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Case Study: Bespoke Balustrade and Privacy Solutions for Bayview Retirement Village

Unex Systems worked with the Peddlethorp team right from the preliminary design stage to provide balustrade and screening tailored to the needs of the Tauranga retirement village.

Peddlethorp was recently contracted by Oceania Healthcare to redevelop an existing retirement village into Bayview Retirement Village — a benchmark-quality aged care and retirement facility. Through clever medium density design, Bayview provides a broad range of homes for residents, from affordable villas, independent living apartments and luxury care suites, through to rest home and hospital care units.

Low maintenance and durability were key for the aged care facility, in addition to ensuring an attractive environment for the residents. “The longevity of materials is a big driver for us” says Tommy Cheng, Project Lead, Peddlethorp.

UNEX Postless Fin Balustrade.  Custom Aircon Aluminium Cover to Deck.

Stage one and two of the project involved construction of a 60-person care facility, and 71 independent living units.

With three new buildings (one building in stage one, and two interconnected buildings in stage two), with varying heights from two to four levels, smart balustrade and screening solutions were needed to ensure accessibility, safety and privacy.

The Peddlethorp team specified Unex Systems, confident in both the products and the level of service Unex could offer.

“Unex are an established supplier on the market, and when you think of balustrades you naturally think of Unex,” says Tommy.

“Their in-house design and engineering team are happy to work with you right from the preliminary design stage to come up with bespoke solutions.”

UNEX Fin Balustrade and Bespoke Design Assistance for Architects planning for Aged Care.

Balustrades were critical for safety at Bayview and were also a prominent design element, with some buildings featuring balconies across four storeys. “We were looking for both form and function,” says Tommy.

In total 120LM of Unex postless balustrade specified, with Finline Postless Balustrade used for decks and a ramp, and Topline Postless Fin Balustrade for retaining walls — all powder coated in Dulux Duratec Ironsand. In addition, bespoke aluminium pergolas featuring 150 x 50mm aluminium slats from Unex were designed for twelve of the apartments.

With privacy a major consideration, screening solutions formed another key part of the design. 74 bespoke Unex privacy screens in Dulux Duratec Ironsand were specified with Unex working with the structural engineer to resolve the challenge of fixing the screens discreetly.

The screens were fixed to decks using 90 x 25mm slats at a 45 degree angle — making for a challenging install, but one that was worth the effort.

The installers had to be careful to get them installed in the right direction — otherwise it would defeat the purpose of blocking views in each apartment balcony,” explains Tommy. “They did a good job on that.”

The screening helps tie together the overall design of the complex. “The full height metal screens on the balconies really helped us to establish a flow from north to south,” says Tommy. “They’ve become a feature when you walk into the village.”

Another bespoke feature were the 74 custom covers created by Unex to camouflage air conditioning units on balconies. The aluminium covers were supplied in the same finish as the screening to ensure a subtle solution.

“What Unex has detailed and fabricated for us tied in well with the full height metal screening,” says Tommy. “When you’re standing outside, you can’t see the units.”

And highlighting the range of design options Unex offers is an eye-catching 20m long bespoke pergola at the village’s entry which features posts in Ironsand, with 200 x 50mm timber-look slats powder coated in American Oak.

UNEX Wood Lookalike Powdercoat for Aluminium Pergola
By using powder coated aluminium, a stunning woodgrain finish could be achieved without compromising on durability.

Ultimately, Unex Systems balustrade and screening systems have helped to create visual flow and enhance the overall design by Peddlethorp, creating a safe and attractive home for residents.

The result has left the clients and the Peddlethorp team pleased, and the project has since won a Merit award under the Multi-Unit Residential category at the 2022 Property Council Awards.

This project highlights the advantages of working with Unex, and the support they are able to offer to architects right from the preliminary design stage, through to consent, fabrication and installation.

“I see real value in having that engagement with Unex,” says Tommy. “They work with you to come up with a bespoke solution and help you deliver your design.”

As published in the September 2022 edition of EBOSS NOW, a monthly digital newsletter by our friends at eBoss, Auckland's leading construction product database and specifier marketing agency.