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Introduction This new hospital was designed to cope with the increased demands of modern healthcare and Swindon's rapidly expanding catchment area. The project was realised through a Public Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme (27 year contract) and includes 551 beds. It was completed in 2002.

Sustainable development principles were incorporated into the design process, and the construction and operation phase. In addition to addressing water management issues, waste management, construction materials and biodiversity were also targetted.

Description A balancing pond was installed to capture the run-off of water at a cost of £135,000. The void space can take 33m3 of water, although under normal operations, it will hold 2060m3. The pond was constructed early in the construction phase and will remain on the hospital site for the life of the building.

The pond serves to control floodwater and is capable of precipitating out suspended solids in the site run-off. This is achieved simply by providing two large 450 mm inlet pipes but only a single smaller 150 mm outlet pipe. The basin detains flood peaks of run-off and releases the water slowly. It has been designed to cope with the worst possible storm in 100 years. By installing a balancing pond, the toxicity of the site's run-off has been greatly reduced. 

The balancing pond was planted with wild grasses and flowers and it is expected that this could become an attractive habitat for aquatic life and birds. The pond will form part of the exterior landscaped areas that visitors, staff and patients can visit and is just one feature of a wider habitat management plan, which has been implemented on the site.

Project team Swindon and Marlborough NHS Trust Carillion Whicheloe Macfarlane HDR Architects

Further information

swindon-marlborough.nhs.uk

carillionplc.com