Living In Place Institute Breaks Ground on Idea Home

Published: April 17, 2023

Ground has been broken in a fire-ravaged neighborhood in Louisville, Colorado, on the Living In Place Institute’s (LIPI) Idea Home, which after completion next year will host a series of events and training workshops to promote Living in Place design and building technology.

The Idea Home concept took shape after the home of Louie Delaware, founder and president of LIPI, was among 1,084 homes destroyed in the Marshall Wildfire, Dec. 30, 2021. Following the series of events, the Delaware family will move back in.

The March 19 groundbreaking in The Enclave custom home neighborhood drew a crowd of 30 friends and Living In Place Institute supporters, along with coverage from three Denver television news teams.

LIPI promotes accessible, healthy, safe homes designed to meet people’s needs as they age or confront other challenges in life. In addition to endorsing the idea of Living In Place, the institute trains housing and other professionals to create the capability of Living In Place as they work to design and build the next generation of homes, condominiums and apartments.

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“For my family and me, this has become a chance to retrieve an ongoing benefit for people of all ages and capabilities, from what otherwise has been a tragedy of huge proportion,” said Delaware, who will conduct the ceremony.

In The Enclave, a neighborhood southwest of Louisville’s Harper Lake, where numbers of homes are now beginning reconstruction following the fire. Unlike the original home, the new design will require no steps to enter from either street or garage, with no thresholds. All other rooms, baths and areas will be equally accessible.

Visitors to the completed home will see similar modifications that work in favor of families facing a broad range of commonplace challenges, including younger families coping with kids with autism and other developmental disabilities, and of people dealing with an accident or a cognitive disability.

The modifications will include halls and doorways designed for walkers and wheelchairs; kitchen and baths with counters and cabinetry designed to accommodate users with disabilities; and lighting, safety and smart-home technologies that eliminate a wide range of accessibility issues and safety risks.

Delaware noted that during recent decades, Denver has seen a wave of ranch style homes arrive for the market of age-50-plus buyers, but with very few of them that show anything close to zero-step entries and other key accommodations. Meanwhile, a vast majority of the older population intends to age at home—some 76% of Americans aged 50 and older according to a 2018 report by AARP. More than 13% of Americans face a physical and/or cognitive disability that average homes are not designed to serve, and the number grows as the population ages.

Living In Place Institute Idea Home

Builder Tim Coonce of Niwot-based Porchfront Homes has been selected for the Idea Home project. Danielian Associates of Irvine, California, is creating the architecture. Delaware is working with two National Kitchen & Bath Association Certified Master Kitchen and Bath designers, Maria Stapperfenne and Barbara Barton, each a Certified Living In Place Professional; along with lighting designer Jaye Morrow of Denver-based Urban Lights; and interior designer Colleen Johnson. Robert August of Northstar Synergies, an internationally recognized marketing expert, is directing the promotional and open house activities.

“The Living In Place Institute Idea Home will show priorities for a new generation of living spaces that are accessible, healthy, safe, secure, beautiful, functional and connected,” said Dani Polidor, vice president sales & marketing at LIPI. “This will be the way all homes should be built.”

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