Aegis Living Opens World’s Greenest Senior Living Community in Seattle

August 12, 2022

BELLEVUE, WA—Earlier this week, Aegis Living, a leader in senior assisted living and memory care, announced the official opening of Aegis Living Lake Union—set to be the world’s greenest senior living community. Aegis Living Lake Union is the first assisted living community built to pursue the rigorous global green building standards for the Living Building Challenge Petal Certification through the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). The community is also participating in the City of Seattle’s Living Building pilot program.

“As we celebrate 25 years in business, now more than ever Aegis Living is looking towards the future and importance of sustainable senior living,” said Founder and CEO Dwayne Clark. “Being the first to reach such an important milestone, Aegis Lake Union will no doubt raise the bar for the industry, setting new standards for us and others to lessen our environmental footprint, while continuing to deliver an exceptional resident experience. I couldn’t be prouder of our team for always leading the way.”

As the first senior living community built to pursue these rigorous green standards, Aegis Living had to create its own baseline metrics for improving energy use. Aegis Living Lake Union is completely emission-free, using no fossil fuels, including no gas servicing the building. Standard electricity supports the entire 70,000 square foot building and offsets 105% of the building’s total energy demand through various energy reduction measures, including an onsite solar array and offsite solar energy farms that generate 1.7 million kilowatt hours.

The building has also reduced its overall energy draw by 25% (relative to a comparable building type) through key features that include an enhanced thermal envelope comprised of triple pane window glazing, thermal insulation for exterior walls and heat recovery through forced-air ventilation. Other features that reduce the energy draw include a recirculating heat pump system, LED lighting and sensors to monitor use and high-efficiency appliances. The community is expected to save approximately 320,000 kilowatt hours annually—that’s equivalent to planting more than 12,000 trees each year. All non-drinking water is supplied through captured rainwater and treated greywater, saving more than 140,000 gallons of water annually for the life of the building.

With these features in place, Aegis Lake Union is currently registered for Living Building Challenge 3.1 Petal Certification for Energy, Place and Beauty, and will begin an audit process and performance period once it reaches full occupancy.

“This is a remarkable accomplishment that took a team effort and great collaboration across our development team, architecture design and construction partners, as well as the International Living Future Institute [and] city of Seattle, among others” said Brian Palmore, senior vice president of development. “We are proud to be first in the market and present a model not just for us, but for others.”

In addition to world-class sustainable features, Aegis Living Lake Union’s design is inspired by the rich history of the lake itself, and the University of Washington rowing team that defied the odds and won gold at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. Daniel James Brown brought this amazing story to life in his bestseller, The Boys in the Boat, and this inspiration can be seen throughout the building’s design as a modern shell house and the community’s décor. The building lobby features an original Pocock racing shell spanning the length of the ceiling, which serves as a constant reminder of the connection to the winning rowing team. The exterior of the building unveiled a full-sized mural of the winning team, and another internal mural will pay tribute to each rower. Other design elements can be found throughout the building, down to the small details like the living room chandeliers that echo the shape of the blade on rowing oars. The building will soon be home to the 1936 Olympic torch.

“The most exciting part of the work we do is bringing a vision to life that integrates the culture and spirit of each neighborhood we become a part of,” said Jeanna Korbas, vice president of design. “Design has the power to transport the mind, while also centering each resident on familiar places and scenes that elicit fond memories and comfort. The Lake Union rowing culture and sustainable approach can be seen from the grand details of the murals and boat to the small design elements of water and rowing sprinkled throughout the building.”

The first floor is a central hub for many of the community’s amenities, creating a vibrant and connected space for residents to come together. The living room is adjoined to the activity room, where residents and their guests can participate in a range of activities, from art to music to group social gatherings. The onsite cinema hosts daily movies and regular lectures, and natural light spills out of the spacious dining room, where residents can enjoy a meal with the company of friends or host private dinners in the Champions Lounge.

Aegis Living has a consistent focus on wellness; at Lake Union, this includes a balance studio where residents can listen to the calming sounds of the waterfall right outside the window, while participating in a variety of aerobic and strength exercises, yoga and tai chi. Aegis Living also partners with Powerback Rehabilitation to provide in-house physical, occupational and speech therapy. The Marinaaaah Massage room offers relaxing massage and spa treatments. Following a wellness session, residents can visit the main floor juice bar for a healthy, refreshing beverage.

Aegis Living has continued to bring the most innovative and integrated wellness programing to memory care, with the latest developments at Lake Union. Lake Union will be a pilot site for Aegis’s new Symphony program, which guides residents with dementia on a personalized wellness journey from morning to evening—from musical therapies to engagement with artificial intelligence. Memory care residents can also enjoy several other amenities like soaking in the sun on the Regatta patio or enjoying “Life’s Haven,” a dedicated, experiential space where residents can go to unwind. In keeping with the building’s design, Life Haven is modeled after a Lake Union houseboat—and it provides a full sensory experience to calm the body and mind.

This year, Aegis Living is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Aegis Living started with one community in 1997—and with the addition of Lake Union, it has grown to 36 communities with 2,600 employees across Washington, California and Nevada. This is a tremendous milestone, as fewer than 10% of family-owned, private companies make it to 25 years. Aegis Living continues to grow with five properties in development.

Located at 1936 Eastlake Ave. E, Seattle, WA 98102, Aegis Living Lake Union houses 79 senior living apartments over 73,437 square feet. It has world-class views of the Space Needle, and offers the best of Seattle right in the neighborhood—including easy access to Lake Union Park, Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI), The Center for Wooden Boats and many local dining options.

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