Bienvivir Senior Health Services Facility

San Antonio, Texas

Net zero energy senior center emphasizes biophilic design and a connection to nature

The 28,700-square-foot Bienviver Senior Care Center creates a restorative, supportive environment for older adults receiving a wide-range of care. The facility creates a hub for medical and social and residential services under one roof, making it easier to connect the elderly community with support and health care.

The design team focused on the role biophilia and a connection to nature play in boosting health outcomes and applied those principles to all the facility’s programs, including a medical clinic, occupational therapy, physical therapy, rehabilitation and food services. The facility was designed around a central dayroom featuring generous daylighting and access to the outdoors. This activity space draws seniors from within the facility and throughout the neighborhood, serving as a magnet for socialization for a demographic that benefits greatly from personal interactions. The building’s floor plan is centered around a “Walk of Life” that allows for safe, partnered movement – a fundamental principle of extending life and livelihood for an aging population.

Research helped guide the design at every step. Studies that illustrate the restorative role of outdoor qualities in indoor environments, the interior design features high ratios of wood finishes in patient rooms, as well as carefully choreographed views of trees and nature to connect seniors to the natural environment.

The facility is designed to achieve net zero energy, with a full solar panel roof array and low intensity building systems.

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