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Aged care provider uses daylight to aid residents' health

Aged care provider harnesses the power of daylight to improve health and wellbeing of its residents

Metlifecare, one of New Zealand’s leading aged care providers, has added the latest in natural daylighting technology to its new flagship retirement complex, The Poynton, in Auckland.

“The benefits of natural daylight in aged care are well documented overseas and we want our residents to enjoy a premium living experience with us,” explains Peter Kerrigan, Development Manager at Metlifecare.

Studies have shown that a living environment lit predominantly with natural daylight improves people’s sleep patterns, circadian rhythm and mental health. Health care providers overseas have also found exposure to daylight decreases patient’s length of stay in hospital, lessens agitation among dementia patients and helps to ease pain. (Source: The Impact of Light on Outcomes in Healthcare Settings – The Centre for Health Design, August 2006).

The apartments on the top floor of Metlifecare’s The Poynton complex had Solatube Daylighting Systems installed in the kitchens to enable maximum daylight optimisation. The internal ensuites and bathrooms also had the systems installed to provide natural light to areas that would otherwise be reliant on electric lighting all day.

“Solatube Daylighting Systems allow us to light up interior spaces, even the hard to reach spaces where traditional solutions won’t work, such as internal bathrooms,” says Kerrigan. “We are the leaders in aged care and we are always looking at new ways of improving our residents’ lifestyles. We are confident that Solatube Daylighting Systems will help us to do that.”

Lighting rooms with daylight also has the added benefit of reducing electricity consumption with reduced dependence on electric lighting. Solatube Daylighting Systems are also significantly more thermally efficient than traditional skylights so they do not allow heat loss in winter or heat gain in summer, so there is also a long-term cost benefit.

Mike Cullen, HomeTech Solatube Account Manager, says “Metlifecare have great confidence in the product and installation, it is a tried and tested daylighting solution that consistently produces great results. Many new villages will be designed with them and when existing villages are upgraded they are likely to be retrofitted with Solatube Daylighting Systems.”

Metlifecare is a publicly listed retirement lifestyle company. Established in 1984, the company has a proven track record of successfully owning and managing retirement villages in New Zealand. All villages are accredited members of The Retirement Villages Association of NZ Inc.

Based in Lower Hutt, Wellington, HomeTech has a team of technical sales, call centre staff, warehousing and office support throughout New Zealand. The team services residential and commercial markets in addition to working alongside designers, architects and product partners.

The nationwide certified installer and contractor teams are all ‘licensed’ to install HomeTech’s range of products. At present, there are 25 licensees and ten contracting teams throughout New Zealand, having installed more than 100,000 products for thousands of customers nationwide. The network is closely monitored and controlled for quality and in October 2009, the Solatube Daylighting System installation and roof penetrations received BRANZ Appraisal [No: 665]. Part of the Future Proof Building Network (FPB) and the Green Building Council, HomeTech works closely with other building industry innovators to educate New Zealanders about the benefits of having a healthy home. and


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