Armchair Consulting: $100m independent living condo project

Here in the US, Independent Living Centers are retirement facilities for those elders that do not need dedicated nursing care. They are often built and managed as a gateway to a specific nursing home facility. This one is very upscale, think of it as apartments for millionaires. Typically, these are 1- to 3-bedroom floor plans with a view. This one is waterfront.

The nursing home that is to manage this complex has been very techno-progressive and that’s how I originally become involved. Their residents have had Ipads and personal music & entertainment for years now. Voice control was always on the wish list but never implemented.

So, the’re breaking ground on the new apartments and contracts have been placed. Now, corporate has picked the Admin and the admin has contacted me about the possibility of future-proofing individual SH installations and simple voice control.

All of the above is to say that I’m going to press for neutral wires to be pulled to all single-pole switches. Keeping in mind that every change order will likely bring additional budget-breaking fees that corporate will not like, what else would you push for?

IMHO, you can never go wrong with additional Cat6 runs. Allows you to have wanted or needed cameras and other home automations that may not depend on Z protocols.

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Low voltage connections in all rooms with 2 cat6 lines (cat6 can be used to transmit everything with proper conversion), and two RG6/coax to each.

Conduit w/pull stings! The only true “future proofing” available IMO.


i believe the code requires conduit in nursing homes, but do not know if that applies to Independent Living facilities. If not, it’ll likely to have been bid as MC cable. But conduit would be great and a pull string is cheap enough. Conduit would also fix the problem with wiring for SH 3-ways.

Conduit or Plenum-rated cabling , vertically stacked telecom closet spaces should also be in place as part of the architectural docs. Not a retrofit afterthought. Makes future moves/adds/changes much more straightforward.

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