From Weitz Thought Leaders: Mechanical Systems for Senior Living

Senior living communities pose some unique challenges to the design and construction of the physical environment that will become the platform for care and sense of home for older adults. The financial realities of developing or repositioning a community constrain both construction and ongoing operating costs. Of course, of utmost importance is the health and comfort of the senior living community’s potentially frail residents.

Having built more than 25,000 homes for seniors, The Weitz Company has explored mechanical systems of all varieties. While some systems are more appropriate for senior living than others, the balance between first costs and operating costs is always delicate.

With variations in climate, acuity, utility rates, local codes and regional trade practices, no one system can be declared universally “best” for all situations. That being said, one innovation in mechanical systems has recently proved to be optimal in its balance between low operating costs and low first costs.

The chart below distills are 50 years of research and expertise into mechanical systems for senior living by distributing each into one of four quadrants: Sustainable (low operating costs but higher first costs), Budget (low first costs but higher operating costs), Infeasible (high first and operating costs), and Optimal (low first and operating costs). Only one system reliably proves to fall in the Optimal category for senior living communities.

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The Weitz Company Senior MEP Systems Manager Greg Blythe helps senior living developers and owners evaluate the right system (or systems) for their communities. Reliably, a one-pipe system that meets the demand load through managing BTUs to a terminal unit rather than varying GPM flow can deliver exceptional comfort and savings. A one-pipe system uses roughly 40% less piping and smaller horsepower motors which lowers construction labor and material costs. The even and steady flow of hydronics takes advantage of water’s inherent thermal inertia to deliver steadier temperatures which are critical to seniors’ comfort.

Additionally, a dual-coil terminal unit can be used that provides the ability to heat and cool at the same time, a feature traditional two-pipe systems fail to provide in shoulder seasons and/or moderate climates. In fact, much like VRF, a dual-core one-pipe system with paired loops can balance the load across southern and northern exposures to reduce energy consumption at the central plant. And most important to residents, each apartment individually controls its own terminal set point and heat/cool mode.

– Written By Michael Hass, Director of Senior Living, The Weitz Company






From Weitz Thoughtleaders: “The Changing Look of Senior Health Buildings” (

“The next generation coming in will want walkability to arts, entertainment and social life outside the walls of their senior-living property.”

Read more from senior living expert and The Weitz Company Project Executive Brendan Morrow, in this October 20, 2014  article from


Garrett and Porter to lead Rocky Mountain Region

The Weitz Company, a national full-service construction firm, announces the appointment of Troy Garrett as Executive Vice President and General Manager, and Bruce Porter as Director, Business Development, for the Rocky Mountain region.

“As an established general contractor, design-builder and construction manager in the Rocky Mountain region, The Weitz Company is thrilled to have Troy Garrett and Bruce Porter join our team. Both bring not only significant construction experience, but also a deep understanding and appreciation for building and maintaining strong relationships with colleagues and clients,” said Kevin McClain, President, The Weitz Company.

Bio Information for Troy Garrett

Troy Garrett has more than 20 years of leadership experience in both the vertical and civil construction markets, including the management of companies and business units. A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point with an MBA from Auburn University, Garrett’s passion is working with talented teams made up of owners, architects, engineers and construction professionals to create buildings and infrastructure that truly betters peoples’ lives. His experience includes domestic private and public sector projects, as well as international construction in locations as diverse as Haiti and New Zealand.

Bio Information for Bruce Porter

Bruce Porter brings more than 30 years of construction experience to The Weitz Company. With a career made of establishing and growing companies in the Colorado and western marketplace, Porter’s expertise spans commercial construction, including office, retail, restaurant, healthcare, multifamily, senior living and higher education. He serves on the board of several nonprofit organizations, including Belay Enterprises – a nonprofit organization he co-founded that creates businesses that employs and trains individuals rebuilding their lives after addiction, homelessness and incarceration.

The Weitz Company selected as contractor for Hacienda at the River (Tucson, AZ)

The Weitz Company, a national full-service construction firm, is pleased to announce their selection to build the Hacienda at the River Project for Watermark Retirement Communities, Inc. along with The Freshwater Group of Tucson.

The project will include a 70,000-square foot, two-story health care center offering short term, long term and hospice care. Also included are 62 residences, offering assisted living and memory care, spread over a village of 41,000 square feet of the single story homes. Full site development of the 6.5-acre site is slated to begin in December of 2014.

“Our specialized team has a proven track record in delivering senior living projects with expertise and efficiency. We are extremely excited to be working with companies as well respected and nationally well known as Watermark Retirement Communities and The Freshwater Group, on a project that will help so many individuals,” said Brendan Morrow, Director – Senior Living for The Weitz Company.

The Weitz Company to Expand Manufacturing and Process Market Leadership

The Weitz Company, a national full-service construction firm, today announced expansion of its Manufacturing and Process leadership, with the appointment of Jesse Hammes to provide national oversight to the project management and field operations teams. Hammes will also consult on fully-integrated design-build solutions for Manufacturing and Process services.

Hammes has managed biofuel, biomass, processing and treatment facility projects for clients including Cargill, ADM, Bunge North America, Renewable Energy Group, Syngenta and Iowa Fertilizer Company.

“We are thrilled to have Jesse leading the Manufacturing and Process team for The Weitz Company, as his robust experience in managing projects in a variety of sectors will be a great asset to the clients with which The Weitz Company partners,” said Humberto Lopez, executive vice president of Industrial, The Weitz Company.

Hammes will play a key role in assisting clients of The Weitz Company take advantage of the fully-integrated design-build solution that was launched in Summer 2014. This approach provides a unique opportunity for collaboration among stakeholders, engineers and contractors in the early design phase, and throughout the life of a project. The result is time and cost savings, reduced risk and a better quality outcome.