It’s what you don’t see that counts

Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2023

When Brightwater’s new multi-purpose building in Inglewood opened in mid 2022, there was a lot to celebrate.

It was the first time that our corporate and research staff had been brought together with residential aged care clients under the same roof.

Brightwater Chief Executive Officer Catherine Stoddart says it is a concept that has been years in the making.

“We began with a vision to bring together the people we care for and the people who support that work, across corporate, training and research divisions.

“We wanted corporate staff to see elders being cared for right next to them.”

Brightwater Central is a three-storey building that sits in harmony alongside our established residential aged care home, The Village.

The ground floor houses the new Head Office and the world-class Brightwater Research Centre while the floors above are occupied by our new 128-bed aged care facility, Brightwater Inglewood.

Like many of our homes, Brightwater Inglewood is designed as a collection of small house communities, with 16 residents in each house sharing their own living areas including a kitchen and outdoor spaces.

Catherine says it has been exciting to see the result of this carefully planned project.

“We are delighted with just how well the holistic design for this innovative building has come together.”

In overseeing the design and construction phases, Project Director Adam Roebuck was committed to one thing.

“It's absolutely about resident wellness, staff wellness and creating opportunities for everyone to have really good environments in which to flourish,” he adds.

“I wanted people to feel comfortable, calm, safe and secure.”

With the needs of clients, staff and visitors at the centre of decision-making, the building has been designed to harness the latest in technology and sustainability.

It is a truly smart building, whose occupants and users will probably never be aware of the innovation operating behind the scenes to make it a better place to be living and working.

A smart building

The systems used to bring the new building to life work to support Brightwater staff, residents and visitors in three main ways: Clinical, operational and comfort/lifestyle.

Brightwater Inglewood has been fitted with one of the most advanced nurse call systems in Australia.

Nurse call systems are the primary means of communication between residents and carers, and this new system makes it easier for staff to care for residents around the clock. With the resident’s permission, staff are able to monitor each person individually as they move around their room and building, which leads to a safer living environment.

State-of-the-art heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems operate across all areas of the building. Each morning, the ventilation operates a flush cycle, expelling stale air that has built up overnight and replacing it with clean air. 

In the event of an infection outbreak, this can be done at a greater rate. The system brings in fresh air at double the rate set by Australian standards, increasing comfort and air health across all office and residential areas.

The operation of the building is automated and enabled through a state-of-the-art building management system. This is designed to ensure economical and efficient use of energy and water.

Internal lights are energy saving LEDs. These are managed through the system to ensure they are at the appropriate level of illumination for each area’s needs, across administration, training and aged care.

Solar panels on the gabled roof will provide over 22 per cent of the building’s electricity requirements. 

Water efficient fittings throughout will ensure water saving of around 60 per cent across the building and the waterwise gardens are beautiful and have low environmental impact.

Even during the construction phase, there was an emphasis on minimising environmental impact with an average 97 per cent re-use of all waste.

Committed to our clients

While the advanced features and systems are undoubtedly a highlight of Brightwater’s newest addition, the caring and commitment of the many people involved in bringing it to life is no less significant.

According to Adam, even the smallest decisions were made knowing they could have a big impact.

“The architect and the design team understood that the residents need a perfect view out to the window from their bed,” he says. “Hence we have floor to ceiling windows everywhere.”

Since the first sod was turned on the site in January 2021, there has been a mammoth effort by more than 2500 contractors and others to bring this project to fruition. Their commitment has impressed Adam.

“What you don't see is the millions of hours that have been poured into this building by people who absolutely care about our elders. That's what I feel most proud about.”

The result is a new centre for Brightwater’s operations that fits seamlessly into the landscape of today, while providing the space and inspiration for the next 50 years or more of innovation and care for the seniors of tomorrow.

For Catherine it is a proud time.

“Not only is this an exciting and innovative building, it’s also a place that reminds us on a daily basis of why we are here; to provide service in support of our core function of caring.”