Senior Housing Land Development & Green Building Trends

We talk a lot about the buying and selling of assisted living communities, SNFs, and other senior living facilities, but senior housing land development is ramping back up as well. New construction largely came to a halt in 2020 as the pandemic raged on, leaving developers asking, “what now?” The good news is 2021 showed signs of hope and recovery as the industry slowly crawled back, and we’ve been on a steady uphill climb ever since. 
Construction companies are breaking ground on new and improved senior housing communities throughout the U.S., and for good reason. Not only is the industry preparing for the inevitable wave of Baby Boomers to come, but developers are adopting - and adapting to - less traditional life plan models.  Active adult communities are among the most sought-after housing options for many seniors, motivating developers to think outside the box. 

Senior Living Building Trends 

Developers are tuning into the next generation of seniors and offering different models targeted at independent adults, those seeking active communities, and individuals who need more support. Purpose-built facilities and cooperatives that allow older adults to age in place have grown in demand, as well as multi- and intergenerational living communities. The pandemic also made it clear how isolating traditional housing models can be, sparking a shift that allows for better connectivity and community. 
Here’s a look at some of the other key market differentiators we’re seeing right now: 
  • Green building efforts are on the rise as operators, investors, and developers look for ways to lower costs and increase energy efficiency to combat climate change. 
  • Urban development is up.
  • Active adult complexes take place of defunct shopping malls across the U.S. 
  • More intergenerational development opportunities with acreage.
  • Senior housing development leads to job creation in many areas. 
  • Higher standards of living. 
  • Rise of technology is a huge factor for many developers. 

Although too many new senior housing developments can oversaturate the market and drive down occupancy rates, the lull in construction during the pandemic makes way for cautious optimism. 

Green Building Gaining Traction

We are also keeping a close eye on innovations in building technology, as notes George Bingham, a recent addition to the Sherman & Roylance team who specializes in senior housing land development and has been keeping a close eye on building trends.
The use of structural insulated panels (SIPs) is gaining more acceptance across the U.S. - as a number of new SIP plants are currently under construction. Key advantages of SIP building techniques include: (1) centralized, flexible design; (2) readily available and inexpensive (flat bed) transport of the finished panel sections; (3) extremely tight building envelope produces very high efficiency buildings (demonstrably lower operating costs) and reduces the occurrence of mold and airborne impurities; and (4) reduces the need for skilled on-site construction labor (the SIP panels are easy to assemble and have pre-cut channels for electric and plumbing), which is a benefit in markets with shortages of skilled construction labor. To learn more about what’s ahead, or if you have questions about our current inventory, please contact Sherman & Roylance today.