As we recently reported, the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) has released a draft of a new standard on residential care facilities, which is open for public comment until March 20. For those who design spaces for seniors, it’s a pretty promising opportunity; care models have evolved considerably and guidelines that were originally written for hospitals haven’t always translated well to senior-care environments.

In an article written for our sister brand Long-Term Living (LTL), the leaders behind the new guidelines offer detailed insight into the goals of the standard and how it will affect healthcare design professionals. Since 2009, the authors write, FGI has been working with gerontologists, facility care providers and owners, designers, consultants, researchers, evidence-based design experts, and regulators on the new volume, titled “Guidelines for Design and Construction of Residential Health, Care, and Support Facilities,” which will be released in 2014.

One way this volume differs from its sister document, the newly retitled “Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities”: It’s far less prescriptive. “One prescriptive model and one approach could not possible accommodate the range of program requirements required to support the uniqueness of each type of community and service, so the guidelines support several different options, including more traditional design,” the authors say.

The LTL article is worth a read to understand how FGI is defining some of those models of care and addressing their specific challenges and opportunities. And to read the new standard and provide feedback directly, you can go to