Worcestershire Royal Hospital, UK

Altro creates ‘wow’ factor at new birthing unit

Altro Aquarius, Altro Whiterock Chameleon, Altro Whiterock White, Altro Zodiac Smooth

A wide range of Altro flooring and walling has been used to create a homely atmosphere with a ‘wow’ factor in a new birthing unit at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

The Meadow Birth Centre is a former antenatal ward and maternity triage which has been converted into four en-suite birthing rooms named Poppy, Cornflower, Daisy and Violet.

The facility is run by experienced midwives and offers a comfortable environment where birth is treated as a ‘normal’ process (without intervention), rather than a medical one. Mothers-to-be can also adjust lighting and choose music for the birth.

Meadow Birth Centre has been designed to look and feel homely, colourful and bright, helping everyone involved to feel comfortable and relaxed throughout the process. This style of birthing unit is relatively rare but becoming more popular throughout the UK. Those involved with the project visited other birthing units to see what was already being done successfully. A selection of Altro flooring and Altro Whiterock hygienic wall cladding was used to fulfil the hospital’s design requirements to combine original and striking aesthetics with practicalities.

Altro Whiterock Chameleon wall cladding was chosen to add stunning, bright blocks of high gloss colour in birthing rooms, corridors, kitchens and en suite bathrooms. These bursts of colour were used alongside Altro Whiterock White to create unusual and striking designs.

Altro Whiterock is a cost-effective sheet extruded from a high quality PVCu polymer. It is easy to clean, impact resistant and grout-free. It meets all current EU Directives on health and hygiene.

Altro Whiterock Chameleon offers vibrant solid colours, or more natural tones, in a high gloss finish, allowing for bold designs or more muted interiors in a variety of customer-facing environments.

Safety flooring was a must for the birthing unit, and Altro Aquarius – a specialist solution developed specifically for use in wet and dry areas, for shoe and barefoot use – was ideal for this environment which sees midwives, other staff and visitors plus mothers in and out of birthing pools with bare feet.

Altro Aquarius is an innovative flooring suitable for any type of shoe, including hard and soft soled, rubber and trainers, as well as bare feet. Altro Aquarius revolutionises product selection. Users not longer have to assess the risk of slipping to those in shoes or barefoot and whether to install studded or standard safety flooring. Altro Aquarius caters for all these requirements, with one product that can eliminate the risk.

Altro Zodiac Smooth flooring was used in the unit’s corridors. It features tonal neutrals that work together, as well as vibrant, on-trend colours, many of which combine well with Altro’s wall cladding range palettes. Characterised by its monolithic look, Altro Zodiac is solid and reassuring, while offering enough complexity to deliver discrete and sophisticated installations with light and dark tonal areas where required.

The non-directional design contributes to ease of installation. It is easy to maintain and can be welded to provide a hygienic surface, making it ideal for areas where infection control and high standards of cleanliness are required.

Pinnacle Flooring was appointed to install the Altro products in the new Meadow Birth Centre. Estimator Aaron Jennings commented: “We have been installing Altro flooring for around 12 years, and for us they are the number one choice because their products are the best you can get, and the people are so good to work with.

“We have only relatively recently added wall cladding to our portfolio, so the installation in the new birthing unit was a very exciting challenge for us.

“We used 50m2 of Altro Whiterock Chameleon in total, in four colours to match each of the four birthing rooms. They were Moulin Rouge (red), Eau de Chic (pale green), Ocean Deep (dark blue), and Key Lime (bright green). Alongside this we used 70m2 of standard white Altro Whiterock. 

“In the birthing rooms we laid 200m2 of Altro Aquarius - again in four different colours to match each scheme. These were Tern, Salamander, Puffin and Swan, which are all muted colours.

“In the corridors, we installed 150m2 of Altro Zodiac Smooth flooring, in two colours - Hologram and Meteor, which are both greys.

“Overall, the project was very straightforward, and it took us three weeks with a team of two. We find Altro’s products very easy to install, and the way both the architect and Altro work ensured smooth running from start to finish.”

Meadow Birth Centre was built by Millane Contract Services Ltd. Commenting on the installation of the flooring and walling, senior contracts manager Steve Clark comments: "We were very impressed with the professional way in which Pinnacle Flooring carried out the installation of the Altro products.

“They worked efficiently, co-operated well with everyone on site, and finished the project according to the schedule. The finished result looks superb and we, and the client, are delighted.”

Louise Turbutt, Meadow Birth Centre - Midwife Team Leader said: “Altro’s products have been a welcome addition to our new Meadow Birth Centre; they have proved high quality and are easy to clean.

“Being bright and bold, they enhance the environment of the rooms in the unit and help achieve the look we wanted.”

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