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Lanarkshire Beatson satellite radiotherapy centre

‘Our design strategy has always been about the patients and putting them at

ease’ David Morrison, project architect


the key accident and emergency route and a service roads on the other two, none of which could be moved. Keppie’s solution was to create an ‘inward-looking’

two-storey building with a carefully designed reception and waiting area overlooking an attractive garden ‘oasis’ at its heart – primarily with the aim of putting patients at ease before they enter the radiotherapy area or other clinical facilities.

Growing demands

Lanarkshire Beatson came about to meet growing demands for radiotherapy in the South and West of Scotland and to provide extra capacity for the world-class Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow – one of the busiest in Europe. Built on a vacant site on Monklands District General

Hospital in Airdrie, the new £22 million facility for NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is funded by the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorate through the Frameworks Scotland 1 procurement initiative. As a satellite of the Glasgow centre it also directly serves the

local population in Lanarkshire and will enable around 80 patient treatments to be carried out daily for people requiring radiotherapy for lung, breast, prostate and colorectal tumours. The building is equipped with the same advanced state-of-the-art technology as Glasgow, hosting two linear


accelerators and a CT scanner and simulator facility, plus a radiotherapy mould-making room and on-treatment review clinics. Oncology, radiography and outpatient nursing serv- ices, among others, are provided on site.

Different magnitude

Broadly speaking the building’s superstructure incorporates pre-cast concrete columns, floor slabs and shear walls. The exterior elevations are aluminium clad on the first floor and brick-slip clad in the lower areas with the cladding fixed to aluminium carrier rails. However the interior structure and design of the

technological ‘business end’ of the building is of an altogether different magnitude. Here, there are three massive concrete radiation-proof

bunkers, two to hold the linear accelerators and a ‘decanting bunker’ to enable repairs or a future replacement to be carried out seamlessly. These substantial 160m2

structures are made of 2.75m thick

solid concrete ceilings and floors with 1.3m-thick walls made of specialist Magnetite radiation-shielding concrete, a very dense and heavy material containing metallic ore. Compared with traditional concrete the thinner magnetite helps maximise available floor space. This concrete is poured and set on site with no pre- manufactured panels involved with the bunkers built first and

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