The ward is a long linear ‘pod’ sitting above the existing fracture clinic building and ambulance drop-off bay to the A&E department, forming a new entrance canopy to the hospital building and a strong external statement of the client’s aims. The interiors are a departure from the formality of a hospital ward, providing intimate, private and study areas and a large social area as well as beds for overnight visitors and concealing medical equipment in bespoke cabinetry. The ward forms part of the existing oncology unit, so integration was key to the success of the project in terms of design, construction and ongoing maintenance. While the brief was clear that the clinic should have a highly distinct feel internally and externally, it was vital that ongoing maintenance and lifecycle costs, which were to be borne by the hospital, would be within the budget for other parts of the facility.
At a design stage this necessitated reviewing materials and carefully balancing clinical needs, as well as short and long-term budgetry considerations. The hospital also stipulated that aside from a very brief rerouting of non-emergency ambulances, the A&E entrance and the fracture clinic immediately below the ward were to remain fully operational through the construction phases. We worked side-by-wide with the contractor and relevant hospital departments to develop a programme of works which would map the construction with staff and patients in situ and with minimal disruption. The M&E system has been designed to minimise energy consumption while providing an adaptable, comfortable and clinical environment.
BREEAM and NEAT assessments were not a requirement, however the selection of thermal equipment and design loads were tuned to anticipated uses to ensure the system operates at maximum efficiency.