When Hope Hospital needed to locate a new Walk-in Centre, MPH led the way with a complete design and build modular solution
Responding to changes in Government legislation, the Estates Department were faced with the critical task of providing a new Walk-In Centre within the hospital, to offer fast and convenient access to healthcare advice and treatment for minor injuries and illnesses.
A key requirement of the client brief concerned integrating the new centre within the ground floor level of the main hospital, allowing easy access and preventing the need to negotiate changes of level within the building.
An initial assessment was carried out to establish suitable locations for the proposed centre however, with space at a premium an internal courtyard was identified as the only available area.
Further examination of the proposed location revealed that an underground passageway running below the main hospital building formed the only access route onto site. The limited access provided a major consideration in determining the suitability of the site for construction of the new centre.
A further site complication arose from the fact that the courtyard level was one storey below the ground floor level of the main hospital; any proposed development would therefore need to accommodate the discrepancies in levels to meet the criteria for the walk-in-centre application.
An MPH modular building solution offered the hospital an ideal remedy to the headache of working within such a confined area and highlighted the advantages of adopting a modular build technique over traditional construction methods within a healthcare environment.
Eliminating the frustrations of traditional on-site construction, the new centre could be constructed off-site in a controlled factory environment, ensuring minimal on-site works and a fast-track build programme. Utilising an efficient modular building system, the impact on the existing hospital environment during the construction works would be kept to a minimum.
Following consultation with the Estates Department, the MPH design team submitted a proposal to meet the prescribed client specification. The design featured the provision of a specially constructed first floor height steel foundation structure to support the new modular building.
A detailed site survey was carried out and the design of the proposed centre was approved, enabling work to commence on site.
MPH’s team of specialist groundwork sub-contractors were presented with an extremely challenging location in which to operate and faced an onerous task in overcoming the problems associated with the restricted access onto site. All steelwork and building materials had to be carried through a passageway and corridor within the hospital building whilst concrete was pumped underground to help form the foundation bases.
As work continued on site, MPH completed production of the new 216sq metre modular building at their manufacturing base.
Deliveries were scheduled for a weekend to accommodate hospital schedules and ensure that affected operating theatres within the main hospital building were vacated prior to commencement of the lifting operation.
A specialist company was appointed to supply a 250T crane for positioning the new modular units on site. All the units were lifted over the four storey main hospital building and into the courtyard below where they were located on the new steel foundation structure.
At this point during the construction phase, the plans for the new modular building were placed under the scrutiny of an internal hospital restructuring programme. The resultant shake-up saw the original project unexpectedly shelved as an alternative site was identified to house the proposed Walk-In Centre.
With the new modular building a casualty of the restructuring process, the build programme was suspended to allow modifications to be made to the original scheme.
The existing layout plans were doctored to create a new assessment ward and offices. A sensitive re-design from the MPH team saw the original building extended by a further 108sq metres in order to maximise the available space within the enclosed site constraints.
As the new scheme was finalised, work was resurrected on site and the manufacturing process was restarted to facilitate the revised building layout. The existing steel foundation structure was further extended within the courtyard to dovetail with the original support design.
To allow the client the opportunity to implement further changes as the project developed, the new units were manufactured as basic shells to allow for specialist fit out on site, incorporating all hospital services, medical gases etc.
With production complete, the new extension was delivered and erected on site. In order to make the new assessment ward and offices fully operational, a total of five link corridors were formed into the existing hospital building to create access and fire exits.
Working in partnership with the Estates Department, MPH demonstrated their ability to adapt to changing circumstances and provide an efficient, flexible solution to accommodate the needs of the hospital.
Retrospective changes to the building design were readily absorbed into the new layout, highlighting the advantages of this type of construction technique and emphasising the future capacity to respond to changes in hospital requirements.