The University of Nevada, Las Vegas team for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 set out to design a home that would appeal to aging empty nesters who would like to retire in sunny Las Vegas. To learn which features their target market desired, the students went straight to the source, holding an American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) focus group and using virtual reality to walk people through the home. Called Sinatra Living, their project combines the architecture of the past with technologies of the future. Many features, such as the open layout, adjustable countertops and shelves, slip-resistant flooring, and fall detection sensors, make the house safe and comfortable for any resident with mobility, visual, or cognitive impairments.
Team Las Vegas aims to create an energy-efficient and health-conscious home for active aging citizens of Las Vegas and beyond. With its open layout and “flex” spaces, the design creates accessible and comfortable indoor and outdoor spaces that encourage physical activity and socializing. Sinatra Living balances quality of life with the thoughtful use of resources, with systems that promote both efficiency and comfort. To keep the cost of operating the home low, the home reuses water and runs on clean solar energy, which can also be stored in the home’s onsite battery. Wireless integrated technology not only optimizes energy use, but helps the home’s occupants stay connected with loved ones and caregivers, so they can remain safe and independent as long as possible.