Media Release; Oakfield Lodge; Connecting Care with the Environment

30 March 2016

Keeping you connected to the life you love; the vision for the state of the art aged care facility in the heart of Mount Barker, a growing Adelaide Hills region, started back in 2014 with a development brief of “Connecting Care with the Environment”, in that, the development contributes to a sustainable community which is attractive to residents, visitors and the surrounding community.

Named Oaklfield Lodge, the new facility eases demand for aged care services in this Adelaide Hills region, including residential accommodation and overnight respite services, and long term will become a major contributor to the social and economic success of the overall Mount Barker community. It is worth noting, post construction phase, this important development has already created more than 100 jobs for registered and enrolled nurses, care workers, hotel services staff, administration, lifestyle, allied health, maintenance and other support staff.

With construction of the $25 million, 80 beds Residential Aged Care Centre complete, new residents are moving in; several local retired farmers excited by the possibility of living in a facility which included the outdoor areas – such as the large water tanks; chicken sheds, aviary, walking trails, sun terraces, and raised garden beds.

The result is a ‘State Of The Art’ Aged Care Facility for Southern Cross Care (SA&NT) which continues to exceed expectations within the Aged Care sector. For example, the resident rooms and leisure areas have been created within a winged design to allow for as much natural light and ventilation penetration as possible and allowing for views to be captured from most vantage points.

Southern Cross certainly has a landmark project there and this will definitely set a new standard for the area.  I thank you on behalf of my team for allowing us to inspect this site.” Christopher O’Grady who is the Major Projects and Property Executive at Eldercare

The basic intent for the new development was to provide an attractive new home for residents, an efficient staff work environment for a high operational standard, and an appropriate street-scape and public image. It was project managed by Southern Cross Care capital works staff and built under budget and on time within the planned 14 months, despite losing 40 days to inclement weather. 

It adopted environmentally friendly design principles, being built in accordance with best practice in sustainable development, using innovation in thinking for overcoming development complexities and constraints, with the aim of setting a new benchmark in residential aged care design. Considerations such as the building services moving from a typical roof positioning and being placed in the loading bay area, enables the ease of access for long term maintenance and creating less disruptions to residents and staff.

The team planned a building to respond to the seasons and to use local materials, recovered materials and a design cognisant of the local environment, to provide a connection between the residents and the local history and heritage. This process was used right throughout, even down to the naming of the building as Oakfield, as this was the name of the Farm that the property originally formed part of. The three wings picked up names of people of local and prominent interest, ie Dumas, Gallasch, and Howard.

The design is divided over two levels, allowing access to the majority of shared services on Ground Level, where most of bed places are located. The Lower Ground Floor is specifically designed for residents requiring Memory Support. All resident rooms have private en-suite facilities and an outlook to external garden areas. The centre includes multi-functional activity spaces, café facilities, hairdresser, meeting rooms, dual lifts access, a large cooking kitchen, laundry, staff areas and on site car parking. An Allied Health component is also included.

A full list of the environmentally friendly design principles and specifications are available on request.

Further details of the location are available on our website, here: