The South Lakes Birth Centre is the brand-new Maternity Unit at Furness General Hospital. It has been built to replace the existing Maternity Unity which was originally constructed in 1984. Clinical practice and technology have moved on significantly in the past 30 years, and the facilities therefore needed to be significantly upgraded in order to provide the best possible care for visitors. The project began in September 2015 and took 15 months to complete.
On this prestigious healthcare development, MAC Roofing were selected to install a complete external cladding system, including specially coated 4mm Alucobond Panels along with ‘secret fix’ architectural aluminium soffits and column covers. This dynamic, modern and aesthetically pleasing rainscreen façade system was specially manufactured by JWD Architectural Aluminium.
One of the main challenges faced during manufacture and installation was the sheer size of the cladding panels. Each modular weighed in at 128 kg, representing some of the largest that can be produced in the UK. In addition, health and safety was a key priority as the project was taking place adjacent to a live working hospital. In order to ensure the safety of all patients, staff and visitors, diversions were put in place on surrounding footpaths and roads whilst the works were carried out, allowing full access to all parts of the hospital at all times.
One of the building’s stand out features is the side elevation which incorporates an innovative ‘architectural crease’, created using the PVDF finish from the Alucobond panels. In addition, the characteristics of this specially manufactured finish enable the panels to look many different colours depending on the angle of the light, and this effect is further accentuated by the ‘architectural crease’ design. Both the client (Vinci) and the hospital were extremely happy with the completed project.