Friends House Master Planning: Sustainable, Healthy Guidelines

Market: Senior Living
Type: Life Plan Community
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Developer/Owner: Friends House
Architect: Lenhardt Rodgers Architecture + Interiors
Builder: Williamsburg Homes
Project Services: Sustainable master planning,
Green building certification,
Inspections & performance testing
Certifications: Pursuing LEED® for Homes v4/4.1
Buildings: 3 Multi-Family Lodge Buildings
14 1&2 BR Cottages

Project Background

Rooted in Quaker values, Friends House was originally founded to provide affordable homes for low- to moderate-income seniors. With the help of Eventus Strategic Partners, Friends House commissioned the creation of a Master Plan as a way to redevelop the community around strongly held core values in a way that would retain its unique sense of place.

Some of the core values the community wants reflected in the Master Plan include an overall mindfulness of the natural environment, a commitment to resident health, and a promise that future development be done in a sustainable way.

Project Services

With the guidance and visioning of the Friends House Steering Committee and Lenhardt Rodgers Architects, Steven Winter Associates (SWA) developed a set of Sustainability Guidelines for the Master Plan renovations and expansion of the Friends House campus.

Designed to accommodate phased modifications of the community as a whole, the Guidelines give Friends House the flexibility to adapt to any unique circumstances from a future phase without sacrificing the communities’ core commitment to environmental stewardship.

Features of the Master Plan

  • Research-based guidance and strategies aimed at improving indoor Air Quality by simultaneously delivering filtered outdoor air and compartmentalizing one living space from the next
  • Materials specifications that are both good for the environment and the health of residents
  • Tiered recommendations (good, better, best) of energy and water conservation measures for both new construction and retrofit projects
  • Strategies to cluster new development and promote shared infrastructure to maintain the natural bio-diversity and park-like feel of the community while reducing vehicle use and carbon emissions


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