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Construction specialist Willmott Dixon has unveiled the future of local health at the BRE Innovation Park in Watford, with a building designed to show what a community health centre of the future could look like.
As a top ten health sector contractor, the company has developed the Willmott Dixon Community Healthcare Campus to give the health industry a valuable insight into what the patient experience could be at a local level in the next 20 years. With an ageing population, the way we currently deliver healthcare will no longer be viable and there will be a real need for more localised care to help people manage increasingly complex medical conditions in their own home.
Willmott Dixon and partner Primary Asset are also using the facility to demonstrate different ways of designing and building in line with the NHS 2018 zero-carbon building targets.
At the heart of the building’s mechanical services is an M2M Maxi control system from Mitsubishi Electric which acts as a mini-BMES, controlling all of the heating, cooling, ventilation and power generation for the centre.
“The building incorporates passively ventilated consulting rooms, comfort heating and cooling, and a Lossnay RX5 heat recovery system and these all need an accurate control system to work efficiently together,” explained Jonathan Leyland, of Mitsubishi Electric’s Corporate Operations Division, which is responsible for maintaining the relationship with Willmott Dixon.
“We have also installed an array of photovoltaic panels on the roof of the centre which will generate around 11 per cent of the electricity required,” he added. Mitsubishi Electric recently launched a new PV system in the UK and this is the first installation to demonstrate its efficiency and effectiveness.
In addition to a covered roof terrace that incorporates a healthy food growing area, the building features a reception area incorporating a smartcard system that links to patients’ online records, an outdoor fitness area and a pharmacy of the future. The medical centre has been built by transforming the original ‘Re-Thinking School’ built by Willmott Dixon in 2007 to point the way towards the educational establishments of tomorrow. The new healthcare centre will be open for visits for the next two years.
“We’ve worked with contractor N G Bailey to help redesign the centre’s services so that they can achieve the year-round comfortable and stress-free climate needed to put patients at their ease, whilst ensuring that the building is as energy efficient as possible,” added Leyland.
The M2M control system is the first of its kind in the air conditioning industry to come with the unique ability to monitor other systems within a building. It offers a relatively low-cost solution for premises without Ethernet connections or with security networks and firewalls. Heating, cooling and ventilation are major energy consumers in modern buildings but we must have them to meet legislation on air quality and internal temperatures as well as match the demands of modern life.
“When a building introduces different systems, there is a danger that they can work against each other and this is where the M2M comes into its own as it allows the centre’s staff to closely monitor energy use and accurately control the building’s facilities in harmony,” ended Leyland.