The Carolina Meadows Website
Chapel Hill, NC
2008 – 2013


Carolina Meadows, a non-profit, nationally accredited continuing care retirement community, asked Steele Group Architects to lead the design team responsible for a 43-acre expansion of the campus. The expansion design included new residential streets, utilities, infrastructure and sites for fifty-eight new villas. To accommodate the various needs of future residents, we developed four different plans for the villas, ranging in size from 1700 to 2200 square feet.

The Villas were also designed and built to achieve LEED Silver Certification.
Winner of the Environments for Aging award.


The Fairways Assisted Living complex at Carolina Meadows lacked a recognizable entry. Visitors had to drive out of their way, compete for parking, and guess which of three buildings to enter. Steele Group Architects was hired to design a renovation that would alleviate the confusion over the correct destination.

Our solution involved reorienting the traffic 180 degrees to the outside roadway of the campus, introducing new signage, and constructing a very identifiable “front door” entry with Porte-Cochere. We also redesigned the building’s interior directly off the Entry, creating a comfortable gathering spot for residents. This solution not only solves the original problem for visitors but also enhances the lifestyle of the residents of the Assisted Living complex.


Like many successful older retirement communities, Carolina Meadows’ growth for its first twenty years was driven by immediate needs, with little planning for the long-term structure of the evolving campus. Steele Group was engaged to analyze operational and navigational problems caused by this un-regimented growth, discover how to achieve desired solutions, and plan for future campus expansion in a reliable way. The Long-Range Master Plan we developed includes a timeline for execution, preliminary development cost budgets for each step, and a summary of development entitlement established by zoning.


Bill Steele, AIA, LEED AP
Principal Architect


Jeffrey Schrift
Technical Designer