- Environment & Infrastructure
- Strategic consulting
- Specialist consulting
- The Living City
- Happold Consulting
Part private, part public the Aldershot Centre for Health, the largest primary care health centre in the UK, is a perfect example of a complex healthcare building catering for the needs of a diverse range of patient groups - from nurses to surgeons, expectant mothers to military personnel. More of a one-stop polyclinic in its scope, our solution provided the engineering design for a facility which could house over 400 staff, see over 2,500 patients a day and sustain a quarter of a million overall users.
A key requirement of the design was to ensure that the centre was suitable for all its users and that they should feel welcome when they arrive.
On top of this the design needed to address the challenge site, located as it was in the centre of a steeply sloping, heavily wooded area, located midway between the city and the military garrison site. The design team needed innovative solutions to deliver the building to the scale needed to meet the needs of the patients, while ensuring the environment was protected as much as possible.
In addition to the needs of the patients and staff, Aldershot also needed to meet Government targets on carbon emissions.
The atrium’s bright and cheerful ambience is created by a roof lantern that allows daylight to flood the site right down to the lowest levels. It forms the calming ‘heart’ of the Centre, from which the wings extend - designed with future extensions to the hospital in mind. Demonstrating our integrated approach, we worked structural and services considerations into the same solution: the atrium both aids orientation and provides a fulcrum for the naturally ventilated floors above.
The design team transformed the challenge of the restrictive site into an advantage by locating the hospital entrance on the first floor, making the building appear smaller when approaching it from the front, and avoiding damage to the surrounding environment as much as possible. The clerestory glazing on the fifth floor of the building provides spectacular views across the town and adjacent army land, enhancing the building’s relationship with its surroundings.
Reducing carbon emissions was a key part of the design at Aldershot: with sustainability always at the forefront of our minds, we were the ideal team to help the client achieve their targets. The building fabric itself has been heavily insulated, keeping heat in, while heat recovery systems operate on all the necessary mechanical ventilation systems. An intelligent Building Management System ensures minimum energy waste by, for example, only allowing lights to come on when a room is occupied. The result is a hospital that sets standards on many levels, from demonstrating how a hospital can provide optimal facilities while keeping to stringent energy requirements, to the quality of the environment for patients to aid their recovery.
A truly unique Centre in terms of its size, scope and multiple stakeholder requirements, the Aldershot Centre for Health presents a shining example of our ability to visualise the bigger picture even in the smallest detail.