Northern General Hospital, Sheffield

The first of its type in the UK, this state-of-the-art two-storey care unit is one of Europe’s largest Critical Care Departments and was built in Sheffield at a cost of £20m.

Granada Secondary Glazing helped to provide hygienic and effective noise insulation from the busy streets beneath, but also met with the construction company and Sheffield architect to enhance the unit still further.

Dr Stelios Michael, Consultant Anaesthetist at the Northern General Hospital said it was important that the design was both spacious and provided a calm atmosphere. In addition to the peace and comfort provided by secondary glazing on the outer windows, blocking out excess traffic noise and helping to maintain a constant temperature, Granada also helped to provide a unique solution for enhanced privacy.

The unit’s individual bays are for the care of patients in critical need, up to 36 of the sickest in the hospital. The construction of the care unit placed great emphasis on allowing natural light in wherever possible, but in the event of a medical emergency, a fast method of providing privacy was needed.

Electrically charged ‘blink glass’ installed in the secondary glazing applications between the bays instantly changes from clear to opaque at the press of a button. In effect, the system provides an encapsulated and hygienic blind that patents are able to control, with nurses also able to have visibility from their work stations.

The screen also attracted the attention of the department of health, which used the installation when promoting innovation to over 100 healthcare professionals, industry representatives and innovators of healthcare devices, services and research.

Granada Secondary Glazing has since gone on to provide the same solution to the nearby Sheffield Children’s Hospital in Broomhill.