The Sisters of St. Francis’ 130-member community chose to construct a new Community Living Center to replace their outdated, oversized 1920s convent. The new residence is arranged in clusters of living units around a central core that houses a main dining and food service facility, a chapel, and a formal public entry. A healthcare wing, built to skilled nursing facility standards, provides care for 20 Sisters. An extensive landscape designed with a park-like setting reflects the Order’s heritage and regard for nature.

The 24-hour operation is predominately air conditioned by water-to-air, water source heat pumps. The innovative hybrid geothermal water source heat pump system consists of a man-made pond (built around a natural spring-fed well) that serves as the primary heat sink for the building’s environmental systems, with pond water pumped to a heat exchanger. The flow of natural well water into the pond allows the pond to carry approximately half the maximum building-cooling load, reducing the heat rejection equipment capabilities and overall energy usage of the facility. The design received the Energy and Technology Award from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers.