Assisted Living Facilities are essential environments for supporting aging generations gracefully. This project presented some unique challenges, as it occurred just prior to the Covid-19 shutdown. Take a look at the recap below to see what Workplace Consultant Dani Schwarz had to say about its successes and challenges.
Client Name: Serene Suites Premier Memory Care
Location: Blue Ash, OH
Square Footage: 53,557 sq. ft.
Partners: KZF Design and Cintech Construction
Solutions Used: Knoll, JSI, Stance Healthcare, Carolina, Hekman, Sit On It, Florida Seating, and Homecrest
What were you most excited about in the early stages of this project?
Dani: I was excited to work on this unique project where RJE would leverage our expertise in healthcare, multifamily/residential, corporate, and hospitality. I was most excited to blend different products and materials to keep the residential feel while maintaining the quality and cleanability required for an assisted living healthcare environment.
Were there any risks you knew about from the onset of the project?
Dani: Some of the manufacturers specified were ones we had not worked with before, so we researched and built relationships to understand if they would be a good fit and work within the customer’s budget. I think one new manufacturer will be a great partner for senior care/assisted living projects moving forward.
What unexpected challenges did you face?
Dani: COVID-19 was certainly unexpected! COVID hit while the product was being manufactured, so we incurred some delays due to plant shutdowns. Simultaneously, the client worked on getting a certificate of occupancy to assist with COVID-19 relief efforts, which required the furniture to be installed. Luckily, they were able to get an exception without the delayed furniture.
Another challenge was when we were informed that the service elevator would not be available and needed to use the passenger elevator. This normally isn’t an issue; however, the wardrobes in the resident rooms shipped pre-assembled and were quite large! The manufacturer’s engineering team and the RJE operations team worked together to ensure the wardrobes fit and were not at risk. The wardrobes were successfully installed, thanks to everyone’s hard work!
What was your timeline for this project?
Dani: When the project began in early 2019, our goal was to install in January of 2020. Due to various delays (many caused by a rainy autumn), our new goal was to install mid-April 2020. Even with COVID delays, we were able to meet the deadline.
What is your favorite area of the installation?
Dani: The lobby turned out so nicely and is a great first impression. The rich wood tones on the lounge seating feel very homey. The mix of textured, soft patterns and subtle colors bring life to space while keeping a calm vibe. I also love the sleek look of the Carolina and OFS seating.
What was your proudest moment for this project?
Dani: At the end of March, the owner shared that he had received his occupancy certificate. RJE had over a year’s worth of work to get to that point, and the client had more than four years’ worth of work. I could feel the excitement and pride in his email, and how grateful he was for our help to reach that milestone – especially in so much uncertainty.
Want to see more of RJE’s work? Head to our Project Profiles page.