Secret roof garden at £7m venue

Growing 20' above the pavement, this 'living' roof has just been laid on a front section of The Stone Castle Centre, the multi-million-pound health centre currently being built for NHS Doncaster at Garden's Lane.
Growing 20' above the pavement, this 'living' roof has just been laid on a front section of The Stone Castle Centre, the multi-million-pound health centre currently being built for NHS Doncaster at Garden's Lane.
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THIS is set to be Conisbrough’s very own secret garden.

Although it had been built as part of one of Doncaster’s newest public buildings, unless you have a bird’s eye view, you will struggle to see the greenery at the new Stone Castle Centre health facility.

Growing 20 feet above the pavement, this ‘living’ roof has just been laid on a front section of The Stone Castle Centre, the multi-million-pound health centre currently being built for NHS Doncaster at Garden’s Lane.

It is intended to be an environmental feature on the building.

Designed to boost the green credentials of the two-storey building, the mass of sedum plants act as sponges, soaking up rainwater instead of allowing it to flow into the mains drainage system.

Specialist contractors laid the 12 metres by 10 metres bed of sedum, which is separated from the flat aluminium roof by layers of sand and rubber.

Builder Morgan Sindall is constructing the centre.

Site manager Doug Eastwood said it is the first health centre in the Doncaster area to have a part-sedum roof – and that’s just one of the many sustainable features built into the design.

He said some of the rainwater landing on the building’s aluminium roof will be ‘harvested’ and channelled into a 2,000 litre tank, which will supply water to flush the building’s six public toilets.

In periods of low rainfall an external mains supply will automatically kick in if the tank gets low.

Doug said: “Other rainwater run-off will be trapped in a huge tank and released into the mains drainage at a steady rate to prevent the drains becoming blocked during stormy weather.

“The building’s boiler has a dual role, providing both heat and some electrical power. And all the flagstones around the building have been laid on a foundation made from 100 tonnes of finely crushed recycled glass. It benefits the environment by not having to excavate sand from a quarry.”

Costing £7 million, the Stone Castle Centre is on track to open next month, making it the eighth new NHS super-surgery to be built in the Doncaster area by Doncaster Community Solutions.

And the ninth to be built by the partners - The Flying Scotsman Centre - is currently under construction close to the railway station at Doncaster town centre, at the site of the former SR Gent clothing factory.

It is due to open in November .

Further surgeries were initially planned to have been built in Bentley and Mexborough.

But the plans were dropped for financial reasons after the recession.

The decision caused outrage among Doncaster councillors representing both communities.

Bosses at NHS Doncaster said they would refurbish existing facilities in both areas instead.