Conceived as the sister project to the AWRC, the Children’s Centre for Health Technology (CCHT) strives to provide a national hub facility and world-class centre which will attract academics, clinicians, and commercial international interest. The space will encourage collaboration, innovation, and research, strengthening the already developing national networks (such as TITCH & NIHR CYP MedTech), and developing a brand for CCHT in conjunction with Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s strategies.

Design Approach

The design puts a ground floor co-creation space at its heart, to facilitate user-centred design and allow designers, clinicians, children, and their families to explore unmet needs, create new designs and test evolving technologies. A collaborative space, CCHT will bring together innovative ideas and technologies to improve children’s health.

Located in the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, which has positioned itself as ‘delivering the future of health and wellbeing through transformational research, innovation and applied technology’ Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, CCHT is a £24m facility which will be used developing the world’s most advanced health technology for children.

The new space will encourage collaboration and become an incubator for innovation and research supported by areas of clinical activity. The design is based around flexible office space, allowing the co-location of clinicians, researchers, and industry partners. By avoiding the use of typical working ‘silos’, the design is intended to bring people together, and facilitate interaction and the sparking and development of ideas. A dedicated public engagement space will be used to provide up to date information on best practice healthcare, help change behaviour in children, families and clinicians and disseminate successes to the media. Novel clinical spaces will bring a new approach to contact, to create the ‘Paediatric Consultation of the Future’.

Facilities will include 3D printing, robotics, laser cutting, oculus rift and other technology tools to develop prototypes. Children with long term conditions will have access to novel technologies in dedicated therapy and rehabilitation space while a living lab will re-create home and hospital environments for the testing of novel technologies.

The design development included considerations for optimising orientation, natural light levels, and acoustics from the onset. Roof space has been allocated for air source heat pumps and solar panels to contribute to reduced energy use. Heat recovery options are also due to be built into the design, which will have a level of individual control for the users of the building.

The design also incorporates views of activities in the form of a ‘shop-front’, allowing a view in from the outside. These large areas of glass will be balanced with passive solar shading to regulate temperatures throughout the changing seasons, including assessing the benefit of shading from adjacent buildings.

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