Ave Maria challenged Fleming Architects to design a new paradigm in assisted living called Green Houses. The concept is a creative new approach to improving the care and lifestyle of those in long-term nursing homes and takes the traditional under-one-roof assisted living model and breaks it down into more independent, residentially-scaled units. The project includes four independent Green Houses, each of which hold 10 private bedrooms with private bathrooms, nursing support space, a common gourmet kitchen, living and dining spaces, and a spa. The buildings are surrounded with manicured green space, integrating the residents into the natural setting. The project was built with private funds, but during the design process, was reviewed and approved through HUD.
The Green House model was originated by Dr. Bill Thomas, co-founder of the Eden Alternative, which is an international, non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to creating quality of life for elders and their care partners, wherever they may live.