GAMA Healthcare Ltd., a world leader in the manufacture and development of infection control products for the healthcare sector, have submitted a planning application to Calderdale Council for permission to build a new 2-story research and development facility, expected to cost £2m. Fletcher Rae, a leading architectural firm in Manchester, have planned the scheme and are heading up all the technical design aspects.
The location for the proposed scheme is the former Riverside House, North Dean Business Park, Stainland Road in the Greetland area of Halifax. Ben Battye, Fletcher Rae Director, explains their architectural vision:
‘In designing the scheme we’ve taken a contextual approach to soften the façade to complement the nearby woodlands and blend in with the neighbouring developments. Horizontal metallic silver panels support the building’s base layer and provide a contemporary industrial appeal, which is offset by natural wood vertical louvres throughout. These add to the context and provide elements of sustainability enabling natural ventilation and aid solar shading.’
Fletcher Rae is embracing the hybrid concept, both internally and externally, with GAMA Healthcare’s new research and development facility aiming to achieve the two purposes of research and development, as Battye notes.
‘The scheme, spread over two floors, will comprise an open plan office environment and cutting edge research laboratories, as well as auxiliary space for the production of test product samples. GAMA are very keen on staff interaction and several informal ‘break out’ spaces have been incorporated. An outdoor terrace overlooking the river is also being included to host informal meetings and external dining. The new facility will house 30 members of GAMA’s staff that have working nearby in Luddendenfoot, since their previous workplace in Calderdale was badly damaged in the Boxing day floods this past year.’
If the scheme receives the green light for development, GAMA plans to recruit for at least 10 new positions for varied roles in microbiology, biomedical science, chemistry, quality control, analytical services, technician and administration.
Fletcher Rae will work hand-in-hand with the main contractor, Hargreaves Contracting Ltd., through to construction-delivery. Despite a period of deliberating about refurbishing or extending the existing 1970s building full demolition was deemed the best option to achieve GAMA Healthcare’s goals of creating a flagship R&D facility, regenerating the gateway to the business park and incorporating sustainable and contemporary practices.