BAM creating the right environment for mental healthcare

CAHMSBAM Construction’s regional director Doug Keillor has hailed the timely completion of NHS Tayside’s new CAHMS care unit in Dundee last week.

Designed and built by BAM in the grounds of Dudhope House and surrounded by parkland and gardens, the new £5 million facility will provide round the clock care for young people coping with mental health conditions.

The bright and welcoming building, which took as long to plan and design as to build due to the requirement to not only consider the current complex needs of the users but also be able to adapt and respond to changing needs, is the result of a collective team approach between NHS Tayside, East Central Scotland Hubco, BAM Construction Scotland and architect Gauldie, Wright and Partners.

Built on a sloping site and into the hillside, the building wraps around a landscaped courtyard which connects the ‘home’ to its surrounding natural habitat. Moving inside the modern and flexible building maximises the use of natural light throughout. An education wing on the ground floor sits alongside a multi-purpose gym, therapy kitchen, breakout areas, family accommodation and staff offices. The upper floor houses a 12 bed residential wing and a therapy unit.

Doug Keillor said the CAHMS care unit’s completion comes at a time with the issue of child and adolescent mental healthcare very much in the headlines.

He added: “I have to single out the architects, GWP, for particular mention. Designing this type of building is not easy but what they have achieved seems to effortlessly incorporate all of the users needs into a bright and sustainable design that sits in and complements the existing gardens. We are becoming increasingly aware of the relationship between good design and health benefits, this must surely be a perfect example of a building designed to improve the health of its users.

“Getting here from the initial brief has been a long and occasionally challenging process but the quite amazing reaction of the building staff on the day we handed it over made all of that effort worthwhile.”

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