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32 CASE STUDY


differ at all, at least not in the planning,” explains Mills. “You always have to take into consideration who you are designing and building for – the residents of the property should be at the heart of the design and build decisions made, whether that’s a young couple, a growing family or retirees.”


“There are some considerations though, which mainly revolve around access, but also creating a sense of freedom and choice – something residents place high on the list when they move to Retirement Villages. This could be as simple as creating shallow steps or creating multi-purpose communal areas that residents can call their own.” According to Mills, all Retirement


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Villages properties are tailored to the end user, but designed to be adaptable: “They have to be designed with our residents in mind, but each individual’s circumstances and mobility can change dramatically over 10 or more years. “As vibrant and mobile as many of our residents are, the fact is we need to future- proof properties so they can continue to enjoy their home, even if their physical capabilities change.” As part of this, elements such as corridors and access ways must be sufficiently widened to allow for mobility scooters and other aids to get through, and many Retirement Villages bathrooms feature walk-in showers.


“Many of our properties are open-plan


too,” continued Mills. “This suits retire- ment living because it makes access to different areas of the property easier. It also makes the space much more communal. For example, if your partner gets up to make a cup of tea, they do not leave the room to do it, so the feeling of togetherness is much stronger.”


SITE LAYOUT


As a retirement development, the topogra- phy of the site reportedly posed the greatest challenge, with the site sloping approximately 6 metres north-south. The buildings have been laid out such that the site tiers into a number of ‘plateaus,’ allow- ing vehicular and pedestrian access to the various building entrances, while maintaining acceptable gradients for less able residents.


Assisted living apartments form the spine of the development, allowing access to the plateaus via lift and stair cores that serve all levels, alongside several assisted living cottages. The care home has been located on the uppermost – and largest – plateau, providing level access to all elevations of the building, and an opportunity to create landscaped gardens for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.


While the groundworks of all buildings take a traditional form, with the building’s slabs being laid in beam and block, the construction process for each will differ slightly. For the assisted living apartments, the superstructure will consist predomi- nantly of timber frame, with isolated areas of traditional and reinforced in-situ concrete construction in areas where tanking is required at changes of level. The rainscreen cladding of the frame is a palette of three materials: facing brickwork, Marley Eternit Cedral Click weatherboard- ing installed both horizontally and vertically, and a lightweight render system applied to a cementitious backing medium that is fixed via battens to the timber frame. Windows are PVCu in anthracite grey, and roofs are a part of the timber frame package. The roofing consists of traditional softwood trusses, and the roof covering is a Forticrete SL8 plain interlocking concrete


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