The global challenge to design a carbon Net Zero neonatal unit was launched earlier this year by Class Of Your Own (COYO) – an education consultancy and social enterprise established by former land surveyor, Alison Watson MBE, in 2009. The latest campaign was ‘kick-started’ with the support of NHS staff, the Bliss Charity – which supports babies born prematurely, and professional bodies from across the construction sector. Secondary school students were invited to put forward designs that ‘demonstrated great empathy for a range of end-users and overcame a range of social and cultural issues’.
The winning team comprised just one pupil who did all the design work herself – 16-year-old Sabina Lacey from Prince of Wales Island International School, Penang, Malaysia. The challenge focused on carbon Net Zero design and Modern Methods of Construction, and the use of ‘appropriate, sustainable materials and energy solutions that lead to safer, better quality, replicable healthcare buildings of the future’.
Finalists representing schools from Scotland, England, Jersey, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia faced a tough judging panel:
Natalie Forrest, Senior responsible owner (SRO) for the New Hospital Programme, Department of Health & Social Care.
Natalie Firminger, Hospital Design and Development director, Whipps Cross Redevelopment, Barts Health NHS Trust.
Daniel O’Leary, Clinical Fellow (Maternal Health), New Hospital Programme, NHS England.
Luke Goldfinch, senior engineer, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.
Nicholas Mead, Technical Director – MEICA systems, Laing O’Rourke Europe.
Sabina Lacey was announced as the winner at a House of Lords event on 5 July hosted by former Education Minister, Lord Jim Knight, and Class of Your Own founder and CEO, Alison Watson MBE. Announcing the winner, Natalie Forrest said: “Congratulations to all entrants. This is a very tough challenge, and the standard was so high. Clearly this team of one had done some extraordinary research to ensure her design met, or even surpassed, the demanding criteria. A big ‘well done’ to Sabina Lacey, and I hope this inspires you to consider a career in healthcare design.
“As we celebrate the NHS’s 75th birthday today it is important we don’t just look back at everything we have achieved; we must look to the future, and consider what the very best patient care will look like in years to come. Having the best and brightest minds working in healthcare design will play an important role in creating the infrastructure we need.”
Sabina Lacey will meet with professionals working on New Hospital Programme projects to take her design to ‘an industry-standard digital model’.
In celebration of 75 years of the NHS, Class of Your Own and the New Hospital Programme will now work to develop further programmes for schools, especially those in the vicinity of New Hospital Programme projects. The ‘specialist’ DEC (Design, Engineer Construct!) Awards will launch in the autumn term this year. For more information on the Challenge and Class Of Your Own, visit: https://designengineerconstruct.com/design-a-neonatal-unit/
The photo shows the judges – left to right: Natalie Firminger, Daniel O’Leary, Natalie Forrest, Luke Goldfinch, and Nicholas Mead — with the winning entry.