This is the award entry for Bourn Hall IVF Clinic, Wickford , entered by The Healthcare Property Company in the Primary Care (New Build) category
Forty years ago IVF was born at Bourn Hall Clinic's (BHC) Cambridge headquarters.
BHC sees private and NHS-funded patients across its six locations in East Anglia, including at its new purpose-built, standalone full-service clinic in Wickford, developed by The Healthcare Property Company (HPC).
HPC brought together an experienced, innovative team of design and construction specialists to develop a high-specification facility which meets the exacting requirements of BHC.
The clinic comprises two floors with a mix of administration, consulting rooms, treatment rooms, patient recovery, changing rooms, a state-of-the-art embryology laboratory and cryogenic store.
The ground floor is used for car parking, loading and storage. And further car parking is at the back of the site, accessed through the ground-floor undercroft. The three floors and undercroft cover 1,400 sq m.
IVF clinics require clean-controlled laboratories and rooms with the highest standards of air quality, temperature control and cleanliness to operate successfully.
Another key requirement was the need to minimise vibration to prevent impact to activities undertaken in the embryology laboratory.
A concrete frame was used to minimise general vibration, and pressure pads will be applied to equipment in the clean areas. Optimising the workflow (patients, staff, materials and waste streams) in the building is key in order to comply with current guidelines for IVF units.
The Wickford clinic offers a supportive and welcoming environment for patients and staff.
Bourn Hall envisaged a space where people can come at any stage of their fertility journey. It feels more like a wellness centre than a clinical hospital and puts people at ease about visiting an IVF clinic.
The relaxing and supportive environment can encourage people to seek treatment earlier, when their fertility issues are easier to resolve.
The process can be an emotional rollercoaster so aftercare and counselling are as essential.
The clinic opened in April 2018 and its layout has already received high praise from patients, staff, the local medical community and other stakeholders.
The majority of heating and cooling is provided by high-efficiency air conditioning units, fed by external condensers.
These condensers have a 4:1 energy ratio, so for every unit of energy they consume, they create four times the amount to serve the building's heating and cooling requirements.
Hot water to the building is provided by a Mitsubishi Electric HydroBox. And a Building Management System offers front-end user-friendly feedback to ensure better monitoring of energy usage.
Most of the building has smart LED light fittings, providing highly-efficient lighting, and sensor lighting.
A Thorlux Smart System uses the latest digital technology to provide lighting control, which minimises energy consumption.
HPC recently undertook research via the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority website looking into the premises of all operators authorised to provide IVF treatment.
The findings indicate that the Wickford clinic may be the only purpose-built, standalone full-service fertility clinic in the UK.
This is the first time that BHC has commissioned a new-build and it is anticipated that it will form a blueprint for Bourn Hall's future clinics.