Stainless steel mesh has combined form and function in a patient-centred design to deliver a safe, outdoor sanctuary for recovering mental health patients.
Ancient civilisations understood the critical importance of daylight associated with human health, happiness, and wellbeing. Today, there is increased interest in green architecture, with natural light and air becoming a significant design consideration. Studies suggest that light and nature should be strongly considered when building new medical facilities, because of their positive effects on recovery.
Austin Hospital in Melbourne’s north-eastern suburb of Heidelberg is a leading healthcare, teaching and research facility renowned for its specialist services in mental health and rehabilitation. A $15.2 million expansion of the hospital’s Short Stay Observation Unit and Psychiatric Assessment and Planning Unit in 2016 aimed to deliver dedicated mental health care to address the demand and growth of emergency department presentations.
The Short Stay Observation Unit was built above the ambulance bay and includes a lounge that opens up to an outdoor space filtered with natural light, fresh air and unobstructed views. Crimsafe’s Tensile-Tuff® stainless steel security mesh screens were specified for the enclosed outdoor area balustrading as the ultimate solution for providing exceptional strength, transparency and multi-faceted safety and security properties. Tensile-Tuff® Crimsafe mesh does not compromise on visibility or airflow and is well-equipped to deliver on aesthetic appeal with the structure also being the main feature of the hospital’s external façade.
Manufactured and delivered by Crimsafe, the commercial strength screens are made from 0.9mm, grade 304 stainless steel wire and were fabricated in a multitude of off-square angles to seamlessly match the structure. Fabricating with stainless steel mesh allows for limitless flexibility to marry safety with style and functionality. The material can be shaped in multiple planes without compromising on strength, while its clean lines and obstruction-free form allows for creativity in design.
All Crimsafe security screens are Australian made and meet or exceed the requirements for compliance with various Australian Standards. Crimsafe exceeds the 1.4 tonne requirement of AS/NZS 1170.2 (Structural design actions, Part 2: Wind actions) by three times the standard, load testing to 4.2 tonnes. In addition, the 1.5mm x 1.5mm aperture of the mesh filters up to 62% of UV radiation, minimising heat gains and delivering energy efficiency.
Forty-one bespoke triangular Crimsafe security screens were manufactured and installed by Sydney-based licensee, Wynstan. Crimsafe’s exclusive Screw-Clamp™ bites down on the mesh, holding it into the frame, which is then secured by tamper-resistant stainless steel screws. This vice-like grip transfers any weight and pressure to the frame, so the mesh remains intact. The unit specifically responds to the need for fall prevention, protecting patients and minimising falls.
With the help of stainless steel, Austin Hospital’s state-of-the-art facilities exude strength, security and style, challenging the convention of mental health rehabilitation and recovery. Opened in 2018, the Short Stay Observation Unit continues to deliver a peaceful and safe space for patients.
This article is featured in Australian Stainless Magazine issue 74, 2022.