houghton le spring urgent & primary care

The new facility put health and wellbeing at the forefront of the local community. It provides a one-stop shop for a variety of healthcare and leisure services. The healthcare facilities include a 24-bed rehabilitation unit, an illness and injuries unit; physiotherapy, treatment, diagnostics and planned care suites; café and meeting rooms. Leisure amenities include new dance and wellness studios and a MUGA (multi-use games area).

Key Successes

  • The first ever BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ healthcare facility
  • Unique thermal wall maintains constant temperature
  • Innovative ventilation system – a first for the NHS
  • Annual energy bills – 38% lower than a standard health building
  • 82% of the subcontract value within a 15 mile radius of site
  • 96% of all construction waste diverted from landfill
  • BUILDING BETTER HEALTH AWARD 2012 ‘WINNER’- Best Innovation in Sustainability
  • GREENBUILD AWARDS 2012 FINALIST – Greenbuild Magazine Awards

“We were determined to complete an exemplar Primary Care Centre at Houghton and wanted the scheme to reinforce the ambitious sustainability targets set out in our sustainability strategy and management plan. We hope the work at Houghton will help other NHS organisations achieve similar low carbon buildings.”
Karen Straughair Chief Executive, NHS South of Tyne & Wear

an innovative building

The building is planned and laid out to make getting around quicker, easier and more comfortable for staff, patients and visitors alike. The design team tracked the route of all visitors and staff that would use the building to ensure the space was efficient to navigate. We adopted a number of ‘lean’ principles, one of which was dual-sided cupboards to the consulting rooms, reducing the amount of storage space required elsewhere in the building.

a community facility

Part of the thinking behind combining health, community services and leisure was to ‘de-stigmatise’ the building’s medical function. It was important to ensure local people welcomed it and felt involved with its construction. We held consultation events with the local community before we started building, to find out what they thought of the plans. As we moved to the building stage we kept everyone up-to-date with what we were doing.
Stakeholders learnt about environmental aspects, work on site and the importance of safety in construction, with messaging tailored to the age groups and needs of visitors. Community gardens and footpaths were created as part of Houghton: ideal for prescription gardening for patients as well as providing an area to relax and exercise.

Customer: NHS South of Tyne & Wear
Contractor: Willmott Dixon
Value: £20 million

Find out more about Willmott Dixon here.

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