The Blue Bell Health Centre was designed and developed by our Director Roger Burton working together with the client, Renova, the various users and the design and construction team.  Conceived in 2006, the ambition was for a scheme which would set exemplary standards of low energy use and sustainability.

Applying PassivHaus principles, the scheme responds with a highly insulated thermally heavyweight structure combined with night time, controlled and secure ventilation using a mechanical ventilation system,  responding to its location on a noisy dual carriageway and busy road junction and the need for both audible comfort, privacy and security due to the specific use of the scheme.

Thermal modelling of the scheme predicts a class leading total energy requirement of only a fifth of the target maximum requirement of such building types,  equivalent to a carbon output of just 13.6 KgCO2/m2annum for a building which will be intensively used over 3600 annual operating hours.

Understanding how our buildings perform in practice is important to nvirohaus and funding has been secured from the Technology Strategy Board to monitor the scheme over two years.  Information gained will enable the performance of the scheme to be optimised with lessons learnt shared with the wider industry.  In the first year the systems have been the subject of intense monitoring and scrutiny and the initial feedback is that the set up and commissioning was not achieving the predicted performance.  Much of that has now been corrected and the performance is moving towards that predicted at the design stage.

Overall, the building performs well with a high level of user satisfaction.  The recent BUS (Building User Satisfaction) Survey revealed that ‘again Bluebell scores highly (92nd percentile). The maximum score of seven was the most commonly ticked value.  The completion rate is also high for this question.  Therefore, overall, occupants are comfortable in Bluebell.’

The project was one of the first to achieve BREEAM Healthcare ‘Excellent’ accreditation, gained the Community Health Partnerships Sustainability Award and was shortlisted for a RICS Design and Innovation Award (2012).

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