Award Date

May 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (MArch)



First Committee Member

Dak Kopec

Second Committee Member

Attila Lawrence

Third Committee Member

Glenn Nowak

Fourth Committee Member

David James

Number of Pages




Evaluate and identify approaches to the physical design, with emphasis on the interior design, of a cohousing model can be adapted to support the physical, cognitive and social health aspects of active aging.


Housing models evolve with the needs of society. Today, the societal practice of living in traditional nuclear-family based housing is challenged by the lack of financial resources(Blanchard 2017) and the need to care for an aging population. This project attempts to identify a housing model that promotes multigenerational co-housing as a means to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the elder population.

One factor that contributes to an individual’s standard living is the capability to sustain one’s health (Zaidi et al., 2017), and remain independent (Amesberger et al., 2011). A study conducted on human activity patterns estimates state that humans spend approximately ninety percent of their time interacting within the built environment (Klepeis et al., 2001). Therefore, the physical design of a housing model has the ability to address the health, safety and welfare needs of an aging population.

Older Americans strive to remain active and maintain a sense of purpose as they age, however many lack the appropriate physical and social support systems. A Cohousing model which is an intentional community of private homes which share access to common amenities has the ability to be a model where physical and social supports can be met while concurrently offering a venue for reciprocal and symbiotic relationships between multigenerational occupants.


This project will be based on a qualitative analysis of secondary sources obtained from a literature review using grounded theory to identify common elements. Common elements identified were then distilled into charts and examined through design thinking methods via prototyping. Three prototypes were defined for each of the common elements. The results identified the most appropriate solution which could be applied to a cohousing model to accommodate health needs of Elder Americans.


The conceptual model demonstrates the viability of implementing physical design strategies that support active aging of Elder Americans in a cohousing model. Results remain inconclusive on whether the design strategies will appeal to the target market and survive market scrutiny.



File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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