Located in Wilton, County Cork, the new two storey Adult Acute Mental Health Building at the Cork University Hospital included 50-bed units for in-patient treatments. The overall development incorporated the Passive Design Strategy, designed to support and complement the architectural concepts while delivering a safe, comfortable and sustainable environment for the building users.
The new state-of-the-art facility replaced the outmoded GF ward at Cork University Hospital which had been the subject of repeated criticism by the Mental Health Commission. The completed design of the building incorporated a combination of single sided single ope, single sided twin ope natural ventilation strategies to provide a secure, comprehensive, integrated solution. The services were carefully incorporated with the architectural design to provide a comprehensive solution that met the client’s requirements with minimal environmental impact while providing a safe, healthy and comfortable environment for the patients and staff. The ventilation systems (both natural & mechanical) were designed to ensure sufficient fresh air for the occupants and accurate temperature control. The lighting systems, combined with the natural daylighting and shading, were designed to ensure excellent task and general lighting while minimising glare and for external lighting minimising light pollution. Mechanical extract systems were also provided where necessary to effectively capture and remove odours and vapours generated by the building activities.
While the building presented different challenges during the course of construction, the resulting design combined a mixture of sustainable technologies and solutions including extensive use of natural ventilation and day lighting and high efficiency heating, cooling and lighting systems to create a pleasant, modern and secure treatment facility that also allowed for significant maintenance cost savings.