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Building for Boomers (McGraw-Hill Construction Series): Guide to Design and Construction

Building for Boomers (McGraw-Hill Construction Series): Guide to Design and Construction

by Judy Schriener, Mike Kephart


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This unique resource provides the latest housing data, options, and trends to help you plan, design, and construct homes and communities to meet the requirements and expectations of aging baby boomers. There are 77 million boomers in the United States alone who continue to set the new, higher standard for product change and innovation as they have been doing for decades. Building for Boomers offers targeted information for architects, builders, engineers, developers, remodelers, and suppliers interested in capitalizing on this exploding market.


  • Plan neighborhoods based on local and regional factors, including zoning and other regulations
  • Understand different types of neighborhoods, such as age-targeted, mixed generations, transit-oriented design (TOD), traditional neighborhood developments (TNDs), cohousing, and others
  • Integrate aging in place, universal, and green building design concepts
  • Incorporate technology infrastructure into your designs, including communication, entertainment, lighting, environment, protection, and healthcare
  • Design single family homes, townhouses, condos, and apartments
  • Explore various design options for living spaces, bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and storage
  • Stay informed of growing trends such as green construction and smart homes
  • Determine and develop your niche

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780071599818
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
Publication date: 02/17/2010
Series: McGraw-Hill Construction
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 7.60(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.01(d)

About the Author

Judy Schriener is a journalist in the design and construction field who spent 16 years in McGraw-Hill’s Construction
Group as editor-in-chief of the group’s website.

Mike Kephart is recognized as one of the leaders in the field of 50+ housing and has won numerous awards for his designs.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

1 Boomers: Who They Are, What They Want, Why You Should Care 1

Introduction 1

Boomer Nation 3

Changes in the Wind 3

Who Boomers Are 6

What Boomers Want 8

Why You Should Care 9

It's All About Lifestyle 10

References 11

2 Unexpected Challenges 13

The Recession 13

The Hit on Real Estate 14

Back to Work 15

No Going Back to the Future 16

Boomers Are Unprepared 17

Stepping up the Game 19

New Behaviors, New Preferences 19

References 21

3 Neighborhood Types 23

Age-Targeted, Age-Restricted, Age-Qualified 24

Market Size 25

The Big Picture-Large Communities 26

Mega Communities Aren't for Everyone 30

Mixed Generations 35

Infill Neighborhoods and Rehabs 36

Opportunities 36

Challenges Ahead 38

Multistories 39

Urban Downtowns, Suburban City Centers, Traditional Neighborhood Developments, and Transit-Oriented Design 39

Urban Downtowns 40

Suburban City Centers 42

Traditional Neighborhood Developments 43

Transit-Oriented Design 47

University-Affiliated Retirement Communities 49

Existing University-Based Communities 52

New Generation of Communities 53

Guidelines 55

Cohousing 55

Words from the Father of Cohousing 55

Cohousing in Action 58

References 60

4 Aging in Place, Universal Design, Sustainability, and Building Green 63

What's the Difference? 63

Going Green 64

Green Goes Mainstream 64

Building Orientation 65

Energy Conservation 68

Water Conservation 73

More Ways to Go Green 73

Aging in Place and Universal Design 74

Getting Started 77

Elements of Universal Design 80

Summary of Universal Design 92

Bringing It All Together 92

References 94

5 Technology Turns the Tide 95

Not-So-Simple Technology 95

Great Expectations 97

Opportunity Knocks 98

Command and Control 98

Tech Step-by-Step 100

Great Room 100

Kitchen 101

Bed and Bath 101

The Rest of the House 102

At Minimum... 102

References 103

6 Single-Family Homes and Townhouses 105

Neighborhood-Driven Similarities and Variations 107

Old Is Now New 107

Resort-Styled Communities Personified by Sun City 110

Traditional Neighborhood Designs 111

Cohousing Community Plans 112

What People Want 112

Preconceptions and Prejudices 113

Home Distinctions 117

Second or Vacation Homes 117

Duplexes 121

Triplexes 121

Townhouses or Row Houses 121

Two-Story Active Adult Homes 122

One-Story Versus Two-Story Homes 123

Accessory Dwelling Units 124

Individual Home Features 130

Ceiling Heights 130

Views 131

Elevators 131

Active Adult Homes Construction Costs 131

Personal Touches 133

Quality Triumphs Over Quantity-Finally! 133

Opting for Quality 135

Smaller Homes 136

Rightsizing 137

References 139

7 Condos and Apartments 141

Apartments or Condominiums: What's the Difference? 144

The New World of Condos and Apartments 146

Age-Restricted, Age-Targeted, or Lifestyle-Targeted? 147

Central City Downtown Locations 148

Considerations for Condo/Apartment Design 150

Location! Location! Location! 150

Amenities 152

Apartment/Condo Elements 155

Storage 158

Parking 158

Wrapping It Up: One Builder's Secrets to Good Condominium Design 159

Urban Housing Models 160

Suburban City Centers 161

Belmar 161

Town Centers 163

References 165

8 The Design Process Step by Step 167

Design Fundamentals 167

Market Research 167

Market Studies 170

Community Vision 172

Community Design 172

Community Amenities 175

Architecture for Homes 181

Home and Community Synergy 183

References 185

9 Design Options 187

Great Room 187

Living Room 187

Dining Room 188

Kitchen 189

Bedrooms 193

Master Bathroom 194

Office 196

Storage 197

Lessons Learned from Experience 198

Give Them Sleep Options 198

Give Them a View Upon Entering 198

Consider a Courtyard 199

Put the Master Bedroom Suite on the First Floor 199

References 200

10 Looking Ahead 201

Trends 201

Here a Trend, There a Trend, Everywhere a Trend, Trend 201

Crystal-Ball Gazing 210

Speculation Based on Forces of Change 211

The Long View 212

References 212

11 Determining and Developing Your Niche 215

Questions to Ask, Steps to Take 216

Asking Questions 216

Taking Action 217

Examples of Potential Niches 221

Location-Based Market Niches 221

Social and Cultural Niches 222

Lifestyle Market Niches 224

Designing for Your Niche 227

Land Planning 227

More Planning for Your Niche 229

Architecture for Your Niche 229

References 230

12 Dos and Don'ts of Dealing with Boomers 233

Call Them This, Don't Call Them That! 233

Generational Roots 234

Coping with Reality 235

Capturing Boomers' Interest 236

Timeline 238

Engagement = Relationships 239

Messaging to the "Who, Me? I'll Never Get Old!" Generation 240

It's All About Lifestyle 242

Marketing in the New Age 242

Forget One-Way Communication 242

References 245


A Cohousing 247

B LifeCenter Plus 261

C Zoning Rules for Accessory Dwelling Units, Typical of Others 267

Glossary 269

Index 273

Customer Reviews