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Houghton-le-Spring Primary Care Centre

Location Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
Services Civil, structural and geotechnical engineering
Sector Healthcare
Client NHS South of Tyne and Wear
Architect P&HS Architects

Gordon Reid

T +44 (0)191 213 1515

This new-build primary care centre is a combination of health and social care facilities linked to an existing sports and leisure facility. SOTW’s aspiration was for this project to become an exemplary site for low carbon construction technologies. Houghton Primary Care Centre was the first healthcare project to achieve a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating.

The new care centre accommodates GP practices, a minor injuries walk-in centre, planned care and diagnostics suite, minor surgery treatment centre and a 24-bed rehabilitation unit. The structural design was carried out to Health Technical Memorandum 08-01. The requirements for the ward areas were fulfilled by taking vibration into account, thus ensuring patient comfort during recuperation.

A number of structural changes to the building helped to reduce the energy consumption on the building. Pre-cast concrete soffits have been incorporated into the design to contribute to the building’s thermal mass. A below ground structural plenum passively pre-cools air in the summer and warms in winter. A thermal wall along the spine of the building circulates the air from the plenum throughout the internal space. We worked closely with Breathing Buildings, a specialist design company at Cambridge University, to achieve this innovative solution.

Externally, the roof was designed to support a green roof to encourage local biodiversity. Sustainable Urban Drainage Solutions (SUDS) reduce run-off from the site by using attenuation draining outflows.

  • BREEAM Awards (2012), Healthcare, Winner
  • Constructing Excellence in the North East, The Legacy Award, Sustainability
  • Building Better Healthcare Awards 2012 - Innovation in Sustainability
  • The National Constructing Excellence Awards 2012, The Legacy Award, Sustainability