Innovative design approach to NHS Mental Healthcare facility achieves BREEAM Excellent

This new mental healthcare facility is being procured using the NEC form of contract as part of the NHS Framework for the client NHS Dumfries and Galloway.

Dumfries Web 3 BRE Group

BREEAM Excellent (74.3%)
BREEAM 2008 – Healthcare
Architect: ArchialNORR
Project Managers: Laing O’Rourke
Structural Engineer: WSP Buildings
Assessor Company: Arup

About the Building

Dumfries and Galloway Acute Mental Health Unit, now known as Midpark Hospital, is NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s mental health facility for in-patient care. Opened in 2012 it replaced the accommodation previously provided by Crichton Royal Hospital. It provides a modern, stable and secure environment for patients requiring specialist care. The hospital has six wards and 85 beds.

Sarah Jane Stewart, Arup says, “BREEAM certification ensured that the development was design to provide high levels of daylighting and natural ventilation and a low carbon energy solution. The first being essential for the health, wellbeing and treatment of the patients and the second keeping utility and maintenance costs and carbon emissions low for the client / owner occupier.”

Green Strategy

This new mental healthcare facility is being procured using the NEC form of contract as part of the NHS Framework for the client NHS Dumfries and Galloway. Arup are a preferred supply chain partner for the Laing O’Rourke team. With the early involvement of a contractor, the project team has been able to explore suitable pre-fabrication applications.

This approach will reduce on-site activities and drive quality. The project has achieved the BREEAM Excellent Rating at Design Stage. Arup is the BREEAM assessor for the project and have been able to take a pro-active approach to the assessment process.

In order to achieve the project’s sustainable objectives Arup has developed natural ventilation and daylighting strategies. Our expertise in modelling has enabled these approaches to be successfully delivered.

The project uses a district energy system fuelled by biomass for heating and domestic hot water production. As a result the project has achieved an Energy Performance Certificate A rating, placing it in the top 1% of NHS Scotland properties for energy performance.

Environmental Features

The innovative pre-fabricated structure designed specifically for this building played a major part in reducing the construction waste produced on the project.

A unique anti-ligature window included in the naturally ventilated windows – specified and installed by Laing O’Rourke – allowed all patient areas to be naturally ventilated, with wind catchers installed for internal areas, in order to reduce carbon emissions.

The high levels of daylighting and views out into the gardens and landscape, help to optimise the health and wellbeing of all patients and staff. There is evidence that the quality and quantity of light have major impacts on human body. In a healthcare facility, patients, visitors, and staff are mostly exposed to artificial light.

Low water use appliances and energy and water sub-metering have been installed.

The Low Carbon District heating system uses biomass to provide heating and hot water via the in site buffer vessels fed by the district heating heat exchangers in the plant room.

Future Plans

The innovative pre-fabricated structure designed for this building and the innovative design of all window for security and natural ventilation are both fully replicable for future projects, as is the approach to providing high levels of daylighting and views out to the landscape and the gardens.

Three years’ development work in conjunction with window manufacturers and Laing O’Rourke has resulted in a unique anti-ligature window, included in the naturally ventilated windows specified and installed by Laing O’Rourke for this project.

The specially designed AA 3110 Healthcare Solution window maximises natural light and ventilation while minimising the risk of self-harming for patients. It is a horizontal sliding window with full anti-ligature features. An extremely versatile system, it is available in three security levels and can be adapted to the requirements of individual clients. An aesthetically pleasing window, it is designed to withstand severe and sustained attack from various objects, enabling the AA 3110 to meet the demands of all NHS mental health security and ventilation needs, thus optimising patient safety and reducing carbon emissions.

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