Designing better mental healthcare facilities

Manchester multi-level inpatient unit part of wider Trust plans

Construction of one of the first multi-level inpatient mental health units in the north of England – the new 150-bedded Park House development at the North Manchester General Hospital site – is expected to start next January.

Gilling Dod Architects was appointed in 2019 to develop the design to replace the existing Park House facility as part of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s dormitory eradication programme. The new hospital – one of the first phases of a wider masterplan for the site – will incorporate seven adult acute wards, one older adult ward, a psychiatric intensive care unit, and a Section 136 unit, supported by off-ward therapy spaces, a gym, café, shop, offices, and staff welfare facilities.

Service-user and key stakeholder consultations have been 'integral to the design process', with a ‘variety of media’ – including online workshops and in-person exhibitions – each tailored to manage the COVID risk and lockdown status at the time. Each ward will have direct level access to its own garden spaces ‘regardless of level’. The building design utilises an existing step in site levels to manage to garden spaces.

The architects emphasise that ‘sustainability is at the heart of the new facility’ – it is designed to be able to operate as a Net Zero Carbon building, with no fossil fuels used in its heating. The embodied carbon of the construction is targeted to better the 2020 targets of the RIBA Sustainable Outcomes Guide. The scheme is also targeting BREEAM ‘Excellent’, and will harness using many Modern Methods of Construction (MMC).

The new Park House facility is scheduled for completion in early 2024.




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