Courtyard environments promote better health

Patients, visitors and staff at the new Bendigo Hospital will enjoy attractive gardens and also some spectacular views of Bendigo,
because there will be 46 courtyards and terraces incorporated into the new hospital’s forward-thinking design.

As the new hospital's courtyards develop, Fiona Faulks, Bob Cameron and Michele Morrison plant some new grasses.

As the new hospital’s courtyards develop, Bendigo Health’s Fiona Faulks, Bob Cameron and Exemplar Health CEO Michele Morrison plant new growth.

The courtyards are a vision designed to bring people together, while they enjoy natural light, fresh-air and all the advantages of green landscaping at the soon-to-be-completed healthcare facility. The design integrates unique al fresco furniture, communal benches and creative works to further enhance the experience of being outdoors.
“Gone are the days of white windowless hospital corridors and rooms with no access to outdoor areas,” said Bendigo Health board chairman, Bob Cameron.
“This state-of-the-art hospital has been designed to maximise natural light and views into patient rooms and staff work areas. By doing so, this has resulted in open spaces within the hospital boundaries that feature as either a courtyard or terrace.”
Extensive landscaping of all internal and external spaces will create a real sense of a hospital in a garden, providing areas of recuperation and relaxation for patients, their families and staff.
“This makes for a unique and tranquil healing and working environment for patients and staff respectively,” said Bendigo Health Women’s and Children’s Services, senior manager, Fiona Faulks.
“Hospital patrons will be able to reconnect with nature and it is well documented that environments such as these can improve wellness and reduce stress,” she said.
The courtyards include specific indigenous garden, which will be located in gardens adjacent to the Aboriginal Support Service within the new hospital.
“There is also a playfully designed courtyard on level three of the new hospital adjoining the Maternity Unit, which is specially designed for children, featuring garden furniture, a talking tube, spinning wheel and climbing tunnel,” Ms Faulks added.
The design elements also provide a sensory experience in the new hospital’s Psychiatric Services, where there will be 15 internal, light-filled courtyards available to patients – with all spaces incorporating specially designed furniture, sports equipment and communal eating areas.
“Planting in the garden areas will begin in spring this year and the plant selection has been specifically selected for the hospital environment and Bendigo’s climatic extremes,” Mr Cameron added.


Winter 2016 – Newsletter

Published in the Bendigo Weekly on June 17, 2016 – the special Bendigo Hospital Project Newsletter is a four-page special lift-out feature showcasing all the latest highlights. It’s a great source of information in the lead-up to the second part of the year, where we’ll see much of the Bendigo Hospital Project completed … before it opens in 2017.

Click here for the Bendigo Hospital Project Winter 2016 Newsletter.

Construction update – June 2016

It’s easy to see the progress from the outside, as the Bendigo Hospital Project takes shape. The striking façade invites us to look at its aesthetic design from many perspectives, be it north, south, east or west. And with each aspect, new parts of the hospital are featured, including the prominent panels which consist of 14,000 square metres of glazing.
What is harder to appreciate is what is happening inside the building which includes painting, flooring, and cladding. Gradually too, the rooms are being installed with equipment – from surgical pendant systems needed in operating theatre and delivery rooms for anaesthesia surgical purposes to linear accelerator (LINAC) machines which are used to treat cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. The striking ‘main street’ internal entrance continues to be fitted-out, with the glazing, timber panels, floor paving and revolving door adjacent to Mercy Street, taking shape.
On the site
The construction activity at the Bendigo Hospital Project is on-schedule and continues to meet expectations in every way. Currently the project has around 430 workers onsite, whereas at its peak there was a total of 790 workers onsite, a project milestone in itself. Activity has shifted; we’re focusing on how to make this facility operate as a hospital, and that’s why we require highly skilled technicians rather than large numbers of tradespeople to construct a building.
Outside there’s much activity on the south side of Drought Street, where civil and road works are in progress, including forming footpaths, asphalting and line-marking. This activity forms part of the emergency department (ED) entrance and the ambulance bay, as workers finish a vital area which will be used for the delivery of both ambulant and non-ambulant (trolley bound) patients to ED by the ambulance service. From this area, along to Hope Street – footpaths are being prepared, and irrigation systems installed along the hospital’s frontage for future landscaping uses.
Bendigo Health continues its work restoring the heritage West Wing and Concert Hall buildings on the Anne Caudle Centre precinct, with a contractor onsite and approximately 20 personnel.
Testing equipment
Facilities management company Spotless is currently testing equipment as it prepares to open the new hospital kitchen in July. Rigorous inspections and reviews are taking place – for instance cool rooms, chiller systems, dishwashing equipment and an eWater System that’s been installed throughout the kitchen to provide cleaning and sanitising solutions, are all being checked for quality and operational effectiveness.

Certainly the Bendigo Hospital Project is well on its way to substantial completion of ‘stage one’ as we look forward to, in anticipation, its opening in late January 2017.