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Project Details - Nuffield Health Tunbridge Wells Hospital


Project Spotlight -


Kendall Kingscott, Bristol

Design Requirements

Shackerley’s ceramic granite ventilated façades have given the dated, red-brick exteriors of a Nuffield Health private hospital in Tunbridge Wells a much needed facelift as part of a multi million pound refurbishment project.

Sureclad® ceramic granite cladding was specified as an ideal way to provide a new outer envelope that was sympathetic to its surroundings and that presented an upmarket contemporary image befitting the newly modernised healthcare facility.

“We were responsible for delivering a major investment project for our client“, commented Mark Palmer, Project Architect at Kendall Kingscott. “The aim was to dramatically improve the facilities and patient experience at the hospital. Whilst the interior refurbishment was our priority, it was clear to all concerned that the exteriors – with styling dating back to 1968 – were also in need of a radical makeover. Overcladding seemed to be the obvious solution.”

The new look Nuffield Health Tunbridge Wells Hospital is now fully operational, offering a wide range of leading edge clinical facilities in a first class patient environment. The exteriors have received widespread acclaim according to Mark Palmer and the facelift has been so dramatic that the hospital has been mistaken for a completely new building. In summary he commented:

“As a practice we’re very pleased indeed with the final results. We believe that Shackerley’s Sureclad ceramic granite cladding system offers an attractive and extremely cost effective way to completely transform the appearance of a building and at the same time enhance its environmental performance. We provide architectural and building services to private and public sector clients alike and will certainly consider proposing this approach again in the future, not just for healthcare buildings, but also for projects in our other core business areas which include retail, education and custodial developments.”

Materials Used

The practice considered a wide range of different façade installation methods and materials before opting to use Shackerley’s Sureclad ventilated cladding system in conjunction with a travertine effect ceramic granite façade panel that they had seen in situ at Thirlestaine Breast Clinic in Cheltenham. “We very impressed by the appearance and quality of the ceramic granite material”, said Mark Palmer. “From a distance it looks slick and streamlined as you would expect from an engineered material, yet at close quarters it has a very natural stone look with real depth and texture.”

Specification of the Sureclad system also provided a valuable opportunity to upgrade the environmental performance of the building, and Kingspan KI15 insulation boards were installed to external elevations, significantly improving the thermal efficiency of the building.

In comparison to the other quality cladding materials and façade systems considered by Kendall Kingscott, Shackerley’s system proved to offer excellent value for money. Because ceramic granite is extremely strong and hard, with none of the flaws of stone in its quarried state, façade panels of just 12mm thick deliver exceptional building protection. The relative light weight of the cladding material reduces loadings on the building and also means that panels can be handled, manoeuvred and installed on site more easily than many traditional, heavier cladding materials.

By opting to use to use Shackerley’s standard 1200 x 600mm façade panel the architects also ensured that panel cutting operations were reduced to a minimum. Furthermore, panels were supplied in an ‘installation ready’ format which minimised on-site preparatory work for the installation team. All prefabrication work was carried out at Shackerley’s ISO 9001 accredited manufacturing facilities, including precision undercut drilling and the securing of Sureclad metal straps using a patented stainless steel undercut anchorage system.