Craigavon Paediatric Hospital Exterior; Craigavon Paediatric Hospital Exterior;

Craigavon Area Hospital paediatric unit, Belfast

Designing a sustainable paediatric unit that puts children first

A welcoming and energy-efficient paediatric unit has been built within the grounds of Craigavon Area Hospital, as part of a series of upgrades to healthcare services for children and young people in Northern Ireland.

Arup’s mechanical and electrical engineers collaborated with Todd Architects to deliver a robust and efficient building services engineering design for Southern Health and Social Care Trust. As the project progressed, our sustainability consultants joined the team, providing particular support during the construction phase and playing a central role in the project’s success in achieving BREEAM Excellent accreditation.

The high-profile project was preceded by an Arup-led two-year programme of upgrades to the hospital’s mechanical and electrical services. This earlier work delivered the necessary additional capacity for the paediatric unit and its connection to the rest of the hospital.

Project Summary

19 single-occupancy bedrooms with a home-like atmosphere

72weekconstruction, on a fully-operational hospital site

Managing work on a live hospital site

One of the primary challenges facing the team was to develop a design that could be constructed with minimal disruption to the operations of the existing acute hospital. We worked closely with the hospital estate management team, providing them with detailed drawings and works timescales. We were able to complete challenging work without interruption to critical patient services thanks to our team’s comprehensive knowledge of the hospital’s existing services and our experience of working on other live hospital sites. Our contribution included early-stage services diversions and the redirection of electrical and mechanical supplies through existing hospital basements. The project’s construction phase lasted 18 months, with work delivered on time and on budget.

All the latest guidance on acute paediatric services recommends that children and young people are cared for in a child-friendly environment. The Arup team was able to design services that made a huge contribution to creating a new paediatric unit that is as welcoming and comfortable as possible for our patients and their families. ” Janet McConville Head of Planning, Southern Health and Social Care Trust

Creating a home-like atmosphere

The design team recognised the importance of creating an environment that would feel less clinical than a typical hospital ward and that would be as home-like as possible for children and their families. This prompted our mechanical and electrical engineers to design a building management system (BMS) that is as focused on patient comfort as it is on energy efficiency. The lighting scheme was designed to create a warm and comfortable space for young patients and their families, whilst still providing the necessary quality of light to allow staff to carry out their work. Our engineers introduced intelligent lighting controls in place of standard angle poise inspection lights and minimised the clinical atmosphere through automatic daylight dimming. The bedrooms feature bold colours and cater not only for patients but for families too. Fold-down beds are integrated into room furniture, enabling parents to stay overnight with their children.


Achieving BREEAM Excellent status

As BREEAM consultants for the project, sustainability was a key consideration for the team. The BMS contributed significantly to the building’s EPC rating of B and BREEAM Excellent accreditation. Thanks to a digital addressable lighting interface (DALI) system, we implemented intelligent lighting controls to allow hospital staff greater control over scene lighting throughout the ward. Scenes can be selected easily, to dim or brighten lighting without the need for manual switching of separate areas of the building. The DALI lighting system was designed in conjunction with photocells and passive infrared (PIR) sensors, which switch lights off when they are not needed, providing important energy savings. The Arup team worked with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust to demonstrate the lighting controls to hospital staff and to convince them of their ease of use as well as cost and energy-saving capabilities.

A cold-water flushing system was designed to maintain good water quality and to meet the requirements demanded of complex hospital water systems. The approach incorporates automated flushing valve technology and intelligent pipe routing to prevent water stagnation and the growth of harmful bacteria. Low water consumption fittings and automated showers and wash hand basins were installed throughout the ward, designed to run on a time-flow basis to reduce water usage.