The Acorn consortium, led by developer and investor, Kajima, has submitted detailed plans for the new Velindre Cancer Centre in South Wales, which Kajima says will be ‘the UK’s most sustainable hospital’.
The consortium was appointed following a public procurement process run by Velindre University NHS Trust, and includes Sacyr, Abrdn, Andrew Scott, Kier Facilities Services, White Arkitekter, Arup, MJ Medical, Turley, Studio Response, Camlins Landscape Architects, Osborne Clarke, Operis, and Confab Lab. Acorn says its plans will see the construction of ‘an elegant and sustainable’ new cancer centre designed by healthcare architects, White Arkitekter for patients, staff, and the local community, with ‘an exceptional landscape and community benefits solution’.
To deliver the scheme, Acorn has submitted a Reserved Matters planning application, which includes details such as building design and landscaping plans, for Cardiff Council’s approval. Richard Coe, Project director at Kajima, said: “We are really pleased to have submitted detailed plans for the Velindre Cancer Centre, which is set to become the UK’s most sustainable hospital. The buildings are designed with circular economy principles, using low-carbon materials, to have a minimal impact on the surrounding countryside. Our plans are the result of close collaboration with the Trust, its staff and patients.”
The design and landscape strategy aim to keep the site as wild as possible, by retaining existing habitats, and creating new ones, alongside new landscape spaces such as an orchard and community kitchen garden. The scheme also seeks to create informal play areas and ‘a multitude of walking, cycling and relaxation areas’. Patients and visitors will arrive through the entrances directly into the ‘Lolfa’ (Welsh for ‘The Lounge’), which Acorn says will provide a welcoming atmosphere for patients and visitors.
The new cancer centre is being developed to comply with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, and to deliver the UK’s most sustainable hospital.
The design approach to façades means that internal spaces can be easily reconfigured without the need for costly structural alterations. The design also utilises low embodied carbon, bio-based materials that support a circular economy – including timber specified for the Lolfa, Radiotherapy, and waiting areas. Natural internal materials such as lime and clay renders which are breathable, flexible, and anti-fungal are also proposed.
The new Velindre Cancer Centre will achieve a minimum BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’, is designed to be all electric, and a strategy is in place to reduce site waste through offsite manufacture of components, thus minimising transportation, and creating greater efficiencies in the building’s construction and maintenance.
Sustainable urban drainage systems will be integrated that focus on ‘roof to river’, with minimal below ground pipes, a swale network, and retention pond.
A ‘community benefits offer’, meanwhile, will see many jobs created, apprentices trained, school pupils engaged, and ‘substantial community initiatives and engagement’.