Working with 360 Architecture and Higgins Builders, the Village Health medical centre on Lincoln Road is the result of the Martin Family Trust’s five-year goal to bring healthcare practitioners and practices into one high-quality village-style arrangement. Made up by four doctors and various professionals, the two-level, 145m2 facility accommodates a medical centre, dental practice, pharmacy and café for the benefit of the whole community.
Working to a tight budget presented the largest challenge for this project. And given the fact that the overall building envelope was on a brownfield site adjacent to residential dwellings in suburban Christchurch, we also had to navigate the various geotechnical properties of the site.
The building site was located on an amalgamation of several smaller parcels within a residential area. This created some issues surrounding the capacity of the city council’s stormwater system, and several constraints that had to be accommodated through robust architectural and engineering design.
The discovery of asbestos during demolition was another unexpected challenge we had to mitigate.
To accommodate the unique properties of the site, the structural solution we adopted on this project revolved around lightweight construction. Recommending timber and steel meant that foundation loads were minimised; and in turn, it enabled the development of a relatively cost-effective shallow reinforced concrete strip, pad, and ground bearing slab foundations system that was laid over a variable-thickness reinforced gravel raft.
When it came to the constrained capacity of the council’s stormwater system, we were able to utilise the surrounding landscape as ‘rainwater gardens’ for local, short-term storage, and delayed discharge. This saved the client money, as the alternative involved significant ground engineering works.
And as the site was adjacent to residential dwellings, we also included various angled roof pitches to accommodate recession planes and meet fire stability requirements for boundary walls. A management plan was also enacted to remove the identified asbestos.