A trend that the industry is currently seeing, is that of a growth in the construction and design of medical and healthcare facilities. In addition to this, these medical facilities are undertaking a green building process that is achieving huge advantages in patient care, monetary gain, and environmental preservation. Trending is a major industry reality. It’s only natural in a creative realm that from year to year, as innovation and technologies change and grow, trends will become almost viral in their ability to adapt and grow.
Joining the increasing ranks world-renowned green healthcare facilities such as London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital – with its exemplary green building practices – is the Melbourne Brain Centre, located at the University of Melbourne in Carlton. Built through a joint venture of Lyons Architects and Brookfield Multiplex, the project has this year been awarded a 5 Star Green Star rating – Education Design V1 by the Green Building Council of Australia.
The $160 million project was delivered three months ahead of schedule, boasting a wide range of design and environmental aspects over its ten storeys. With the accommodation capacity of 500 researchers from the Florey Neuroscience Institute, the Mental Health Institute and the University of Melbourne’s centre for Neuroscience. The Green Star rated educational and medicinal facilities include wet, dry, PC2 and PC3 laboratories in addition to clinical suites, facilities for animals, educational spaces, a 200-seat auditorium, and the Cunningham Dax Collection.
In addition to this, a bookstore, café and 480-staff workspace have also been provided.
In order to achieve this highly coveted environmentally responsible rating, green building practices were undertaken, particularly the acquisition of energy efficient façade materials. Precast concrete panels were used as the walls’ foundation, which efficiently and effectively reduces interior heat gain. Complimenting the highly-insulated wall materials are the double glazed glass windows and shading, with the addition of mixed-mode ventilation and openable windows; an obvious solution that is so often forgotten in modern commercial construction and design.
There is also the inclusion of a co-generation energy production, reducing the building’s carbon emissions by almost 50%.
Through simple yet effective measures like these, learning environments are able to become the greatest lesson in themselves. By innovation and intelligent problem solving, some of our most important environments are increasingly become some of our most sustainable.