A £40 million mental health facility in Greater Manchester has put Kingspan TEK building systems to good effect to create a building that is welcoming on the eye without detracting from its specialist requirements.
Located in the heart of Leigh, Wigan, Atherleigh Park is far from being a secluded institution; the hospital has been designed by AFL Architects to provide a positive and safe space for patients and staff, that both functionally and aesthetically seeks to engage with the local community.
When it opens this month, Atherleigh Park will be an integral part of Five Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s strategy to deliver world-class mental health, learning disability and community services for the Wigan borough.
Constructed by Kier Liverpool, the 3.9 hectare site will offer high quality inpatient services for adults suffering with mental ill-health; short-stay intermediate care for patients with dementia and memory conditions; and a specialist unit for older people with mental ill-health.
The building has a welcoming red-cedar clad entrance with tall windows to mimic the glazing of the local shops, containing a main reception, cafe and space for local charities and services.
In the first phase of the project which comprises the adult wards, entrance area, café and staff offices, 6,350 m2 of the Kingspan TEK Building System was installed as part of a hybrid structural frame.
The Kingspan TEK Building System panels form the structure of the single storey areas whilst a steel frame overclad system was fitted in the two-storey areas, with the Kingspan TEK Cladding Panel being used as infills.
The initial plans to use a lightweight steel option for the whole building were changed to the Kingspan TEK Building System, as Neil Milling from AFL explained: “During early design discussions, we reviewed a number of construction systems with Kier Liverpool. To meet the relatively short construction programme, we chose to use the Kingspan TEK Building System in order to maximise off-site construction and minimise installation time whilst also delivering excellent fabric performance.”
The 142 mm thick Kingspan TEK Building System and Kingspan TEK Cladding Panel installed at the hospital consist of an OSB/3 facing either side of a highly insulated core and can deliver U-values of 0.20 W/m2.K or better. The panels were pre-cut to the project’s specification and this bespoke approach, combined with the panelised system construction, allowed the construction team to establish a fast and predictable installation programme.
The Kingspan TEK Building System also offered additional structural benefits, as Jennifer McCaul, Assistant Design Manager at Kier Liverpool, said: “Being a mental health hospital, it is important that any mechanical and electrical services can be accessed and maintained outside of the patients’ rooms. Typically, you have designated routes for maintenance that require boarding or you have to find the joists. However, the spanning capabilities of the Kingspan TEK panels meant we could fit all of the services within the loft space, allowing easy access.”