With Australia’s population ageing, there is significant building activity in the aged care sector, involving renovations or new, purpose-built projects. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare states that in 2016, 15 per cent of Australians (3.7 million) were aged 65 and over, and by 2056 this number is expected to grow to 22 per cent (8.7 million). At some point, these seniors will likely need somewhere to live and be looked after in either aged care or seniors living accommodation.
When building an aged care facility, there are important elements and guidelines to consider. The overall goal should be to create a healthy environment that promotes safety and mobility, while catering to specific needs or disabilities. The Building Code of Australia (BCA) has certain classifications and regulations when it comes to aged care requirements – fire resistance, acoustic transmission and absorption, structural integrity, energy efficiency and wet areas to ensure spaces are safe and liveable. Over and above these regulations, designers and architects need to consider how to create the most comfortable and personalised environment to offer residents the best quality of life.
Providing modern aged care, Kithbrooke Park Retirement Village in Torquay, Victoria, is the suburb’s new 128-bed aged care facility. The residence has the appealing attributes of a much larger home, and has been tailored to suit individual lifestyles – representing a new era in retirement living.
CSR Gyprock along with MOC Developments and Molloys Plastering, provided the project with several ceiling and wall system solutions, which helped achieve compliance as well as providing high levels of performance. As the BCA contains specific acoustic provisions, heavy consideration was given to avoid noise entering the facility or being transferred within the building.
MOC Developments specified Gyprock’s Rigitone Galaxy for the ceilings due to its acoustic properties and seamless design finish. Rigitone Galaxy is part of Gyprock’s perforated plasterboard range, which can be used where a level of sound attenuation and aesthetic appeal is required. With four patterns in the Rigitone range, the solution provides acoustic performance with design freedom.
The panel perforations of Rigitone Galaxy, together with the board’s acoustic fabric lining, plus the addition of insulation, reduces echo and noise reverberation to create a more comfortable environment. Additionally, Rigitone Galaxy has the added benefit of Activ’Air, an innovative, VOC reducing technology that improves indoor air quality for a healthy environment. Activ’Air converts formaldehyde into non-harmful inert compounds that are permanently locked in the board and cannot be released back into the air.
Gyprock Soundchek was also specified for the walls due to its ability to reduce sound transmission and level of impact resistance. “Using Soundchek and Rigitone Galaxy throughout helped to provide effective impact noise insulation, creating the ultimate acoustics solution system for a comfortable living environment,” says Brad Molloy, Molloys Plastering.
All bathrooms of the village were lined with Gyprock Aquachek plasterboard, a moisture resistant wall and ceiling lining suitable for wet areas. “Wet area walls within aged care buildings must be designed to avoid system failures or increased maintenance costs, so Aquachek was a great option due to its extremely low water absorption characteristics. It also provides an excellent, stable substrate for ceramic tiles,” says Mr Molloy.
Throughout the rest of the village, Gyprock fire-rated wall and ceiling systems, featuring Gyprock Fyrchek plasterboard were specified in the kitchens and utility areas to meet fire resistant standards. Gyprock Plus plasterboard was used as the core product for bedrooms, common areas and remaining walls, whilst Gyprock premium quality base and topping compounds were used throughout.
“Partnering with Gyprock meant that we could work with the ‘Gyprock Aged Care Design Guide’ to meet compliance standards. We also had access to their network of stores – allowing us to be in close proximity of the Gyprock Trade store in Geelong, Victoria, ensuring availability of product and timely deliveries,” explains Mr Molloy.
CSR Gyprock pride themselves on partnering to deliver expert advice at design and installation stages, supported by a national network of Account Managers and Gyprock Trade stores, and complimented by their DesignLINK technical support service.