Albion Road Clinic is an NHS clinic located in North Shields, Tyneside, operated by North Tyneside Primary Care Trust. The clinic comprises a two storey development providing consultation/treatment spaces, local day and palliative care, dental surgeries and administrative space.
As a refurbishment project, the scheme focused on improving and upgrading the internal spaces and building services.
Department of Health requirements state that all new build and refurbishment projects within the NHS estate must use BREEAM to assess their environmental performance. New build projects are required to achieve an ‘Excellent’ rating and refurbishment projects are required to achieve a ‘Very Good’ rating. Albion Road Clinic is the first building to achieve full certification under BREEAM Healthcare and meet this requirement.
The building’s ageing boiler plant was replaced with a high efficiency, low NOx emission system.
As a relatively small clinic, most internal areas achieved good natural lighting and views out. Zoned lighting, thermal controls and blinds were used to maximise occupant control and ensure a comfortable internal environmental for the building’s users.
The provision of a new Building Management System with pulsed energy meters allow full monitoring and control of all floor plates and major energy consuming plant in the building.
A travel plan was produced for the development by the client, highlighting the access links to the site by both local bus and metro services. A travel information board was provided for staff and visitors plus the connections to provide a real-time information service in the future.
New water efficient sanitary fittings will reduce potable water consumption and are controlled by a sanitary shut-off system with proximity infra-red detection to minimise water consumption arising from future, potential, leaks.
For the limited amount of new internal wall construction, responsibly sourced materials were used, for which the manufacturing processes were ISO14001-compliant.
The development relies on a natural ventilation strategy, so no refrigerant based systems were used. This in turn ensures that the building will make no additional contribution to climate change through refrigerant emissions to the atmosphere.
A score of over 75% was achieved in the Pollution, Waste and Materials categories. In addition, a number of innovation credits were targeted to meet exemplary level requirements in the Materials and Waste sections.
High efficiency, low NOx emission boilers were installed as part of the refurbishment works. These will ensure improved energy efficiency and lower pollution throughout the life cycle of the building compared to standard equivalents.
The other key part of the servicing strategy for the clinic was to utilise natural ventilation and therefore avoid the need for mechanical cooling or mechanical ventilation. This again benefits the energy performance of the building, resulting in lower operational CO2 emissions.
The decision to refurbish the existing Albion Road Clinic rather than building a new clinic is in itself one of the ‘greenest’ aspects of the completed project. The benefits of refurbishment over new-build are recognised under various sections of BREEAM, including the reuse of materials, minimal construction waste and reuse of land. In particular, this refurbishment strategy resulted in all 4 credits plus the ‘exemplary level’ credit for construction site waste being achieved.
By choosing a natural ventilation strategy for the clinic, several credits were achieved in the Pollution section for avoiding the use of refrigerants. This strategy also contributed to the achievement of a number of credits in the Energy section for improved efficiency compared to a mechanically ventilated or air conditioned building. The provision of a Building Management System connected to energy sub-meters also contributed to several credits in the Energy section.
“We always work hard to make sure that our projects are completed to the highest standard and so for BREEAM to award the Albion Road refurbishment a ‘Very Good’ rating and hold it up as a model of best practice is excellent. We are looking forward to similar rating levels for our other schemes.”
“The Department congratulates the Project Team for having the commitment to apply the BREEAM Healthcare approach to their refurbishment project and the vision to understand the benefits that can be derived not only now but in the longer term. The effort and work involved, at every level from the Project Team and at every stage in the process, to achieve the required score rating is not underestimated. But, successes like Albion Road Clinic justify the Department's, and the Trust's, faith and perseverence in BREEAM Healthcare, and its role in ensuring the sustainable future of the physical environments for care necessary to meet the health and wellbeing of our communities in the years ahead."
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