Building to Improve Wellbeing for Regional Cancer Patients
Cancer Council SA’s new integrated facility will offer next level care support for individuals and their families impacted by cancer. Replacing well used accommodation and old offices, the brand-new facility will bring disparate and outdated facilities together in one purpose-built location.
The $30M project will provide a home away from home for regional and remote South Australians travelling to Adelaide for treatment with several rooms accommodating individuals and/or families with disabilities, along with creating the new home for research, prevention and support programs.
Spread out across 5 levels, the facility includes 120 patient accommodation rooms, commercial spaces for tenancy and revenue generation, office space for Cancer Council staff, outside terrace space and car parking. Each of the patient accommodation rooms have their own ensuite, kitchenette and queen bed. On floors 2 through 5 there is a communal kitchen, dining and balcony space as well as a guest lounge area. Kerry Rowlands, Chief Executive of the Cancer Council SA states, “The building will not only transform the way our staff work together, with breakout rooms, flexible working areas and communal spaces, it will also bring our staff closer to the work that we do – supporting those impacted by cancer”- Kerry Rowlands, Chief Executive of the Cancer Council SA.
Improving Outcomes for Regional Patients
Almost one third of South Australians affected by cancer live in rural and regional areas, with South Australians more likely to die within five years of a cancer diagnosis the further they live from a metropolitan area.
Kerry Rowlands, Chief Executive of the Cancer Council SA, explains some of the factors contributing to this inequality in patient outcomes and how the new facility will help tackle them. “Faced with the huge costs of travel and accommodation in the city, and the extra pressure it can place on families, those who do go to the city may end their treatment prematurely. It can have disastrous effects on their health and seriously affect their chances of survival.
Reducing the complications and financial strain that is associated with relocating to the city for treatment assists more people receive the best support and complete their treatment. And that helps to reduce the burden of cancer for more South Australians.
Providing a safe, quiet, patient centric accommodation with natural light and connection to nature provides South Australian’s impacted by cancer every chance to survive a diagnosis, regardless of where they’re from, or where they are in their cancer experience.”
Building for Wellbeing
The core focus of the building is to provide a healing place to promote wellbeing for both cancer patients, their families and the staff alike. This is encouraged in all aspects of the building. The façade is constructed of aluminum and glass curtain walls across levels 2 through 5 to maximise natural light which is captured throughout the many windows in the accommodation spaces. The communal areas comprise large courtyard terrace spaces and include raised planter beds and gardens, to enable interaction with nature.
Cherrie Cacayorin, Associate Director at Cheesman Architects explains how the design was developed through an understanding of end user requirements and to deliver the best outcomes. “Cleanliness is important for cancer patients with low immune systems. The design has carefully considered material selections that can easily be maintained and assist on preventing infection. Cancer patients require rest between treatments to regain their strength, and during this cycle they are hyper-sensitive to noise which can create further stress. The bedrooms are designed to have a high level of acoustic separation from the adjacent internal areas and the double-glazed acoustic windows isolate the room from external noise.
The design took advantage of the building’s location directly across from the parklands, with views to the city and the hills. All bedrooms have access to these beautiful views. Design elements that bring the outside world into the facility have proven to reduce stress and anxiety, improve cognitive function, and enhance patients’ mood. Outdoor gardens in a cascading landscaped arrangement are provided on the Ground, Level 1 and Level 2 to alleviate stress and boost a feeling of wellness. This also provides a central outlook for the rest of the levels.
It is also important for the guest to be able to participate in activities that they love. The facility includes common activity spaces, kitchens, lounges, library, a reading room, gym, herb garden and a children’s area. These activities can provide a good distraction while providing a sense of normalcy.
Technology was integrated into the building design to support Cancer Council SA’s activities on raising awareness and improve cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment research.
Commitment to Community
At Sarah, we recognise our contribution to build significant infrastructure for the greater good of South Australia and we’re passionate about giving back to the members of our community who are in need. Through the united and combined involvement of our staff and industry networks, we affect positive changes to help make a difference.
“It has been fantastic working with Sarah Constructions to deliver this one in a generation project and I’d like to thank them for their hard work and dedication, which can be seen in every detail of 202 Greenhill Road.” – Kerry Rowlands, Chief Executive of the Cancer Council SA
Part of our core ethos, Sarah places a high value on our ability to bring members of the community together to enrich lives through positive social and environmental impact. Our commitment to giving back and contributing to society is managed through the Sarah Foundation, where our mission is to support the South Australian communities and its members that provide us with the social ‘license’ to operate and the opportunity to conduct commercial activities.
Throughout the project, Sarah demonstrated a tangible connection to the Cancer Council and the invaluable work they do, by proactively raising significant funds. Coordinated through the Sarah Foundation, staff across the business organised a range of initiatives and events that included Ride for a Reason, Biggest Morning Tea, vending machine donations, Dry July and more; participating in a broad range of activities to raise awareness and funds for the Cancer Council SA.
Sarah is incredibly proud to help bring the new Cancer Council facility to fruition, playing our part in helping to improve supportive patient care for this generation and the next.