Taranaki Hospital Renal Unit
The Renal Unit at Taranaki Base Hospital has been designed to focus on the holistic shift in managing the wellbeing of dialysis patients and their families.
Built to maximise sea views and feel more like a clinic or retreat than a hospital the renal unit creates an optimal environment for patient wellbeing and recovery. Natural daylight, external views and openable windows offer a sense of lightness, hope, relaxation, and access to nature. Privacy and acoustic performance have been carefully considered to ensure a quiet and comfortable space.
The new unit will have 12 dialysis chairs, as well as two home dialysis training rooms to promote and support independent self-care in the community. A special treatment room will enable after hours self-care for pre-arranged dialysis patients, including those visiting from other districts.
The design considers Māori and Pasifika patients with inclusive and welcoming design features developed in collaboration with local iwi and Tihei design consultancy.
Sustainable design was a key factor from the outset. Our client asked for a fit-for-purpose, value for money, environmentally responsible building. The building form and orientation was driven by passive design principles to minimise energy demand. Splitting the building into two wings optimises passive solar gain. This is supplemented by sustainable services design, the inclusion of solar PV panels and best practice post-occupancy strategies for energy management and building tuning. This project is now set to be the first healthcare building in New Zealand to achieve Zero Energy certification - a leading, internationally recognised environmental certification provided via the International Living Future Institute.
Responding to the nature and location of its site, the building is situated across a natural valley, spanning the gap between a residential zone and hospital property. Locally and sustainably sourced timber piles and PLT (parallel laminated timber) panels form a bridge structure, enabling a single level design, accessible to both patients (from the street) and staff (from the hospital).