Avondzon becomes Belgium’s leading residential care centre equipped with Halio smart glazing.
Controlling natural light is absolutely vital, as it has such a profound impact on our health and well-being. Research has shown that exposure to daylight has an extremely positive impact on human beings.
Since natural light is so critical to our well-being, healthcare centres do well to reap its benefits. This makes it more important than ever to incorporate exposure to natural light into their design in order to help patients recover faster.
With this in mind, in a Belgian first, healthcare provider Avondzon deliberately decided to equip its facilities with Halio, the world’s most advanced natural light management system. This major innovation will enable its residential care facility to not only foster its residents’ wellbeing by optimising the experience of their stay, but also to improve the working conditions for staff while at the same time optimising the building’s energy efficiency.
Avondzon selects Halio technology to help it deliver healthcare
Avondzon’s first residential care centre opened in Erpe-Mere on 18 November 1978. At the time it had just 70 beds. But after steady growth, today the centre has around 160 beds for residents and 90 assisted living units.
In 2017, recognising an urgent need for renovation, an upgrade to its dated infrastructure was launched to bring it in line with constantly changing standards and quality requirements. The result? In 2019, a new wing opened, providing 73 modern, spacious rooms, all of which open onto a central meeting area.
Light was a key consideration when designing Avondzon’s new wing. The elderly need three to five times as much light as younger people because a lack of light stimuli can disrupt our biological clock. Furthermore, studies have shown that daylight positively impacts individuals’ health and general wellbeing.
«Light can play a decisive role in preventing falls. Residents feel better, are more cheerful and fall less. These positive behavioural effects can lead to them taking less medication, such as sleeping pills», explains Katrien Thysebaerdt, General Manager at Avondzon.
The centre’s carers, too, find that working in an environment full of natural light delivers benefits: stimulating the mind and imposing less of a strain on their eyes. Additionally, having full control of the daylight also makes residents more confident about their mobility, allowing them to comfortably participate in daily activities, which reduces the staff workload.
A second key principle in the design of Avondzon’s expansion was the creation of a common area. Stimulating social interaction between elderly people is important for combating angst and loneliness. The creation of a central meeting area has had a positive effect on interpersonal relationships and encourages residents to move around and get some daily exercise. Its Halio skylight means residents enjoy the benefits of natural light all day long, without having to deal with the constant fluctuation of outside temperatures.
«Thanks to its smart glass system, Halio International has established itself as the ideal solution for achieving more light and space, two factors that significantly improve our quality of life, both for our residents and staff», says Karel Thysebaerdt at project manager KTCC.
More than just glass, Halio glass is smart and dynamic.
In its neutral state, it is colourless and looks just like conventional glass. It transmits 65% of natural light and has a colour rendering index of 97%, but can tint to block out up to 98% of natural light and up to 95% of solar heat – all in less than three minutes. This is faster than any other glass system on the market.
«Halio’s algorithm enables users to automatically manage how much natural light and heat enter a room and thus provide optimal comfort for a building’s occupants without shutting them off from the outside world», says Benoît Domercq, Halio’s General Manager for Europe and the Middle East.
Halio’s dynamic system is the future of facades. Modern facades adjust automatically, incorporating dynamic solar protection and providing perfect thermal insulation, while at the same time delivering natural light and sporting a sleek design.
Halio’s highly automated cloud-based system enables occupants to actively manage light levels via an app using a wireless interface. Seamlessly integrating into building management and home automation systems, this connected system is always up to date and capable of adapting to technological advances.
A European standard on the benefits of natural light in indoor spaces
For years now, extensive research has been carried out on how people – well beyond the healthcare sector – are affected by exposure to daylight.
Based on the latest findings in this area, standard EN 17037 (published in 2018) sets out a series of recommendations concerning the provision of daylight for interior spaces. It also covers the problems associated with the limited or lack of access to views to the outside world, exposure to sunlight and glare prevention.
The intelligent light-control systems of smart-tinting glass-like Halio provides a very important contribution to the modern management of natural light.
Before Halio’s technology was installed, its technical department worked closely with the client and project manager to ensure that the glass and electronics would be properly integrated into the architecture of the new building.«For the Avondzon project, the glass was installed in just two weeks thanks to joint planning and coordination between the facade builder Forzon, the installer of electronic equipment Megavolt, and Halio» says Amhed Serhane, Project Manager Halio.
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