Metlifecare achieves Homestar milestone with design rating for retirement apartments

20 March 2015

A retirement development in Glenfield, Auckland has become the first in New Zealand to achieve Homestar Design ratings on their stage 1 apartments.

Seventeen apartments within Metlifecare’s new retirement village The Orchards have been rated 6 Homestar Design – denoting a higher level of efficiency and sustainability than standard New Zealand homes.

Stage one of The Orchards involves a care facility and the independent-living apartment building, due for completion in mid-2015. Landscaped gardens, resident vegetable plots and composting will be developed in stage two of the project, which is also currently under construction.

As well as being the first retirement village to gain a Homestar Design rating for the apartments, it’s also the largest number of apartments in a single complex to do so.

Alan Simpkin from Arcline Architecture included key sustainability features such as solar water heating and a large rainwater tank system to supply communal areas. Apartments feature energy-efficient heat pumps, double glazing, LED lighting and thermal insulation to a higher level than Building Code requirements.

Water-efficient fittings have been used in showers, taps, toilets and the kitchens feature 3.5-star WELS-rated dishwashers. Carpet, paint, insulation and wall linings have been selected with approved eco-labels and low VOC emissions.

Metlifecare CEO Alan Edwards said it was important to design The Orchards with sustainability in mind.

“Our vision for Metlifecare includes providing quality, innovative and sustainable environments that will enhance the lifestyle of our residents. We place a value on having a lower environmental impact. Homestar gives independent verification that the apartments are designed to be healthy, efficient and sustainable. We’re looking forward to completing construction and having the first residents move in to experience it for themselves.”

Alex Cutler, CEO of the New Zealand Green Building Council, said Metlifecare was creating a retirement village to stand out in the market.

“A new home built just to meet Building Code would rate around 4 Homestar, so a 6 Homestar residence will be noticeably warmer, healthier and cost less to run than a typical new home. This is particularly important to people as they mature. Metlifecare is setting an exciting precedent in the retirement-village industry which I hope will inspire others.”

The Homestar rating was carried out by Alex Reiche, Managing Director of EnviroSpec.