May 28, 2017 Last Updated 9:00 AM, May 26, 2017

A healthy outlook for health centres

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Stephen Anderson, Head of the Aluminium Division at CMS Window Systems, discusses the impact of three new purpose-built North Lanarkshire health centres on the communities which rely on them.

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A collaborative approach to creating new Scottish healthcare facilities has transformed access to health services for people across North Lanarkshire, and has demonstrated how local communities can reap expansive benefits when locally-based, sustainably-focused supply chain partners are appointed.

With research by health economists demonstrating that, with appropriate support from the NHS and the Scottish Government, there is enormous potential for health improvement in Glasgow and the wider area, the construction of a trio of new healthcare centres offering a range of vital and complementary services was deemed to be of great value to the North Lanarkshire community.

With this in mind, hub South West Scotland led the campaign to deliver the new centres, as part of a £48m investment programme funded by the Scottish Government. Appointed by main contractor GRAHAM, and working to designs by Reiach & Hall Architects, CMS was contracted to manufacture and install aluminium windows, doors and curtain walling for the three facilities.

Community benefits

The scope of works completed at the three North Lanarkshire sites has arguably revolutionised healthcare provision in the area, with sophisticated medical facilities allowing patients to be treated more quickly and efficiently than ever before.

A key topic in the design and specification process was how to encourage local residents to reap the benefits of the health centres. CMS’ experience with public sector projects was especially valuable here: designs prioritising light, bright interiors, with a focus on natural light and intelligently-chosen glazing solutions, helped to create a more sympathetic medical environment, making going to the doctor a more pleasant experience for patients.

Cost savings and speed of delivery were additional benefits of the funding model for the works programme. With the financial backing of hub South West Scotland, NHS Lanarkshire and the Scottish government, the three individual health centres could be grouped together into one revenue-financed hub Scotland project. This allowed construction to start much earlier than would have been possible if the client had sought traditional capital funding for the programme.

Specification

CMS provided a variety of building envelope elements for the health centres, using thermally broken aluminium systems from Metal Technology and thermally efficient sealed units made from Saint-Gobain Glass products. With structural mullions and outer frames, as well as bespoke thermal isolators and foam profiles, these specifications ensured the finished complexes would benefit from the optimal combination of thermal comfort, energy efficiency, longevity and excellent visual appeal.

Designed as ‘stick’ systems, the Metal Technology curtain walling systems were transported to the sites as prepared components before being assembled and installed onsite. This helped to minimise disruption to the community during the construction process, as well as reducing lead times.

Houldsworth Centre, Wishaw

The new £23m Houldsworth Centre in Wishaw is a three and five-storey complex providing NHS healthcare facilities alongside North Lanarkshire Council’s new housing office and library, a shop and cafe. Centrally located at the heart of the community, the building replaces the former Wishaw Health Centre and Wishaw Library.

CMS manufactured and installed all the aluminium curtain walling and side-hung windows for this contemporary building, specifying curtain walling from Metal Technology’s System 5-35Hi and System 5-20 ranges to create the external glazing and the five-storey internal atrium, with a focus on thermal consistency and maximising natural light.

Community Health Centre, Kilsyth

In nearby Kilsyth, CMS worked alongside GRAHAM to provide aluminium curtain walling, windows and doors for the town’s new Community Health Centre. This £7.8m facility is around twice the size of the health centre it replaced in the town, representing a step change in the quality of the healthcare facilities and services available to patients locally.

Featuring an enclosed two-storey courtyard and internal atrium specified and glazed by CMS, the features of the Community Health Centre work together to maximise natural daylight within the building.

Hunter Health Centre, East Kilbride

The third new medical centre built as part of the project is the £17m Hunter Health Centre in East Kilbride. Home to six GP practices, as well as a dental surgery and a variety of other medical services, the 6300m2 facility features a large glazed central atrium space, intended to create a calming atmosphere and maximise natural light within the building. CMS played a key role in creating the four-storey building’s envelope, installing thermally efficient units to regulate its internal temperature.

A healthy outlook

With works completed in mid-2015, all health centres are now open and operating. The positive effects of the clinics on the local communities cannot be underestimated; Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said of the project: “It is important that people across Scotland have access to the best health facilities. That is why we are investing hundreds of millions in infrastructure to ensure both staff and patients can work and be treated in the best possible surroundings.”

CMS was delighted to be involved with these healthcare building projects: they are hugely important to the communities around us, in which many of the CMS team and their families live. It was extremely pleasing to have secured the contract from GRAHAM to be part of this building programme, an appointment which contributes to CMS’ business success and ensures that the business can continue to provide more local jobs and apprenticeships.

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