Glan Clwyd Hospital, Denbighshire, North Wales

Glan Clwyd Hospital, Denbighshire, North Wales

Contractor: Wynne Construction
Type of works: Kingspan Optimo flat-wall panels used in construction of NHS Medical Training Facility and Cardiac Facility.

Kingspan Optimo, the ultra-flat wall panel from Kingspan Insulated Panels, is meeting the requirements of a modern clinical environment at a new NHS Medical Training Facility and Cardiac Facility in Wales.

Kingspan Optimo insulated wall panels in White were used to part-clad the new North Wales Clinical School and Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory at Glan Clwyd Hospital, a Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust facility. 

The Clinical School element of the new building is part of the £12.5 million Welsh Assembly-backed capital investment programme for health training in Wales, which should be training 360 medical undergraduates each year by 2010 and will include enhanced teaching, library, residential and outpatient facilities across three NHS Trusts in North Wales.

The three-storey steel-frame building, which houses the North Wales Clinical School on the first floor and the keenly awaited Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory at ground level, was built by Wynne Construction, who recommended Kingspan panels for the cladding of the building.

Chris Wynne, Managing Director of Wynne Construction, says: “This application of the Kingspan product was especially important in relation to value, quality, durability and aesthetics. We instigated a change in specification in favour of the Optimo panel because the product reflects the requirements of the modern clinical environment. The result was fantastic.”

Kingspan Optimo™ has an ultra-flat finish, achieved with a hidden joint detail that conceals fasteners, allowing the panel to deliver a clean, smooth and aesthetically appealing modern solution.

Aesthetics aside, the system, in common with other Kingspan insulated panel systems, is the product of meticulous research and development, which has produced a high-performance composite pre-engineered product that can meet rigorous fire safety standards, an important consideration for a healthcare facility. 

There are approximately 6,000 fires a year in NHS premises and fire safety is one of the most demanding design considerations for construction of new NHS buildings. Crucially, the Kingspan Optimo™ panels meet stringent NHS requirements for fire safety. They are insurer approved for FIREsafe Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) and Factory Mutual (FM) specifications, with a Class 0 rating, as defined by The Building Regulations. Firewall specifications to provide fire resistance ratings to BS 476:Part 22:1987 are also available on request from Kingspan envirocare Technical Services.

Because the Kingspan panelling system is a single component, with single-fix installation, it can also reduce build time by up to 50%.

Chris Wynne, Managing Director of Wynne Construction, has acknowledged this was an advantage. He says: “The facilities at Glan Clwyd demanded detailed co-ordination and integration of complex services, including system controls, heating and cooling systems, ventilation, medical gases, and mechanical and electrical installations. The use of the Kingspan composite sheet enabled a high-quality, aesthetically pleasing solution to the problem of meeting a very tight programme that demanded early completion of the building envelope.”

Kingspan Optimo™ is made from non-deleterious materials and meets NHS standards for energy efficiency and sustainability. The panels are entirely CFC/HCFC-free with 100% reliable thermal performance and insulation continuity, a low air leakage rating of 5m3/h/m2 and guaranteed U value life cycle. Their overall life expectancy is 40 years or more, with up to 25 years to first maintenance. They are BS EN IS0 9002 approved and fully comply with Part L2A and B (England & Wales), Section 6 (Scotland) and Part F (Northern Ireland) Building Regulations. 

It is hoped that the North Wales Clinical School will make a valuable contribution to the long-term workforce needs of the NHS in Wales by helping Welsh students to undertake an important part of their training in the locality and to remain in the area after graduating. An expansion to the services being offered within the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory is already being planned, in order to provide a comprehensive cardiac service within North Wales and avoid the need for patients to travel to other centres in the North West.

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