Neonatal Unit stands the test of time in Architecture Today Awards

13 October 2022

|| Description: The new Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit at Bath's Royal United Hospital is an innovative project intended to be at the forefront of the development of neo-natal intensive care across the UK. The proposal consists of a single storey new-build extension and the refurbishment of the space occupied by the existing NICU facility. The new-build element accommodates the clinical, support and reception functions as a discreet but contemporary intervention between two existing buildings. The refurbished element comprises staff and parents’ facilities.
A pioneering holistic and therapeutic approach towards the new building will create a new low carbon unit allowing the staff to practice new methods of care for premature and sick babies.

|| Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios 
|| Developer/Client: Royal United Hospital
|| Main Contractor: Vinci Construction Ltd
|| Project manager: Provelio Ltd
|| Quantity Surveyor: Edmond Shipway 
|| Structural Engineer: Buro Happold
|| Mechanical & electrical engineer: Buro Happold
|| Project Value: £3 million

healthcare / science, new build


The Dyson Centre Neonatal Unit at Bath RUH, now over 10 years old, is a finalist in the inaugural Architecture Today Awards 2022, launched to celebrate buildings that have stood the test of time.

The Dyson Centre presented the rare opportunity to quantify the impact of a new building by collecting data sets in the old facility and repeating the exercise upon completion of the new building. Data collected from families and staff in the old unit and in the new unit has delivered compelling evidence that the quality of the environment has a direct impact on clinical outcomes. Findings included:

Nursing staff spent up to 20% more time in clinical rooms in the new unit.Parents reported feeling less cramped with a greater sense of privacy and less interference from noise and light.In the old unit parental anxiety increased over time; in the new unit it reduces.Parents are more actively involved in their baby’s care in the new unit with greater physical contact.In the new unit 90% of babies go home breastfeeding, compared with 64% in the old unit.Babies spend 20% more time asleep in the new unit - and while they are resting they are recovering and growing.

Winners will be announced in February 2023.