New skilled nursing wings and commons accorded Gold LEED certification

April 21, 2017—Kendal at Ithaca staff and residents learned this week that two more major components of their recently completed $29.3 million expansion and enhancement project—the new skilled nursing center and new commons areas—have been awarded Gold-level LEED certification.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

Kendal at Ithaca undertook the construction project to better serve its current and future residents, staff, volunteers and the community at large. The areas certified as meeting LEED Gold criteria include:

  • A new 48-bed skilled nursing center (consisting of three households, each with 16 private rooms and easily accessible showers) that embraces a holistic approach to long-term care by promoting comfort and quality of life for those living in them.
  • A welcoming new entrance and reception area filled with natural light.
  • A new café featuring fresh new menu choices in a casual atmosphere.
  • A new fitness center to support Kendal at Ithaca’s extensive health and wellness programs.

The new skilled nursing center’s design allows staff to provide an enhanced, person-centered approach to care that gives priority to residents’ preferences and goals. Each wing has a residential feel and includes a kitchen, dining room and living room, with adjoining outdoor space for relaxation and dining.

The new entrance and reception area are designed to give visitors and residents easy access to the new café, fitness center, yoga and aerobics studio, pool and health center. Improvements to outside areas include new walking paths, outdoor courtyards, patios, a driveway with 26-car parking lot at the new entrance and renovation of the existing visitor/entrance parking.

In September, Kendal at Ithaca announced that its 24 new independent living apartment residences had been awarded Gold-level LEED certification. Construction of the LEED-certified 24-unit apartment building, with 38 new covered parking spaces, was completed in February 2016. The 24 new apartments—with modern amenities, high-end finishes and appliances—bring the total number of independent living residences on campus to 236.

“The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most-important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on nonsustainable and expensive sources of energy and threats to human health,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “The work of innovative building projects, such as Kendal at Ithaca’s expansion project, is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement.”