Cohen-Rosen House recognized for interior design and green initiative

Interior of the award-winning Cohen-Rosen House. Photos by Boris Feldblyum
Interior of the award-winning Cohen-Rosen House. Photos by Boris Feldblyum

The Cohen-Rosen House, an 18-unit assisted living center at the Charles E. Smith Life Communities campus in Rockville, has recently received design awards and recognition for its innovative design that caters to memory care.

The residence, which is the sixth and most recent building at Charles E. Smith, was specifically designed for residents suffering from dementia or other memory care issues caused by Alzheimer’s.

Of the six honors it received, five were related to design innovation and one was related to environmentally-friendly features.

The Design for Aging Review, The International Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, The Assisted Living Federation of America, The National Association of Home Builders and Environments for Aging magazine all honored Cohen-Rosen for its innovation in design.

“At Cohen-Rosen House, the quality and connectivity of spaces, unique design of individual resident rooms with large memory boxes, generous use of artwork and homelike feel all contribute to an enhanced quality of life for its residents,” according to the 2013 Showcase issue of Environments for Aging.

“It’s a small, intimate residence,” says Marilyn Feldman, director of public relations for the Smith Communities. “The building is very homelike. It’s got a beautiful two-story living room with natural light and a fireplace; it really looks like a great room in someone’s gracious home.”

The residence also includes a dining room where residents can make snacks with their families, a secure outdoor garden, a four seasons room that simulates an outdoor environment and a tech center with special programs for those with memory issues. The residence also has areas for massage therapy and calming living rooms and lounges.

In addition to the design recognition, the U.S. Green Building Council named the Cohen-Rosen House the first Assisted Living LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-Silver Certified NC (New Construction) project in Maryland for its environmentally friendly qualities.

“They [U.S. Green Building Council] look at a lot of criteria,” says Beth DeLucenay, the vice president of planning and business development at the Smith Communities. Using a points system, the council determines how much energy and water is saved.

The recent LEED project found the residence had a 20 percent reduction in water use, a 28 percent savings in energy cost and that 97 percent of spaces are lit by natural daylight. DeLucenay noted some of the ways the residence promotes going green is its use of no-drip faucets, green roofs that promote site water runoff and the abundance of natural light in a majority of the rooms.

“Our ability to provide the highest quality of life for the elders we serve is significantly enhanced by the environmental standards set at Cohen-Rosen House,” writes Warren R. Slavin, the Smith Communities’ president and CEO. “Not only are we providing an environmentally sound environment for today’s residents but for future generations as well.”

The design team comprised of general contractor Whiting-Turner, THW Design and THW Interiors made the Cohen-Rosen House a reality. The residence, which opened in January, was named after the parents of Richard and Judy Cohen, who made a generous gift to help fund the design and construction. Numerous other philanthropists also helped fund the residence.

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  1. Cohen-Rosen House design win for Richard and Judy Cohen Green and support of Chris Van Hollen shows a strong mutual foundation of support. A job well done working with David Eisen for women and children as well. Diane Polonsky


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