In the shadow of a cliff face, the new Alltwen Community Hospital, which has received so much interest for its high sustainability and association with the natural environment, is aptly located on the edge of Snowdonia National Park. Providing 30 beds, and outpatients department, minor injuries, radiology and a mental health centre.
The construction was no small project. The hospital site, which was previously used as a rail interchange and ironstone mine, took almost three years to complete,
following extensive consultation process with local interest groups. Sustainability was a key consideration for Nightingale Associates throughout the planning stages in order to create an exemplary hospital for the 21st Century. The impact of the building in terms of energy use, emissions, transport and social considerations was minimised as much as possible and the sustainability was a further factor when choosing materials, insulation and the design of the heating system.
The Community Hospital features a flat ‘living’ roof, of low growing plants, which help to reduce internal heat loss in winter, but will also keep the building cool in summer. An internal winter garden with natural outdoor elements brought inside, were complimented by the interior design elements. The internal areas were designed to meet new space standards set by the NHS, and to reflect the commitment of the North West Wales NHS Trust to provide a high quality patient environment.
The Community Hospital, winner of two international Green Apple Awards, for demonstrating environmental best practice, benefited from the installation of nora® rubber floorcoverings. The project was also a nominee for best community care design, in Building Better Healthcare Awards. The objectives of the venture were maintained by the associated principles of the floorcoverings of nora®. noraplan® signa was installed throughout the project which is made from high-grade industrial and natural rubber qualities along with minerals from natural sources as well as environmentally compatible colouring pigments. nora® floorcoverings contain no PVC, plasticizers (phthalates) and halogens (e.g. chlorine), making them ideal for Alltwen Hospital, and many other healthcare projects worldwide.
noraplan® floorcoverings are the first resilient floorcoverings to be awarded the outstanding eco-label (UZ120) “Blue Angel“ as “particularly low-emission“ floorcoverings. This excellent emission behaviour is owed to the selected raw materials of the highest quality. Raw materials are the basis for a future-orientated eco-compatibility and all environmental qualities as well as the entire product life cycle have to be considered. noraplan® 913 floorcoverings have been certified under BRE Certification’s scheme for Environmental Profiles of construction products. The Eco-point scores achieved as part of the certification process give an ‘A’ rating (best possible) from the “Green Guide to Specification”.
Further to the sustainable requirements of the floor covering for Alltwen Hospital, nora® floorcoverings were required to provide outstanding hygiene criteria for the healthcare environment. nora® floorings are easiliy and economically cleaned without any necessity for coatings. The extremely dense surface of noraplan® and norament® enable fast and easy cleaning, eliminating costly cleaning methods. The simplicity of cleaning coupled with the permanence of the product ensure that life cycle cost of nora® is significantly lower than many alternative floorcoverings, making them an ideal choice for many health care installations.
Alltwen Hospital is an extraordinary example of how sustainable design can be visually appealing and sympathetic to its environment with the use of nora® rubber floorcoverings.