Sustainable Building Awards 2017

20 BUILD / Sustainable Building Awards 2017 , Best Healthcare Architecture Firm - UK Nicorna Healthcare is a CIAT registered architecture practice that specialises wholly in the design of healthcare facilities both in the UK and abroad. We invited Founder James Carrick to tell us more about the firmand its recent achievements. Nicorna Healthcare was formed in 2005 by James Carrick, a Chartered Architectural Technologist, after working many years in private architectural practices designing all types of facilities eventually specialising in healthcare. The firm’s clients are mostly NHS Trusts, with Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust the biggest UK client, incorporating ENGIE Buildings Limited who carry out lifecycle and variation projects on the PFI site. James discusses the company’s most recent venture. “Nicorna’s main project base is the provision of new facilities within existing building spaces to lessen the impact on the surrounding environment by reconfiguring and adapting existing space to create more efficient functioning facilities within an existing estate infrastructure. “One such recent example saw a need for the rapid expansion of Central Manchester’s A&E department to increase and improve the number of resuscitation beds to cater for the unprecedented rise in A&E attendances. Initially the existing resus department was to be reconfigured and expanded however this would have meant temporary accommodation and disruption to the existing department including works to existing life support systems.” In every project and every industry, there will always be challenges and issues that companies must overcome. Observing that the firm did face some difficult encounters on this particular project, James details how the company dealt with these potentially challenging issues and overcame them. “There was also a proposal to have a modular solution however this was deemed too expensive and not sustainable due to difficulties in offloading the building at its end of use due to changes in regulations and subsequent adaptations to make the structure compliant for reuse. An area immediately adjacent to the department was identified which was an existing single storey building used for Medical Engineering R&D workshops predominately as a storage area. By reconfiguring the existing Medical Engineering department to be more efficient in their remaining space freed up the R&D space for redevelopment. “Due to the existing space only being used for storage and its age, there was no thermal insulation properties and consequential improvements included replacement and increasing the thermal properties of the roof insulation and installing composite insulated flooring. The footprint was not quite adequate to house all of the ancillary spaces and pods were required to be constructed to extend the building along with a new link corridor linking the new space with the existing A&E department.” James is keen to point out that the materials used in the project were recyclable and locally sourced in order to reduce travel distances for deliveries, whilst also aiding and reducing energy costs. “These pods were constructed in timber frame rather than SU170013 traditional brick and block cavity wall construction which also allowed for increased thermal properties and recycling of materials at the buildings end of life. Materials, where possible, were specified where the manufacturer had a recycling policy in place and locally sourced to reduce travel distances for deliveries. “Nicorna is a big supporter of sustainable design and construction and has been