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Many new care homes are poorly designed because of inadequate industry advice and a lack of preparation by building owners and operators, according to Murray Armes, author of a guide to better care home design launched in London this week.

Poorly designed buildings were often costly because of the outlay required for modifications postcompletion, said Armes. 'Care clients are under pressure to keep building costs down, and the temptation is to go for catalogue architecture, ' he said. 'Every care scheme requires innovation, based on the needs of the resident community. The challenges of having an ageing population in residential accommodation are acute. Buildings that anticipate and provide for long-term use prove more efficient in the long term.' Armes Associates has made its guide freely available on its website at www. armes-associates. com

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