Last Updated : June 2009
VWB Architects



3153 Training Suite / 3354 Office Refurbishment



RIBA Sector     Health - General

Key Services    Full Architectural Service / Listed Building Negotiations

Start Year         2005

End Year          2008

Gross Area       Training Suite 335m2 / Office Refurbishment 305m2

Contract Sum   Training Suite £380,000-00 / Office Refurbishment £268,000-00 (Total £648,000-00)

Main Client       North Staffordshire PCT (with North Staffordshire NHS Estates Agency)

Procurement    JCT Intermediate Building Contract (IC)

Funding           Public


Project Description

VWB Architects were appointed in 2005 to carry out a full architectural service to bring the derelict top floor of a former Workhouse and Listed Building into use as a NHS Training Suite to serve several surrounding Primary Care Trusts.  The top floor of the three storey building had not been used (except for storage) for at least 50years despite the lower floors forming part of a larger complex of Victorian and more modern 1980’s hospital buildings. The existing floor level was in a dilapidated state despite limited remedial works being carried out in the 1990’s to make good damage caused by water ingress and timber rot. The walls were painted brickwork and original timber sash windows beyond repair.

A Brief / Schedule of Accommodation was discussed and agreed with the Client / IT Training User Group and proposals drawn up to provide a variety of fully equipped training rooms, support offices, reception office, break out space and toilets.

A new independent boiler and heating system and a completely new electrical installation were part of the scheme. The existing timber floor required extensive upgrading to achieve one hour fire resistance; walls were insulated and dry lined; windows replaced with single glazed timber sash (to comply with Listed Building requirements) and secondary glazing added; and existing lathe and plaster ceilings were replaced with suspended ceilings with insulation above. Although the original natural slates had been replaced with fibre cement slates in the early 1990’s, these were in very poor condition for their age and inspections revealed that there was extensive wet and dry timber rot throughout the roof timbers and parapet gutter structures. Rotten timbers were replaced and preservative treatment carried out. The entire roof covering and tiling battens were replaced using natural Spanish slate and breathable roofing felt and parapet gutters replaced with new lead with improved detailing to prevent further water ingress.

The Listed Building status required considerable discussion with the local planning authority conservation section in particular regarding the external appearance of the building. Details for the replacement timber single glazed sash windows were critical with double glazed windows not being acceptable.

Towards the completion of the Training Suite project the client extended the works to include the alteration and refurbishment of an adjacent vacant first floor ward area and ground floor annexe both to be used for administration offices.

The project was complete and handed over early in 2008.



3227 Bucknall Hospital Wd6 IT Training Facility / Parent & Baby Unit


RIBA Sector     Health – Primary Health Care

Key Services    Full Architectural Service

Start Year         2006

End Year          2007

Gross Area       550m2

Contract Sum   £500,000-00

Main Client       North Staffordshire (NHS) Estates Agency

Procurement    JCT IFC 98     

Funding           Public


Project Description

VWB Architects were appointed in 2006 following a successful fee proposal and interview to carry out a full RIBA service to alter, adapt and refurbish a vacant building (Ward 6) on the Bucknall Hospital site to accommodate two separate user groups 1) An IT Training Facility and 2) A Parent & Baby Unit.

The design team included a Quantity Surveyor, Building Services Engineer, Structural Engineer and CDM Planning Co-ordinator. An important foundation for a successful project included the preparation of Room Data Sheets to thoroughly record the client/user requirements.

Ward 6 is a single storey pitched roof building set amongst twenty or so other buildings on the Bucknall Hospital site.  Ward 6 is one of several traditional ward buildings that has over the last hundred years undergone many changes to the internal layout and had various extensions to meet the changing requirements for medical care. The two former open plan ‘Nightingale’ wards were ideal for dividing into a variety of cellular spaces for office use, counselling rooms, consulting rooms and training rooms etc. Structural changes enabled other areas to be adapted and incorporated.

Reusing the existing building has been cost effective and resulted in two modern facilities that will serve the NHS and community for many years.


VWB Architects 35 West Street Congleton Cheshire CW12 1JN

Tel. 01260 272891

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