Following attendance at an RIBA training session on sustainable design given by Howard Liddell, Gaia were approached to act as specialist advisors to this £7m residential and daycare project for ex-miners and heavy industry workers with respiratory problems.
BreathingSpace was conceived to provide the UK's leading, and possibly the world's largest rehabilitation service for people with a form of respiratory disease known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The funding was obtained through a partnership between the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) and Rotherham Primary Care Trust (PCT) with the support of Rotherham Borough Council.
The building required expert knowledge on healthy indoor climates and Rotherham Council asked Gaia to fulfil this role on the basis of the expertise gained through the Callander and Drumchapel Sports centres as well as on healthy housing projects.. Gaia has developed expertise in indoor climate as one of the fundamental aspects of its approach to sustainable design. Gaia's expertise extends from materials and moisture management, to day lighting, and low energy ventilation strategies in housing, schools and sports centres.
The approach to BreathingSpace was to apply the features employed in many of Gaia's projects: - excellent daylight, high levels of insulation and air-tightness, designed ventilation, healthy and hygroscopic materials and structure in combination with careful space planning to create a fresh, clean environment and super-efficient building. Gaia are also advising several other groups in England who are procuring 'Healthy buildings for Healthy Pursuits'.