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Booghuys masterplan
Masterplan

An integrated urban living environment adapted to the needs of elderly with dementia

The program of the new complex consists of three functional units:

– a volume on the street side which houses both the administration of the centre and of ZorgLeuven.

– four wings integrated into the urban block, each composed of two collective or small-scale housing units

– a roof volume with the common facilities of the care centre (multifunctional room/cafeteria, hair salon, physiotherapy and ergotherapy space, etc.).

On the street side, the new building fits into the traditional urban landscape of the Vlamingenstraat. In addition, on the garden side, the project unfolds in a semi-public green area with characteristic high-stemmed trees. Several routes have been created on the site so that the whole complex is accessible and can be easily crossed, which contributes to the intuitive orientation of residents and visitors. A first public open-air route connects the adjacent streets and provides access to the different parts of the care campus through the garden. A second internal route within the centre creates a link between the street and the garden, which is also used to access the Booghuys centre and the administration of ZorgLeuven. The institution is thus fully integrated into the urban fabric.

Ground floor plan
Booghuys

Welcoming and caring on a human scale

On the basis of current scientific and behavioural knowledge about dementia, we have formulated an answer to the specific needs of this target group in collaboration with the client: the concept of small-scale housing units allows us to accommodate the 72 residents in a familiar and recognisable environment on a human scale.

The eight small-scale housing units, each accommodating nine residents, were designed to provide a familiar and domestic environment while paying great attention to the safety of the residents, so that they can feel at home and receive all the care they need in their new living environment. Each home has its own entrance door: when you ring the doorbell and the door opens, you actually enter the residents’ homes. Behind the front door is the day space, which includes the living room and dining room, arranged around a south-facing terrace. The kitchen and nursing unit are integrated in a wall-to-wall closet, so that the nursing staff can live effectively with the residents and have a maximum presence in their living environment.

The residents’ rooms are grouped together in the ‘night area’, located away from the communal areas. This is the most private part of the home.

The housing units on the ground floor have a private garden, while the ones on the upper floors have a spacious terrace: each resident can thus safely enjoy the surrounding park.

On the basis of current scientific and behavioural knowledge about dementia, we have formulated an answer to the specific needs of this target group in collaboration with the client: the concept of small-scale housing units allows us to accommodate the 72 residents in a familiar and recognisable environment on a human scale.

Michael Seys civil engineer architect partner
Plan of a house

Living on the rhythm of the sun

Daylight plays an often underestimated role in people’s well-being, especially for people with dementia. Access to daylight and sunlight have therefore greatly influenced the design process, both in the programming of the homes and residents’ rooms, and in the design of the facade. For example, living spaces are oriented as much as possible to the southeast, so that residents wake up with the morning sun. These rooms are all linked to spacious terraces that are provided of an optimal microclimate and encourage residents to go outside.

The furnishing of the rooms and the positioning of the windows have also been optimised so that residents can enjoy optimal interaction with the sun and daylight throughout the day. In fact, several studies have shown that vitamin D, as well as living on the rhythm of the sun, has a therapeutic effect on humans. To this end, we have ensured that each resident’s bed is positioned facing the morning sun, in order to naturally support his or her daily hormonal cycle (circadian cycle), which is particularly important for elderly. In addition, in order to obtain the maximum amount of natural light without the disadvantages of overheating, we have adapted the size of the windows to the orientation – for example, south-facing windows are smaller in size than north-facing ones.

Booghuys
Principles of implementation and orientation
Booghuys

Taking care of our environment

The Booghuys centre is integrated in the framework of the “Leuven climate-neutral 2030” and therefore strives for an nZEB-ambition (Nearly Zero Energy Building). This is implemented through a combination of different measures:

First of all, a high-performing shell, for example by using triple glazing to achieve a K-value of 24.

In addition, heat is produced both by a heat pump and by the use of geothermal probes for seasonal storage of energy in the ground (BTES). This system not only heats and cools the residential care centre, but also the nearby kindergarten. The energy is therefore produced and used locally within the care campus.

Finally, in order to further reduce the dependence on external energy sources, the installation of a maximum capacity of solar panels is provided on the roofs of the care centre.

Performance-based design: study of the variations in the position and size of the bays as a function of natural lighting

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