State-of-the art care home, Ada Belfield Centre and Belper Library

Ada Belfield Centre and Belper Library


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Derbyshire County Council
March 2020
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A modern, dementia-friendly design for a new care home

Robertson delivered the £11.5m care home for Derbyshire County Council, providing 40 private rooms to the latest dementia-friendly standards.

A state-of-the art care home that will stand the test of time

The new build replaces the existing 1960's care home that was too small and no longer fit for purpose. The two-storey, 40-bed home provides a secure, safe, and stimulating environment for resident's care needs and accommodates all existing residents that wished to move to the new home. Facilities include a domestic lounge and dining area, private support spaces and a public library and cafe/restaurant.

The newly built care centre is initially being used to support local residents through the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and will be exclusively accepting patients discharged from hospital, who need to recuperate and isolate, but are unable to return home.

Working in a World Heritage site

Located on the former Thornton's factory site in a UNESCO World Heritage site, the scheme involved working with a sensitive existing building. Although largely a new build, the existing historical facades were retained, refurbished, and incorporated into the scheme. A careful and considered approach was necessary to unpick the condition of the fabric, structure, and interface details of the pre-existing structure. This section houses the new library, showcasing the original architecture.

Working to minimise disruption

To prevent any significant disruption to the nearby highways, we completely re-designed the drainage system. Our revised solution avoided the need to connect into the highway, therefore minimising the disruption for local people and passing traffic.

Buildings around the new home also remained full operational throughout the construction period, with robust traffic management plans that considered the local roads and people, to ensure a smooth and timely build process.

Going above and beyond to add value

To provide a more commercially efficient solution, we amended the structural plans from a steel frame, to a masonry structure, fully satisfying the sound insulation requirements of the building regulations whilst providing a cost saving for Derbyshire County Council.

We utilised local labour and prioritised spend with local suppliers, with £1.5 million spent in Derbyshire; £400k of this was within 20 miles of our site.

A community focused build

Throughout the build, we hosted several site visits for local schools, including St John's Primary School and Belper High School. Following a presentation at Derby College, during their 'Insight to Construction' event, we hosted eight students on site under work placements with our bricklayers; one of which went on to gain full time employment with our bricklaying sub-contractor.

We connected residents from the existing care home to the local community facilitating a number of events involving our on-site colleagues, former Thorntons representatives, the Fleet Arts Project and Belper Primary School. In partnership with the care home we facilitated and supported celebrations for Christmas, Easter and World Alzheimer's Day to create a long-lasting bond between Robertson and Ada Bellfield Care Home.

Right from the start, I can only say the experience has been far better than I ever expected. Robertson have remained completely committed to making this project an engaged community experience.
Penny Collinge
Ada Belfield Care Manager