Millgrange Nursing Home

project scope: We were commissioned to design an elderly care facility in a unique rural setting with a range of accommodation types to suit a wide range of needs. The accommodation proposed includes, Independent living units with care, a nursing home/ residential care unit and an alzheimers care unit.

context: The nursing home element has been designed to foster links between the natural landscape and residents through a high degree of permeability, arrangement of single loaded corridors around landscaped courtyards and the integration of waste water and surface water solutions into the landscape design. Corridors in the accommodation blocks generally overlook internal landscaped courtyards and are broken up with regular break out/ social spaces with stunning views to the surrounding landscape. The careful balancing of the functional requirements of the brief and the sensitivities of the site result in a building which is almost 80 meters away at its closest point to existing adjacent buildings. Overlooking of adjacent buildings is avoided and the overall height of the building is below the ridge height of some of the adjacent domestic dwellings.

sustainability: The building has been designed to the impending Part L standards for non-domestic buildings, expected to require a 60% improvement on 2008 standards in line with the new NZeb standards which were signed into law in January 2017. Decentralised MVHR is being considered as part of a mixed mode ventilation strategy to ensure occupant comfort and health and is the preferred design solution to address the many health risks associated with centrally ventilated or poorly naturally ventilated facilities. The layout and shallow floor plans facilitated by the use of single loaded corridors bounding internal courtyards are ideal for promoting natural ventilation during the summer. The space heating solution for the building is proposed as a biomass boiler operating on wood-chip. This will also provide heating to meet the hot water requirements which will be augmented by 24 square meters of solar thermal panels. It is proposed that a wood chip boiler be used, as wood chip fuel is better value and more readily sourced with a developed supplier market. The space heating and hot water requirements are therefore met almost 100% by renewables.

design challenge: balancing the functional requirements of the brief with the sensitive nature of the site with protected views from the approach roads informed the low scale of the development and the material selection. Careful siting of the building using the existing topography to minimise the impact of the building on the adjacent residential development and a comprehensive landscaping proposal minimise the visual impact of the development.