Alder Hey Children’s Hospital: PEFC-certified timber helps to heal
13 October 2023 Construction
PEFC-certified timber stars in a landmark healthcare project for Alder Hey children's hospital in Liverpool, UK, helping to create a unique space for healing.
While hospitals in the UK and beyond typically appear cold and institutional, Alder Hey hospital breaks with this appearance with the sensitive and creative use of engineered timber in its two newest buildings Catkin Centre and Sunflower House.
Contact with nature is understood to improve health, reduce stress, enhance quality of life and aid the recovery of those with mental health or behavioural issues.
The new twin buildings surround landscaped courtyards with consulting rooms, bedrooms and play spaces.
The specialist children’s mental health unit and outpatient unit have been designed with the biophilic benefits of timber centre stage.
The healthcare sector is paying closer attention to the holistic aspect of healing and creating spaces that promote health and recovery through carefully selected surroundings.
Using mass timber also allows the material to take a more prominent role in the aesthetic of the building and deliver its biophilic benefits.
By choosing PEFC-certified timber for their construction, B&K Structures (BKS) and lead architect Cullinan Studio ensured that the health benefits for patients are not to the detriment of forest health.
“Alder Hey’s design decisions were shaped by concern for reducing stress and promoting positive effects on health and wellbeing,” said Beth Roper, BKS Marketing Manager.
“PEFC-certified CLT and glulam were selected for their biophilic benefits and natural visual appeal, whilst maintaining affordability for the National Health Service (NHS). The responsible management of our supply chain ensures the timber used will be replaced by new growth in just two minutes and 26 seconds, and at the end of the building’s life the structure will be relatively easy to dismantle and recycle, contributing to a circular economy,” she continued.
“BKS were delighted to design, supply and install the structural timber elements for this landmark healthcare campus which has become a possible blueprint for future NHS developments.”
Photo credits: Alder Hey Children's Hospital