Garden City Court in Letchworth Garden City is one of only three care homes in the UK certified under 2011 BREEAM, to achieve the highly-respected, internationally recognised environmental standard ‘BREEAM Excellent Rating’.
The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is an environmental standard that rates the sustainability of buildings, based on scores given against a wide range of areas including energy, transport, water, materials, and waste management. It aims to minimise environmental impact by ensuring sustainability best practices are in place while also lowering running costs through energy and water efficiency.
Manchester based Building Services Consultants REDS commented on the scheme stating; “The achievement under the 2011 BREEAM standard is a significantly more challenging attainment than under the previous 2008 Scheme”.
The 75-bed home designed by RDT Architects specifically to provide flexible living spaces within the building envelope that would enable residents to live as independently as possible is made up of five households. Each household benefits from having its own bedrooms, and open plan living space comprising an inviting dining area, lounge, relaxation areas and a central island style kitchen. All bedrooms are fully furnished and feature an en-suite with shower, flat screen televisions and telephone connection point. Wi-fi runs throughout the home to keep in touch with family and friends wherever they are.
The home also benefits from having the‘Quantum Care Plaza’ located in the centre of the home, which features a hair and beauty salon, shop, cinema room, and Best Friends Café where residents can sit and chat with friends and family over tea, coffee and cake.
ISG Building contractors completed the building works in October 2015.
Sustainable features at Garden City Court include the following: re-use of existing developed land rather than Greenfield development. Low energy design features including monitoring, external lighting, lifts, laundry, catering & IT equipment and clothes drying space. Low & zero carbon emission technologies installed include photovoltaic panels to the roof, combined heat and power and air-source heat pumps to achieve a near zero net carbon dioxide emissions. Minimising car use via provision of cyclist facilities, minimal car parking and a Green Travel Plan. Low water consumption through efficient sanitary specification, monitoring, leak detection and natural irrigation. Environmentally friendly main building materials specified throughout. Management of flood risk and surface water run-off. Ecologically friendly design with high levels of biodiversity. Best environmental practice for construction site management, waste and commissioning. Other features include high levels of occupier comfort, extensive operational recycling facilities and low light pollution.
Statement from Maria Ball, Chief Executive at Quantum Care: “I am pleased we chose to work with a project team at Garden City Court that is committed to building energy efficient and sustainable buildings. As an organisation we acknowledge it is our responsibility to reduce any environmental impact where possible in the communities surrounding our homes so this is great news for Quantum Care’s newest home.”