The construction of a state of the art respite care facility in Aberavon is now completed and is on track to be fully occupied by mid April.
Currently the onsite team, made up of main contractors Dawnus Construction, are carrying out the landscaping works as well as the completing the final finishes.
Premier Construction caught up with Nick Richards from Neath Port Talbot Council, who has acted as the Project Manager during the development, to find out more about the scheme. The Council began trying to obtain planning approval for the new build home in May 2012, and appointed the design and build contract to Dawnus Construction after gaining permission in October 2012.
The Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University looked at the facility of the scheme and designed the sketch proposals before handing over to the contractor. Works began building Aberavon Respite Care Home in March 2013, which is a 16 bed facility offering services for individuals from 19 years of age and upwards with varying physical and mental disabilities.
Other homes in the area will be closed, following the opening of Aberavon Respite Care Home, and residents will be relocated in this new fit for purpose facility. The home has been designed for those with specific care needs and is split into four sections; including spaces for individuals with challenging behaviour, severe disabilities as well as general respite care needs. The venue comprises long term and short term respite care facilities.
As one enters the building they will be greeted by the staff and manager’s facilities, a medical room, reception area and toilets. A long corridor leads to the venues communal facilities which include a lounge, games room, a dining room and a kitchen; all of these spaces overlook the sea which can be viewed out of fully glazed windows. The site was chosen specifically for the coastal location.
The venues 16 bedrooms divide into pods of four and each pod is based around an external courtyard. Each pod has a specific lounge and kitchen area which caters to the specific needs of those in each section. Each courtyard comprises different sensory aspects for the residents including gardens with water features and for those with visual impairment and a trampoline for those who need to burn up energy.
Internally the building contains a soft play room with LED lighting, padding, and soft play equipment. The venue also has a specialist sensory room with a projector, as well as an ARJO bathroom which provides specific washing facilities for residents.
The home is a solid concrete construction; and had to be built on a raft foundation because of its sandy location. Nick added that there were some challenges because of Aberavon Respite Care Homes situation:
“The site is close to some sand dunes and caused some challenges to the project as there were species of grass which have had to be relocated to different sites. However apart from that there were no real difficulties.”
With regards to the brief, Nick said:
“We wanted to create a statement building with the new care home that was a vast improvement to the facilities already available. I think we achieved this through the installation of two nine metre towers at the end of the beach front, clad in copper, which denote the start of the building.
“We also wanted to make sure the staff was happy in the building, and ensure that their working practices could change significantly. Overall we feel the project has gone very well.”