Going Green in the Green Belt…February 3, 2012 11:41 am
Firstly…the final testimony to the success of this building rests with the occupiers who embarked on the journey for new premises;
“It is a wonderful building ….nothing but praise from the patients, the doctors and staff ecstatic. It must be very satisfying to see a set of drawings change into the real thing – and then see that it was all that was hoped for.”
– Alan Johnston – Senior Partner WWGP
What began with an open public procurement process came to a dramatic close in January 2012 with the handing over of the keys to The West Wirral Group Practice and NHS Wirral.
Through a rigorous site search process the team identified all sites that satisfied the development criteria. The final scoring of the sites determined that whilst still highly contentious, the former Warrens Nursery site was the most appropriate, if not the only one available.
Mindful that planning approval in the green belt can be highly elusive; there was no certainty that the proposals would be granted permission. During the initial stages brp worked closely with both Solicitors and a Barrister specialising in planning law to ensure as far as possible that the scheme minimised the physical, ecological and visual impact on the green belt in order to maximise the proposal’s chances of approval.
A truly sustainable proposal was developed incorperating numerous features to assist integrating the building into it’s context and minimise impact.
These include but are not restricted to;-
- Lowering of the building into the ground in order to maintain the silhouette of the broadleaf woodland backdrop.
- Incorporating rustic materials that would in time mellow and harmonise with the backdrop, including natural stonework, natural green oak cladding and a sedum planted roof.
- Creating connecting vehicular and pedestrian access routes in to the site that meander in order to obscure the building from beyond the site.
- Utilising and sympathetically adapting existing access points while disturbing the site boundary as little as possible.
- Surface water run-off facilitated through the green roof and permeable paving systems
- Swales and balancing features.
The design also embraces sustainable technology and design including:
- Passive natural ventilation
- Air tightness standards
- High thermal mass
- solar heating
The state of the art 2000+m2 medical surgery provides:-
- 14 GP Consulting Rooms
- 4 Nurse Consulting Rooms
- 3 Nurse Treatment Rooms
- Minor Procedures Suite
- A further 13 flexible and dedicated clinical rooms
- Health Education Room
- Community Nursing Team Base
- Staff accommodation.
The site its self, a former redundant horticultural facility, provides:
- 98 delicately considered car parking spaces
- Meadow grass and wild flower areas
- New formal planting areas
- Raised land features integrating the building into the site
The accommodation is arranged over two floors in order to minimise the overall footprint. The curved plan of the main building breaks down the scale externally. The use of two storey internal spaces with single storey eternal projections creates a light and airy feel to the building environment.
The central entrance, reception and waiting room have a strong external presence and from these central locations the three wings of accommodation radiate on both floors providing for short internal travel distances. The first floor waiting room is galleried over that on the ground floor providing an essential two-way link with reception.
In addition to the core architectural service provided by brp architects, brp environmental also provided sustainability guidance and BREEAM assessor services achieving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating in the process.
We feel that the end result is a credit to all concerned.
Categorised in: Architects Healthcare Milestone Opening
Comments are closed here.