A breakthrough in retirement living

A breakthrough in retirement living
The performance standards set by the global Living Building Challenge has inspired the Arvida Group to create a unique environment for residents at its Living Well Centre Park Lane development in Christchurch.

Arvida Group’s mission is to challenge itself to make its residents’ lives better with everything they do. This philosophy carries on in to Arvida’s design and development principals.
Inspired by the performance standards set by the worldwide Living Building Challenge, Arvida has created a development that is regenerative both for the local community and the local environment.
Living Well Park Lane is a new 79 unit apartment development at Arvida’s existing Park Lane Retirement Village at Tower Junction. It represents a new vision for retirement living, and breaks the mould of traditional thinking.
Arvida southern project manager Shane Mickell says the Living Building Challenge inspired Arvida with its sustainability aspect, but also because the environments it creates for the for the users and occupiers of the building are healthy environments. “We believe there are benefits of that for our clients,” he says.
“We see the Living Building Challenge as helping immensely with such a unique build. It has led us to the use of wood as the primary building material, which is not often done in this scale of development. There is now more interest in the market for timber construction in the commercial building space for high rise buildings and offices. Timber is becoming more popular, demand is increasing, and we hope to see that eventually help with supply chain pricing.”
With Park Lane, Arvida has been conscious of energy efficiency in the village, using solar energy to power the main building complex and even offering electric cars for resident use.
“Environmental and social regeneration is important in every area of New Zealand, so while it may take some time, we hope to do our part for the environment through all 29 of our retirement villages in years to come,” Shane says.
He says Arvida has also put a lot of effort into Living Well Park Lane’s external areas. “We’re breaking the mould of traditional retirement living and we’re building a village community that offers great ways to stay engaged,” he says.
“We’ll have a gardener to help us grow our own fresh produce in our raised garden beds and glass house and have regular market days on the village lawns to help us share and sell it. We’ll nurture small farm animals like piglets and orphan lambs in season, keep chickens for eggs and bees for honey, and we’ll welcome children and family to come and enjoy them with us.”

A breakthrough in retirement living
Arvida has also put a lot of effort into the Living Well Centre’s external areas with a gardener helping to grow fresh produce in raised garden beds and a glass house.

The project has been challenging, but with smart design around efficiency of floor spaces, Arvida has made the numbers stack up. Living Well Park Lane has received a lot of interest from the public.
“We are aiming at the age group of 65 plus, and the market are showing a lot of interest in a slightly different lifestyle and apartment living. There’s a change in the wind.”
“At Arvida we believe living a full and satisfying life post-retirement is key to living healthier, happier and longer. The philosophy behind Living Well is that life shouldn’t stop when you retire – it should get even better,” he says.
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