Kent & Medway Medical School Canterbury, Higher Education Building, Architecture Images
Kent & Medway Medical School in Canterbury
6 Jan 2021
Kent & Medway Medical School
Architects: Hazle McCormack Young LLP
Location: Canterbury, Kent, Southeast England
Three storey University building to accommodate a new Medway Medical School in Kent, UK. The building provides teaching facilities and staff accommodation for 300 students.
What was the brief?
The new Kent & Medway Medical School (KMMS) is a partnership between the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University. It will be Kent’s first medical school, bringing together the existing centres of excellence in health and medical education provided by the two universities as well as local healthcare organisations, thereby offering a new model of patient-focused medical education. The Medical School will also be an essential part of the solution to recruiting and retaining medical professionals in the region.
Having received funding in the summer of 2018 the University of Kent had to provide a new building on its Canterbury Campus to deliver courses from September 2020. The Pears Building as it has been named accommodates a 150-seat lecture theatre, specialist seminar spaces, simulated GP surgery suite and staff accommodation. Specialist practical teaching facilities are accommodated at the Canterbury Christ Church University campus in their new Science & Engineering
Key requirements of the brief are that the building should support future adaptation and change, that (to cater for the particular needs of visitors with disabilities) it be ‘super accessible’ and that it should achieve a BREEAME ‘Excellent’ rating.
What building methods were used?
The building is constructed with a Hybrid of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panel floors/roof/staircase walls and a steel frame with lightweight steel framing infill. CLT was also used to construct the staircases which resolved access to each floor and the roof for the contractor during construction.
This methodology enabled the building to be made watertight early on in construction. Brickwork consists of brick slips bonded to insulation panels which does not require teams of skilled bricklayers as the traditional method would require and the system improves airtightness and thermal performance.
What are the sustainability features?
Low energy consumption is integral to the design of the building through natural ventilation, PV panels, good daylighting and a highly insulated airtight external envelope. The building is designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.
The use of off-site manufacture using cross laminated timber panels for floors, stair core walls and roof reduced the amount of concrete required in the building and its carbon footprint.
Roof mounted windcatchers provide ventilation to the first floor seminar rooms (via vertical ducting through the second floor) as well as the second floor meeting rooms and break out space. Night time cooling is supported through the provision of external louvres in the ground
floor administration and meeting rooms and the first-floor seminar rooms, break out, group room and resources rooms.
How is the project unique?
The Kent & Medway Medical School will play an essential part in the recruitment and retention of medical professionals in the region, helping to address the national and local shortage of medical staff. The current Pandemic has highlighted the need for such a facility and its inherent flexibility will enable the University to meet the current and future demands of the healthcare profession.
What were the key challenges?
The University had to deliver the building within 22 months from appointment of HMY. This required a co-ordinated design team effort and from HMY’s appointment in October 2018 we had submitted a full planning application in early 2019.
New Model of Education
The building design had to develop alongside the client team establishing the course curriculum. This required a proactive approach to changes during the project and informed the choice of construction.
The team had to deal with the nationwide lockdown in March 2020 but the course starting date remained unchanged. The use of off-site construction enabled the building to be weathertight early. There were some delays in obtaining materials for example external cladding but the watertight shell enabled the interiors to be pushed forward. The project was completed on time and defect free.
The proposed site for the KMMS Building is at the heart of the campus and on a constrained site. In addition, there were a number of underground services and features that had to be relocated ahead of construction starting on the building.
What were the solutions?
A limitation on height to three stories combined with the close proximity of the adjoining single storey workshops and an objective to minimise the loss of existing trees constrained the new building to a simple orthogonal footprint.
The main entrance has been located on the north/east corner of the building adjacent to the existing pedestrian footpaths. The existing slope across the site from east to west has been utilised to provide a lower ground floor level to the lecture theatre to accommodate the height required for the raked seating.
The disposition of the required accommodation within the three-storey volume informs the façade design, each element expressive of the different uses within. The ground floor takes the form of a massive brick clad plinth from which the two stair cores extend to roof level. In contrast the upper floors of accommodation are expressed as a contrasting volume. The articulation of the massing is further informed by the idea of a ‘skin’ wrapping the building’s inner workings.
The University appointed Willmott Dixon Construction through the SCAPE Procurement Framework to deliver the building and HMY worked closely with their team learning the lessons from previous projects with the University. This enabled a rapid start on site for enabling works and for the off-site procurement and manufacture of the structure using a hybrid of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels and a steel frame with lightweight steel frame infill.
The CLT provides an exposed timber soffit within rooms which contrasts with the suspended acoustic rafts, lighting and encased steel frame. All services are concealed within a raised access floor and rooms are created with dry lining partitioning. This solution creates spaces that could be adapted during construction to meet the evolving brief and in the future.
Kent & Medway Medical School in Canterbury, England – Building Information
Architect and Principal Designer: Hazle McCormack Young LLP
Structural & Civil Engineer: Lyons O’Neill
Mechancial & Electrical Consultants: Westec Engineering Ltd
Principal Contractor: Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd
Project size: 2365 sqm
Site size: 2135 sqm
Project Budget: $10000000
Completion date: 2020
Building levels: 3
Key products used:
B&K Structures – cross laminated timber floors, roof and walls
IKO plc – roofing system
Velux – rooflights
Bilco – roof access hatches
Kingspan Insulation – external walls
Metsec SFS infill panels – external walls
Gebrick Insulating Brick System – brick cladding
Eternit Equitone Natura – rainscreen cladding
IKO plc – roof system
British Gypsum – dry lining & suspended ceilings
Rockfon – demountable suspended ceilings
Kawneer – windows, doors & curtain qalling
John Watson Joinery Ltd – internal doors
Planet Partitioning glazed screens
Ezyglide sliding folding partitions
Kingspan – raised access floors
Cemex – screeded floors
Milliken – carpet tiles
Interface – modular vinyl sheet flooring and carpet tiles
Tarkett – vinyl flooring
Howdens Joinery – kitchens
Venesta IPS duct panels
Sanitaryware Armitage Shanks/Ideal Standard
Heatrae Sadia – electric water heaters
Honeywell – BMS
Johnson Controls – access control
MK Electric – electrical accessories
Marley Plumbing & Drainage Solutions – above and below ground drainage
Mitsubishi Electric Europe – air conditioning
NuAire Ltd – extract fans
Schneider Electric Ltd – distribution boards
Solar UK – PV system
Static Systems – fire alarm
Thorlux – luminaires
Photography: Gordon Young
Kent & Medway Medical School, Canterbury images / information received 060121
Location: Canterbury, Kent, England, UK
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