Forte Health, a new private hospital in Christchurch, offers state of the art surgical and patient facilities. It is also the first and only hospital in New Zealand to be awarded a 4 Star rating from the New Zealand Green Building Council.
Forte Health applied to NZGBC for a rating of the hospital’s environmental impact across the nine Green Star categories of land use and ecology, materials, innovation, energy, water, indoor environment quality, transport, emissions, and management.
John Hutchings owns Interior Components, a New Zealand company which specializes in wall protection and seismic joint systems. He explains how his company was well-equipped to deliver on Forte Health’s priority of patient safety in the design and fit-out of the hospital, as well as in relation to the safety of materials used. “As InPro distributers, our environmental performance is certified via ISO 14001, Green Tier, Green Masters, and Health Product Declaration registration, so we were able to ‘hit the ground running’ on both those counts”.
John cites the example of the rigid vinyl wall linings used to protect internal wall surfaces throughout the new hospital. “Most hospital rooms and corridors are subjected to heavy use, and need to be protected by long-life, easy-clean vinyl that is also impact resistant. The IPC product we used for Forte Health also helps to protect the health of patients and staff because it is resistant to fungus and bacteria, and was installed using odourless, water-based adhesives”.
Corner guards escape most people’s notice, but John points out that poorly finished or damaged corners can cause injury and are also a potential source of contamination as they are often impossible to properly clean. “A corner should ideally present a slightly softened profile that will not damage people who bump against it, yet be able to protect the wall itself and the sealing of adjoining wall edges.”
“IPC corner guards are made from extruded vinyl with the same properties as our hard-wearing rigid wall vinyl,” he adds, “so, like our door frame guards, they can effectively withstand the daily onslaught of rogue trolleys, runaway beds and the like”.
In line with Forte Health’s environmental aspirations, Interior Components sourced and used high quality products from New Zealand manufacturers wherever possible, such as the stainless steel kick-plates that protect the hospital’s many doors from endless wear and tear.
“Locally manufactured components helped to reduce the transport and energy inputs of the build”, John explains. This approach was extended across the project, right down to the crafting of a one-off, New Zealand manufactured handrail made from Tasmanian Oak, in preference to importing a readymade product made from American hardwood.