shoufong Hospital and nursing home: we will minimize overhead cost and optimize resource utilization to benefit continual operations. The technologies we will use include but not limit to those described below:

  1. Heat pump system: instead of using fuel-based boiler to heat water, this system is based on a technology similar to the conventional air conditioner. Air conditioner takes the heat from indoors air, and deposits the heat outdoors, to keep indoors cooler. Heat pump system takes the heat from air or water, and uses it to heat water. The cooler air or water, which after their heat be taken, is byproduct of heat pump system, also can use in air conditioner system. Based on our experience from Mennonite hospital, power cost of heat pump system is approximately 20% of that in conventional heating systems. In addition, heat pump system is also environmentally friendly due to less CO2 emission and higher efficiency compared to the conventional heating systems.
  2. Ice storage air conditioner system: In nighttime, the system uses lower price electric power to make ice and storage; then in daytime, melts the ice to supply cool water for air conditioner system, in order to reduce the loading of chiller and the need of higher price electric power. Although the investment is higher, but can payback from the difference between high and low price of electric power. Beside this there is some discount in electric power fee, for those who install ice storage air conditioner system.
  3. Engineering control system/center: The system/center can monitoring and control air conditioner system, water supply and drainage system, illumination and electric power system. The operations of these systems to be preprogrammed by engineering control system, or remote controlled by technician in control center. To establish an engineering control system/center, can let all the systems running more efficiently and lower the operation cost.
  4. Water resource utilization: Approximately 40% of used water in the Community will be reused, and the underground water intrinsic to this region is also good to use. These water resources can be used in daily toilet waste disposal and horticultural irrigation. Also, they can be used to keep water running in the central ditch and maintain the water level and quality of the detention basin. The utilization of these water resources can reduce the need for public water supply and water fee.
* Enduring management: cost-effective resource allocation to benefit the seniors

During the planning phase, we considered using solar-powered water heaters and electric appliances such as light sources as an environmental conservation effort. However, the few sunny days during the winter , but it is high demands season for illumination and hot water. There should be other systems also supply power or heat, for meeting the need. Beside that, solar modules are easy be damaged by typhoon. All these cause high cost of solar power system in investment and maintenance, that is why we do not take solar system as an alternative source of energy to power our community.

Due to the technological advances in alternative fuel source, rising cost of conventional fuel, and awareness of environmental protection among the general public, Mennonite team will continue to monitor the growth and development of new technologies to fulfill our environmental responsibility, and to minimize financial costs thus ensuring the sustainable prosperity of our senior living community.


門諾logo Development Department, Mennonite Christian Hospital
44 Min-chuan Road, Hualien, 970 Taiwan Tel.:886-3-8241234
 Copyright © 2010 Mennonite Christian Hospital. All Rights Reserved.