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SAINT-GOBAIN - Pioneering Physiotherapy Unit Benefits From Sound Design

Children being treated at a brand new state-of-the-art rehabilitation and physiotherapy unit at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Hospital are set to benefit from an acoustic ceiling solution from Saint-Gobain Ecophon.

The 4,000 sq ft unit, which was officially opened on Wednesday 13 April by cricket legend Andrew Flintoff and his wife Rachael, was funded by The AF Foundation, a charity set up by the couple.

As part of a complete redesign and refurbishment project, Ecophon’s Focus Ds acoustic ceiling tiles and integrated DOT lighting system have been installed throughout. As one of the most cutting edge units of its kind in the UK, it will treat children from birth to 18 for all their physiotherapy needs.

Lindsay Beck, area sales manager for Ecophon, said: ‘To create the ideal sound environment, we applied our Room Acoustic Comfort™ technique to ensure patients in the unit will be exposed to the best possible conditions to aide their recovery. Research has shown that sound and lighting levels can have a positive effect on the wellbeing of both staff and patients, if the right balance is achieved.

‘Working closely with Mersey Design Architects, we were able to offer a ceiling system that not only improved the acoustic environment, but also complimented the overall contemporary style of the unit as designed by The AF Foundation brand director, Mark Wools. In any hospital environment, it’s also essential that all surfaces can withstand vigorous, regular cleaning and the Akutex FT coating on the tiles will provide protection against this.’

The installation, carried out by MG Ceilings, took six weeks to complete. From initial meetings with the architect in March 2010, the ceiling was completely installed by the beginning of December 2010.

Gerry Timperley, from Mersey Design Architects, said: ‘We were looking to use a ceiling with a concealed grid in order to create a sharp, clean finish. The Ecophon ceiling fitted the bill perfectly and had the added flexibility of integrated lighting. This was a key element of the design, helping to create the best possible environment for the children to recover.’

The AF Foundation aims to to raise funds to build, develop and improve child rehabilitation and physiotherapy units across the country. It works closely with specialised rehabilitation teams, consultants and patients to create and refine a blueprint for The AF Foundation Child Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Unit. The next project will be Great Ormond Street Hospital. The AF Foundation will then look to set up units in as many other hospitals as possible throughout the UK.

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