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Case Study: A Place to Heal in Alabama

Case Study: A Place to Heal in Alabama

  • The new 10-unit LEED-Gold family housing complex on Lakeshore Foundation's campus provides a cozy retreat for veterans who are undergoing rehabilitation and their families.

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    The new 10-unit LEED-Gold family housing complex on Lakeshore Foundation's campus provides a cozy retreat for veterans who are undergoing rehabilitation and their families.

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    Chris Luker

    The new 10-unit LEED-Gold family housing complex on Lakeshore Foundation's campus provides a cozy retreat for veterans who are undergoing rehabilitation and their families.

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    Windows
    Deep roof overhangs and Silver Line double-pane windows with a U-factor of 0.3 and SHGC of 0.24 help to control sunlight. 800.234.4228. www.silverlinewindow.com.

    Walls
    CertainTeed’s Greenguard-certified ProRoc gypsum board contains recycled paper. Walls are finished in soothing neutral colors with Sherwin-Williams low-VOC paint. CertainTeed: 800.233.8990. www.certainteed.com. Sherwin-Williams: 800.474.3794. www.sherwin-williams.com.

    Floors
    Providing a warm wood look and long-lasting wear for common areas, Mohawk Ultimate Step vinyl flooring with 45% pre-consumer recycled content is FloorScore certified to meet indoor air emissions criteria. In the bedrooms, CRI Green Label Plus modular carpet tiles from Bigelow are a healthy, highly durable choice and can be individually replaced when worn out or stained. Mohawk: www.themohawkgroup.com. Bigelow: www.bigelowcommercial.com.

  • 15-SEER LG mini-split heat pumps provide fresh air and comfortable heating and cooling in each room. They feature integrated programmable thermostats and a HSPF of 8.5. In addition, their small motors help to wring moisture from the air during the regions humid summers, verifier Joe Cooper says. 888.865.3026. www.lghvac.com.

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    15-SEER LG mini-split heat pumps provide fresh air and comfortable heating and cooling in each room. They feature integrated programmable thermostats and a HSPF of 8.5. In addition, their small motors help to wring moisture from the air during the regions humid summers, verifier Joe Cooper says. 888.865.3026. www.lghvac.com.

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    Chris Luker

    HVAC System
    15-SEER LG mini-split heat pumps provide fresh air and comfortable heating and cooling in each room. They feature integrated programmable thermostats and a HSPF of 8.5. In addition, their small motors help to wring moisture from the air during the region’s humid summers, verifier Joe Cooper says. 888.865.3026. www.lghvac.com.

  • Kohler WaterSense-certified faucets, showerheads, and Cimarron Class 6 1.28-gpf toilets keep water use low in each bathroom. Energy Star humidity-sensing ventilation fans from NuTone automatically turn on and off as needed to clear the air. Kohler: 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com. Circle 317. NuTone: 888.336.3948. www.nutone.com.

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    Kohler WaterSense-certified faucets, showerheads, and Cimarron Class 6 1.28-gpf toilets keep water use low in each bathroom. Energy Star humidity-sensing ventilation fans from NuTone automatically turn on and off as needed to clear the air. Kohler: 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com. Circle 317. NuTone: 888.336.3948. www.nutone.com.

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    Chris Luker

    Bathroom
    Kohler WaterSense-certified faucets, showerheads, and Cimarron Class 6 1.28-gpf toilets keep water use low in each bathroom. Energy Star humidity-sensing ventilation fans from NuTone automatically turn on and off as needed to clear the air. Kohler: 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com. NuTone: 888.336.3948. www.nutone.com.

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    Kitchen
    Each unit contains a full kitchen with Whirlpool stainless steel Energy Star appliances, a Kohler Coralais ADA-compliant 2.2-gpm pull-out faucet, and accessible-height granite countertops. Whirlpool: 866.698.2538. www.whirlpool.com. Kohler: 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com.

  • The Cottages project received 8.5 LEED credits for its small-sized floor plans: The duplex units are 649 square feet, and the single-family homes are 1,335 square feet. Nearly 200 peopleveterans, friends, and family membershave stayed at the complex since it opened in late 2010.

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    The Cottages project received 8.5 LEED credits for its small-sized floor plans: The duplex units are 649 square feet, and the single-family homes are 1,335 square feet. Nearly 200 peopleveterans, friends, and family membershave stayed at the complex since it opened in late 2010.

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    Chris Luker

    Floor Plans
    The Cottages project received 8.5 LEED credits for its small-sized floor plans: The duplex units are 649 square feet, and the single-family homes are 1,335 square feet. Nearly 200 people—veterans, friends, and family members—have stayed at the complex since it opened in late 2010.

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    Communal Space
    The project was designed with many communal areas where visitors; including this children’s playground.

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    Sun Protection
    Deep roof overhangs shield the units from the harsh summer sun.

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    Landscaping
    The Cottages’ attractive grounds are landscaped with non-invasive, drought-tolerant indigenous plants. The irrigation system from Hunter Industries contains separate zones for each type of bedding and features a moisture sensor and Solar Sync rain-delay controller. 760.744.5240. www.hunterindustries.com.

Since 2006, more than 1,200 severely injured servicemen and women have found refuge at a one-of-a-kind institution in central Alabama that offers them a place to relax, rehabilitate, and regain the physical and emotional strength needed to carry on with their lives. Through a comprehensive regimen of fitness, recreation, and transitional services, the Lakeshore Foundation’s Lima Foxtrot program brings new hope to veterans facing life-changing debilitating injuries.

Veterans have come from 38 states and two territories to learn how to adapt to and even thrive with their new physical challenges. Therapeutic programs focus on the restorative benefits of individual and group sports such as basketball, cycling, rock climbing, tennis, and even waterskiing.

“Sports and recreation can be a positive way of rebuilding a life, of reconnecting with family and friends, of gaining skills, and, ultimately, gaining confidence,” explains Lakeshore Foundation president Jeff Underwood.

Until recently, Lima Foxtrot participants were lodged in dormitory-style housing, which meant they had to leave their extended families behind or put them up in a nearby motel while getting treatment. But a new 10-unit LEED-Gold family housing complex on the foundation’s campus now provides a cozy retreat for the vets and their loved ones to stay together. Most important, the privately funded $2.3 million Cottages of Lakeshore project makes it possible for family members or friends to actively participate in service members’ rehabilitation, says Underwood.

“When an individual leaves, we want him or her to have learned and participated in sports and activities alongside a family member or close friend so they can have help with that activity at home, sort of like a recreation buddy,” he says. “We’ve found there is more of a likelihood the veteran will continue with that activity.”

Composed of eight one-bedroom duplex-style studios and two freestanding three-bedroom houses, the Craftsman-style Cottages gives veterans and their families a private place to heal as well the chance to meet other families who are experiencing similar physical, mental, and emotional issues. To create a sense of community, the design team sited the dwellings around a central common area and dotted the 1.5-acre grounds with gathering places for socializing or solitude such as an arbor with a fireplace, a fountain area, and a children’s playground. “It’s just a really serene, peaceful place to be, almost resort-like,” says project architect Louis Nequette.

The typical length of a stay is about five days, says Underwood, but visits often extend beyond that. Transporta­tion to Alabama, treatment, and lodging for veterans and family are provided free of charge by the foundation. Vets arrive with a range of challenges including blindness, limb loss, and spinal cord injuries, so all units are one level and are fully handicap accessible, with extra-wide doorways, wheelchair-height countertops, and grab bars and roll-in showers in the bathrooms.