Case Study – Village on the Isle

The Challenge Village on the Isle, a 35-year-old, 16-acre, 325-resident retirement community, began a complete repositioning in January 2016. The Phase 1 expansion included the construction of two new five-story residential buildings, a significant renovation of Village on the Isle’s assisted living building and an entirely new 66,000-square-foot Health Center. One of the primary goals of the expansion was to provide a much needed infusion of modern technology. But as is the case with many older buildings and campuses, at their conception, planning for technology was not considered. The technology system infrastructure shared space with other functions, while the technology... Read More

Why Not Teams or Zoom as My Phone System?

Microsoft Teams and Zoom are powerful collaboration and communication platforms that became widely used by businesses and communities since 2020. In addition to their robust collaboration and productivity tools, Teams and Zoom both offer a range of features that make it an ideal choice for a business phone system. Full disclosure, at our offices, we have transitioned to Teams for our voice communications platform. Traditional phone systems, also known as on-premises PBX systems, are hardware-based solutions that are installed and maintained on a company’s own premises. They require the purchase and installation of physical hardware and infrastructure and often involve... Read More

Wi-Fi It? Upgrading Your Wireless Network

For many of our clients, the demand for a fast and reliable Wi-Fi network is imperative. The move to high-speed, high-capacity Wi-Fi networking equipment has allowed wireless networks to transition from being a supplemental network to becoming the primary means by which we connect to any network, whether at home, work, or in public spaces. In addition, the move to the Cloud, the IoT (Internet of Things) and BYOD (bring Your Own Device) is driving greater and greater wireless capacity. We are seeing staff, visitors, and other network users bringing multiple mobile devices that rely solely on Wi-Fi for connectivity... Read More

Building Better Models by Building Better Relationships

The prevalence of technology in the design business today means that team members are literally sharing gigabytes of information at fiber optic speeds.  For the most part, this is great.  We can work faster and almost anywhere in the world with near instantaneous access to the latest update of the last square foot.  Lately, though, I have come to think that in our zealous embrace of data and information, we risk losing the understanding required to foster solid relationships among individuals and their firms. I’m revealing a little about my age here, but when I first started in this industry,... Read More

Technology Design Innovations

[The following is republished with permission from ADVANCE for Long-Term Care Management Magazine. This article was originally published in the September/October 2011 issue of ADVANCE.] Person-centered care has become a design principle for architects and engineers in the senior care market. PCC strives to provide a home-like environment where residents care for each other and receive dignified professional attention, while contributing to the greater community. What many people don’t realize is that wireless technology can greatly enhance the ability to seamlessly implement PCC. It influences the way people can live in retirement communities and the way those respective communities provide... Read More

The Wireless the Better

In the seniors and long-term care (LTC) housing markets, emergency call systems (sometimes referred to as call bell systems) have become increasingly complex. More specifically, wireless emergency call systems have changed the notion of what a call bell system can do and have quickly developed into “community management” tools. This article outlines the top four reasons to utilize one of these wireless systems at your community. Note that many states accept wireless emergency call systems but may have specific regulations regarding their use. Please check your local and state regulations before making any decisions. “In the LTC housing market, we... Read More

The Net Worth of Your Network

With 73% of all Americans and 71% of 50-64 year olds using the World Wide Web, there is no doubt that how your community provides Internet access to your residents is very important. There are different ways for a community to provide high-speed, broadband Internet access to residents. One way is to have each resident work directly with the telephone or cable television carrier that services the area. Another is for your community to supply Internet access to each individual resident. Both of these options have their pros and cons, and selecting the right option greatly depends on your community’s... Read More

Views on VoIP

As happens with new undertakings, key “lessons learned” often result. Such is the case with our recent experience in designing our new State College office building. We would like to share with you some of this know-how regarding the selection of a new communications platform, specifically a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) platform. VoIP may not be the most suitable solution for everyone. In the instances where a VoIP platform is appropriate, several key factors are important when deciding exactly which product to choose. Can your existing network handle the additional VoIP traffic and is it optimized to operate with... Read More

Down to the Wire

Are you looking to cut the wires out of your nurse call replacement? Wireless nurse call is spreading into the skilled nursing arena because it allows for simple and rapid installation into any building, regardless of age. This is especially important for existing facilities where installing new equipment is invasive and time consuming. Wireless also allows residents the flexibility to be anywhere in their room or the nursing facility and have their call button along. Despite the flexibility of its installation, there are concerns with using wireless nurse call in skilled nursing facilities. These concerns include adequate facility coverage, battery... Read More