Work on a three-storey, specialist training facility for those in the healthcare sector has now been completed at Nottingham Trent University’s (NTU) Clifton Campus.
The renovation of existing NTU buildings and the completion of a new building will serve as a base for the Institute of Health & Allied Professions, which offers a range of specialist courses such as adult and mental health nursing and paramedic science. The whole facility is focused on equipping the healthcare providers of the future with the knowledge and hands-on skills required for modern healthcare.
Leading independent property, construction, and infrastructure consultancy, Pick Everard provided architecture, interior design and principal design services from concept to completion, working with main contractor Henry Brothers during the construction period.
Devika Parmar, director of architecture at Pick Everard, said: “We are delighted to have provided services for such an important scheme for the university and its healthcare students. We won this project via a competition under the NTU consultancy framework, where we put forward our concept proposals to create a gateway building to the campus that would be visually striking, functional and inspirational for anyone hoping for a career within health services. We’re thrilled that the completed building aligns very closely with our original concept sketch.
“Blending our healthcare and HE knowledge, we designed a building that caters to nursing, paramedical, and other healthcare professionals. It accommodates a variety of clinical simulation spaces that support teaching, assessments, and learning opportunities.
“Underpinning our design approach was a modular grid and a simplicity in design to create flexibility and standardisation in space planning and construction delivery. Working closely with university stakeholders, we meticulously planned the building to meet user requirements and allow for new educational technologies to support the evolving learning demands.”
With flexibility of use in mind, multi-use spaces have the potential to provide students with fully immersive experiences. The new building also provides a welcoming gateway building to the campus with the external façade treatment and quality materials providing aesthetic interest.
One floor of the new development is dedicated to realistic simulated healthcare environments for the training of healthcare students. This includes hospital wards, consultations and counselling rooms and a mock flat for home and emergency care scenarios. Meanwhile, a further two floors provide office and flexible teaching space to accommodate creative learning approaches.
David Shaw, national design director at Pick Everard, said: “The architecture of the new development has been designed for maximum visual impact on arrival to the campus. We wanted to ensure this new addition to an evolving campus would be complimentary but also distinctive both externally and internally.
“The whole consultant team worked closely to deliver this project to ensure the architecture, interior design and engineering has been holistically considered. We were intent on combining the existing building into the project, with the atrium space connecting the refurbished and new accommodations to bring people together in a central collaboration space.
“With such unique requirements for its end use, this development provided room for a number of innovations to be adopted. This included the inclusion of virtual reality training spaces that completely immerse students into situational experiences, which is an incredibly valuable experience for their training.
“The pandemic has reaffirmed the need for training facilities like this to make sure that the healthcare professionals now and tomorrow have the best quality teaching experience possible. We very much look forward to seeing the building fully occupied by students and professionals and seeing them make the most of their new teaching spaces.”
Dr Anne Felton, head of the Institute of Health & Allied Professions at NTU’s School of Social Sciences, said: “We’re incredibly excited that our new teaching centre is now open. The courses we’re providing will directly increase the supply of professional qualified staff into the NHS and related services, as well as providing a dedicated facility to allow greater opportunities for Continuing Professional Development for existing health practitioners within the local area.
“The virtual reality training facilities that will provide students with fully immersive situational experiences are a demonstration of NTU’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of the learning experience, while the audio-visual recording equipment installed within the simulation suites will enable feedback and reflection on students’ performances, creating a truly modern learning experience.”
Ian Taylor, managing director at Henry Brothers Midlands, the contractor for the development, said: “It’s great to see this project reach completion and I look forward to seeing it full of students. Despite being a challenging project delivered during difficult times, I’m really pleased with how the whole team came together to deliver a great looking building for the university’s students and staff.”