Aged ser­vices cen­tre gets highly suc­cess­ful makeover

Australasian Timber - - NEWS -

Con­tin­ued from page 11

Sus­tain­ably driven

The ma­te­rial timber was se­lected within the new McKen­zie Street Aged Service Cen­tre as a way of help­ing Coun­cil con­tinue their civic iden­tity as a com­mu­nity that is sus­tain­ably driven. k20 Ar­chi­tec­ture’s de­sign con­cept was based on car­ing for the com­mu­nity, rep­re­sented through the idea of clasp­ing hands as a sym­bol of hu­man unity and con­nec­tion which in­cludes car­ing for the age­ing peo­ple of the com­mu­nity. Timber is a nat­u­ral prod­uct and k20 Ar­chi­tec­ture be­lieve there is a mem­ory and sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence timber captures. Be­ing a public build­ing the use of timber in this project pro­vides for an ex­ter­nal aes­thetic that is ap­proach­able which is par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant as the fa­cil­ity caters to the age­ing pop­u­la­tion of Mel­ton City Coun­cil, fo­cus­ing on pro­mot­ing in­clu­sion within a range of avail­able ser­vices and ac­tiv­i­ties.

k20 Ar­chi­tec­ture de­signed the new spa­ces pro­mot­ing some rooms as open plan, while others are en­closed to cater for a level of in­de­pen­dence. Where staff once had to speak in hushed tones, the new spa­ces have been acous­ti­cally de­signed and treated to al­low a sense of open­ness and trans­parency, while still op­er­at­ing in a highly ef­fi­cient and func­tional man­ner.

With up to 150 staff us­ing the cen­tre, the ameni­ties had to be gen­er­ous.

Cru­cial meet­ing point

The new break­out area serves as a cru­cial meet­ing point pro­mot­ing in­ter­ac­tion and a shared area with abil­ity to open to an ex­ter­nal courtyard and cater for large num­bers of peo­ple at any one time. The de­sign in­cludes dual sinks and suf­fi­cient bench space to al­low dif­fer­ent groups to use th­ese ameni­ties at the one time.

In line with Coun­cil’s brief, k20 Ar­chi­tec­ture de­liv­ered a new cen­tre that was able to func­tion in­de­pen­dently, so that ser­vices, such as Meals on Wheels, can op­er­ate in­de­pen­dently from those us­ing the cen­tre for ac­tiv­i­ties or by ad­min­is­tra­tion staff. k20’s aim was to cre­ate an im­por­tant place which car­ingly con­nects age­ing per­sons within the com­mu­nity with the site, the ser­vices pro­vided by Coun­cil and with each other; to cre­ate a place that mat­ters. A fur­ther aim was to cre­ate an eco­cen­tric de­sign, one which con­tin­ued to set a high level of sus­tain­abil­ity and ex­ceeded Coun­cil’s ex­pec­ta­tions and set a new bench­mark for Coun­cil.

De­sign in­no­va­tion

The new McKen­zie Street Aged Ser­vices Cen­tre in­cor­po­rates sus­tain­able de­sign in­no­va­tion, along with build­ing re­pur­pos­ing at the very fore­front of its de­sign. With the sup­port of Coun­cil k20 Ar­chi­tec­ture pro­duced a de­sign that would al­low for the ex­ist­ing McKen­zie Street Aged Ser­vices build­ing to be re­tained rather than de­mol­ished. While the ex­ist­ing build­ing re­quired some up­dat­ing, its gen­eral struc­ture was able to be re­worked as part of a larger scheme. The ex­ist­ing build­ing in­cludes new acous­tic treat­ment to walls and in­su­la­tion of ex­ist­ing ceil­ings in the ar­eas of re­fur­bish­ment to im­prove the acous­tic and ther­mal per­for­mance of the build­ing.

Ad­di­tional ESD ini­tia­tives in­clude in­te­grated pas­sive de­sign through­out the build­ing place­ment and north ori­en­ta­tion to max­imise good ac­cess to nat­u­ral light, use of ma­te­ri­als with re­cy­cled con­tent and/or from sus­tain­ably sourced lo­cal ma­te­ri­als, re­duced ce­ment for con­crete used with re­place­ment flash, so­lar ar­ray grid con­nected to off­set elec­tric­ity us­age, sun shad­ing to max­imise use of nat­u­ral light and con­trol direct sun­light to ad­min­is­tra­tion spa­ces, en­ergy and wa­ter ef­fi­cient fit­tings through­out, cen­tral elec­tri­cal shut­down cir­cuit to in­hibit standby ap­pli­ance en­ergy bleed, high per­form­ing ther­mal In­su­la­tion, high per­form­ing acous­tic treat­ment through­out the build­ing and the use of in­dige­nous and drought tol­er­ant flora.

The ex­ist­ing and new build­ing cur­rently share a cov­ered link which is de­signed for ease of dis­man­tling to en­able the sep­a­ra­tion of the build­ings if re­quired in the fu­ture.

The new fa­cil­ity is in­ter­nally wrapped in ‘proc­tor­wrap’, an air-sealed fab­ric that con­trols the move­ment of air and seals the walls; this not only im­proves the build­ing’s ther­mal per­for­mance through min­imised air in­fil­tra­tion and leak­age but also al­lows for the ther­mal heat­ing and cool­ing of the build­ing to per­form as ef­fi­ciently as pos­si­ble.

Timber cladding

The fea­ture cladding tim­bers se­lected by k20 Ar­chi­tec­ture, both spot­ted gum and black­butt, are plan­ta­tion grown and FSC cer­ti­fied. Be­ing a light weight struc­ture, the use of timber meant a more eco­nom­i­cally sus­tain­able out­come for Coun­cil as the speed of de­liv­ery and con­struc­tion time frame were both re­duced. All ex­ter­nal timber was coated with low main­te­nance oil that pro­vides a layer of pro­tec­tion for 10+ years.

The new McKen­zie Street Aged Ser­vices Cen­tre pro­vides a safe an in­clu­sive com­mu­nity cen­tre that com­bines the new and old to meet the present needs of the com­mu­nity and those of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

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