Bradford Hospitals in Landmark Climate Change Study
How Bradford’s hospital buildings react to climate change is forming part of a multi-million pound landmark design and engineering study being led by Cambridge University.
The Design and Delivery of Robust Hospital Environments in a Changing Climate (De2RHECC) project is investigating new economical and practical strategies into how we can increase our resilience to climate change while at the same time meeting the stringent carbon reduction targets over the next decade.
The scheme’s findings could have far-reaching national and international significance according to the Trust’s Deputy Director of Estates, Ian Hinitt.
Ian, who is the Trust’s representative for the scheme, said: “The research is taking place over three years and will assist the international healthcare community to adapt and redesign hospital buildings to better withstand the world’s changing climate.”
“Bradford is exceptional as both the Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital sites have seen continuous development and expansion since the 1930s. Our buildings cover every kind of architecture and design decade over that period, so all the theories can be tested on one site – making us ideal participants as researchers can examine the impact of climate change on our buildings.”
“We expect the findings will be of utmost importance to architects across the UK and indeed further afield. This type and length of study has never been carried out and it could have huge ramifications for those tasked with designing new buildings in the future.”
Data from the estates’ weather station is being reported back to Cambridge on a daily basis and centre sensors measuring temperature, daylight and humidity situated on the wards and throughout the Trust are being monitored and downloaded frequently. The data is allowing a comprehensive understanding of how the buildings perform now. Their performance in the future is being modelled, and possible refurbishment strategies will be designed accordingly. These strategies will aim to reduce energy use and save money whilst also being resilient to extremes of hot and cold weather.
A film about the project is also due to begin filming in Bradford in April.
Ian added: “This project will assist detailed site redevelopment strategies to be devised and the potential barriers to their implementation considered along with our other business objectives.”
Bradford is collaborating with other Trusts taking part in the study, including West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.
The multi-disciplinary project team is headed by Professor Alan Short of the University of Cambridge Architecture department who has considerable experience in healthcare design research. Other research partners include the University of Leeds, Loughborough University, the Open University and the Engineering Design Centre.
The study is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council with support from the Department of Health.