St. Michael’s Braintree Hospital

St. Michael’s Braintree Hospital

United Kingdom

This project involved the construction of a new build community hospital in the Essex town of Braintree.

The two-story building has been designed for the growing number of residents in the rural area and surrounding towns. The hospital consists of in-patient accommodation for day surgery, two operating theatres, two endoscopy treatment areas, and general consultation spaces. Provision of outpatient specialist therapy units includes 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 building to help develop a sense of community that could be used by patients, visitors, and staff.

Combining well-being with sustainability goals, Introba (formerly Elementa Consulting) 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, while the large windows also provide substantial levels of natural ventilation throughout the building. Patient comfort needed not to be undermined by this, i.e., by overheating in the summer. To overcome this, Introba’s design included fan coil units that locked the temperature at 25°C, therefore only operating once the temperature exceeded this level. Having a set point a couple of degrees higher than the standard 21-22°C reduced the use of mechanical services, and the hospital was able to save on running costs, minimizing energy use.

The client aimed to target BREEAM Excellent rating 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, and other low-energy strategies.

As a private financial investment hospital, communication has been key in this project, with Introba interacting with multiple stakeholders. A good level of communication provided a strong relationship with the client and a growing one that continues. Introba continues to be involved in educating users of the building so a clear understanding of how systems and services work is explained effectively.