St. Michael’s Braintree Hospital

This project involved the construction of a new build community hospital in the Essex town of Braintree. The 2 storey building has been designed to fulfill the need for the growing number of residents in the rural area and surrounding towns. The hospital consists of inpatient accommodation for day surgery, 2 operating theatres, 2 endoscopy treatment areas as well as general consultation spaces. Provision of outpatient specialist therapy units include physiotherapy, podiatry, speech and language, elective surgery and minor surgery facilities. Diagnostics include X-ray and endoscopy, urgent care incorporating a Rapid Assessment Unit, rehabilitation facilities and in-patient accommodation.

An open cafe and seating area was created on the ground floor of the build to help create a sense of community that could be used by patients, visitors and staff.

Combining well being with sustainability goals, Elementa worked closely with the architect to implement large open-able windows with views of green spaces wherever possible. This was designed to improve patient well being and induce a quiet, calming environment whilst the large windows also providing strong levels of natural ventilation throughout the building. It was important that patient comfort was not undermined by this, i.e by overheating in the summer. To overcome this, Elementa’s design included fan coil units which locked the temperature at 25 degrees, therefore only operating once the temperature exceeded this level. By having the set point a couple of degrees higher than the standard 21/22 degrees, this reduced the use of mechanical services and therefore the hospital was able to save on running costs, minimising energy use.

The client aimed to target BREEAM Excellent for the scheme which was achieved by implementing a range of sustainable solutions including variable speed drives, heat pumps, air handling units, PVs, LED lighting as well as other low energy strategies.

As a Private Financial Investment hospital, communication has been key on this project, with Elementa interacting with multiple stakeholders. A good level of communication not only provided a strong relationship with the client but a growing one that continues. Elementa continue to be involved in educating users of the building so a clear understanding of how systems/services work are explained effectively.

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