It's got to workGeorge Gaduzo
In the course of my surveying duties I get to visit a number of NHS facilities located across the country. I find new and old, some in a poor condition due to age and neglect and others that are more recent constructions but no less defect free.
Recently visited a health care center that was built approx 2-3 years ago. Looked great on the outside but step inside and one quickly became aware of issues that seriously let the building as a whole down.
The problem was predominantly to do with ventilation and heat.
The weather outside was hot for the time of year, 9th Sept, and it was a cloudless sky.
Inside there were areas that were unbearably hot, creating a work environment that one couldn’t wait to escape from. Staff were complaining, optimistically asking me if I was there to sort out the issues, and pleading for air conditioning. What they were really asking for was comfort cooling.
It’s not good enough for a building to look great, it has to be great and work internally as well as externally.
It should provide a comfortable environment conducive to work and it should not have to rely on mechanical means to achieve this. More intelligent use of passive ventilation, and much better insulation to improve the buildings thermal properties are key.
My experience has certainly altered my opinions on the true measure of a good building design and the value of having an excellent building services design team should not be underestimated.