When retirement homes are built to Green Star, we see better outcomes for the well-being of residents and the environment. Metlifecare has set a new sustainability benchmark for retirement homes in Aotearoa, with their commitment to building six Green Star aged residential care facilities in the next few years.
Architect: Foley Group
Project Manager: Metlifecare
Service Engineer: Mesh Consulting
Quantity Surveyor: BBD, Barnes Beagley Doherr Ltd
GSAP: Norman Disney & Young - Hayley Koerbin, Emily Howell
What: two-story care facility consisting of approximately 65 care suites, including 15 memory care suites, a commercial kitchen, café, and internal dining lounge areas, and garden spaces for care residents and their families to use.
Configuration: 65 care suites in total; of which 50 are a mix of rest home and hospital level care, and 15 suites in a secure memory care (dementia) wing
Where: Corner of Cobham Road & Resolution Road, Kerikeri
Occupancy: 65 residents
Rating: 6 Green Star Design review rating
Many Kiwis will share one thing in common as they enter their golden years – a move to a retirement village, which we hope to be a peaceful, homely space to spend our golden years. Our population is steadily ageing, with Stats NZ expecting over one million gold-carders living in Aotearoa by 2028. Currently, one in 50 people in the population are over 85, this is expected to increase to one in 20 by the 2040s. An ageing population means an increasing demand for retirement homes, with developers undertaking large-scale projects across the country.
When retirement homes are built to Green Star, we see better outcomes for the well-being of residents and the environment. Metlifecare has set a new sustainability benchmark for retirement homes in Aotearoa, with their commitment to building six Green Star aged residential care facilities in the next few years. They have already achieved a 6 Green Star Design Review v1.0 rating for their Weiti Care Home and Pōhutukawa Landing Village, and have just received the same rating for Metlifecare Oakridge, based in the balmy Kerikeri, marking number three of their commitment.
Kate McBurney, a Senior Design Manager at Metlifecare says they are thrilled with this certification and that it is integral to the company’s ambitious sustainability targets. “We are well underway and committed to building more sustainable, healthier communities for Aotearoa's retirees,” reflects McBurney.
Green & Sustainable Highlights:
- Selection of low-toxicity materials.
- Use of energy-efficient heating, cooling and ventilation systems.
- Enhanced commissioning and tuning process with design stage services and maintainability review.
- A focus on visual comfort – both natural and artificial.
- Increased biodiversity in indoor and outdoor respite spaces.
- Use of prefabricated elements such as bathroom pods and cross-laminated timber componentry reducing onsite waste.
- Mechanical provision to care suites and common areas is significantly above New Zealand standard requirements. This results in better air quality and ventilation assisting in higher cognitive functions, reducing the likelihood of mould, and positive pressurisation of suites will reduce the transmission of airborne diseases.
Using sustainable materials was integral to MLC Oakridge’s rating. From responsibly sourced timber to indoor products such as paint and adhesives that meet pollutant reduction targets and pass onsite VOC testing. Koerbin and Howell commended the material impact reduction initiatives on the project, also noting the use of low-impact cladding materials and carpet with an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).
“Evidence shows that healthcare facilities designed to maximise daylight, views of nature, fresh air, thermal comfort and feelings of connectedness get better patient outcomes, and this is so important for an ageing and more vulnerable population,” notes Hayley Koerbin, project GSAP, and Global Sustainability Director at Norman Disney & Young (NDY).
Key to the design process was the end-user experience, factoring in the residents and staff who would one day inhabit Oakridge Care Home. Emily Howell, Graduate Sustainability Consultant at NDY is also a GSAP on the project, she notes that the level of design consideration was incredibly detailed to consider how illness and the environment co-exist.
“Residents, especially those with dementia, are more vulnerable and negatively impacted by poor light quality. Both electric lighting and daylighting have been designed with this in mind to provide optimal visual comfort,” explains Howell. Reducing glare, considering views and visual comfort, combined with landscaping creates indoor and outdoor sensory respite places, Oakridge Care Home has been designed to promote physical and mental health.
James Donald, Director of Mesh Consulting, was the Services Engineer on the project. He reflects that designing to Green Star standards required ventilation and heat recovery rates above normal standards and increased energy monitoring.
Donald was impressed to see that “despite cost challenges, anything that threatened a 6 Green Star rating was sacrosanct on the project and we’d have to find alternative solutions, Metlifecare really wore their hearts on their sleeve for this project.”
“One of the most significant benefits of earning a Green Star rating is that when we lead, we can inspire. We hope to see our industry peers pushing for this sort of Green Star rating because the more our industry utilises sustainable design and build mechanisms, the more we can reduce the impact on the planet,” says McBurney.