Creating a healthier environment at St Mary's Hopsital

St Mary's Hospital


British Gypsum improves hospital health with ACTIVair

British Gypsum ceiling tiles and plasterboard products have been used to help create a healthy indoor environment for patients, visitors and employees at a new unit of St Mary’s Hospital, Kettering.

British Gypsum’s Gyptone ceiling range with ACTIVair, was installed in four key areas of the existing hospital building as a retrofit measure. The lead nurse office, corridor areas and memory assessment services office were used to test the success of the products in-situ, providing Balfour Beatty with sufficient data to demonstrate the performance of the technology. Another benefit of this testing phase was that it allowed the client to choose preferred ceiling designs from the comprehensive range. Gyptone Ceiling tiles and plasterboard with ACTIVair technology were then specified throughout the new build hospital building.

The effectiveness of the ACTIVair technology has been tested by the accredited Eurofins laboratory. The test shows that ACTIVair decomposes 70% of the formaldehyde in a controlled test environment when 1m² of ACTIVair technology is installed per volume (m³).

The St. Mary’s hospital project tests showed that, following the installation of ACTIVair ceiling and plasterboard products, there was an average reduction of 42% in levels of formaldehyde, a common VOC which is linked to health issues in high concentrations. Measurements taken in rooms without ACTIVair showed significantly higher formaldehyde levels, in comparison to the same rooms with ACTIVair installed. All results were well below the maximum level recommended by the World Health Organisation of 0.08ppm.

Mark Walsh, project manager at Balfour Beatty, said: “We were asked to create a healthy environment at St Mary’s Hospital to improve patient wellbeing, and British Gypsum’s ACTIVair seemed perfect for the job. We were able to offer an innovative solution for Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) to address the issue of indoor air quality and the results speak for themselves – the innovation has reduced the concentration of formaldehyde in the atmosphere, improving the environment for patients and staff at the hospital.

In addition to the end-user benefits, the ACTIVair technology works through a paint finish, the products are easy to install, and they offer the same fire, acoustic and durability performance as the standard ceiling and plasterboard ranges – important factors that we have to consider when selecting new solutions.

Neil Austin, project manager at NHFT, said: “NHFT always looks for opportunities to improve the environment for patients, visitors and the staff. The trial of ACTIVair products in existing buildings and use in the new unit further confirms our commitment to look at all aspects of care for our stakeholders.

GypWall CLASSIC, GypWall ROBUST, GypWall QUIET and GypWall QUIET SF systems were used to meet the projects acoustic and duty requirements in accordance with BES5234 Part2 1992.

Find out more about ACTIVair technology

  • Client: Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Main Contractor: Balfour Beatty


Formaldehyde reduction is based on experimental data following ISO16000-23 standards from 0.4m2 to 1.4m2 installed/ m3 room.  Lifetime is based on a calculation assuming constant Formaldehyde reduction with indoor formaldehyde concentration of 25µg/m3 for ceiling, drywall or combined drywall and ceiling configurations.

    St Mary's Hospital

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