It might be codenamed Project ICE, but there was nothing cold or unwelcoming about Bam Construction’s Open Doors Week tour in Glasgow.
ICE stands for Imaging Centre of Excellence – a new clinical and academic research facility at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. The building replaces the clinical facility known as the Roundhouse, which was demolished to make way for the ICE.
What makes this project particularly special though is that it is being built to house the UK’s first and only seven-Tesla MRI scanner – with magnets powerful enough to pull an articulated lorry through a wall, according to Bam’s assistant site manager Niall Johnston, who shows us around.
Open Doors 2016 Bam Construct Queen Elizabeth University Hospital 2
The machine will cost £7m, with Bam Construct handing over an empty shell on the ground floor to Siemens for the installation, while work carries on in constructing and fitting out operating theatres on the first floor and office space on the third and fourth floors.
The top storey contains a plant room, with separate air-handling units feeding each operating theatre below individually.
The partitions for the operating theatres are all lead-lined to stop radiation escaping. “This has meant the partitions all have extra weight in them and that there will be extra weight on slab, which is something we’ve had to consider,” Mr Johnston says.
While the tour Construction News attends is a quiet one, Mr Johnston recalls how earlier that day he showed a Polish site worker around who was interested in finding out more about how to gain work in the UK construction industry.
“We walked around and I showed him what was going on,” Mr Johnston says. “We have a few Polish guys working on site for [M&E subcontractor] FES. So rather than me explaining it to him, we gave him five minutes with those guys so they could explain how they got work and what he needs to do to get into the industry.”
Practical advice given out on site, then, as part of Open Doors.
Open Doors 2016 Bam Construct Queen Elizabeth University Hospital 1
And once Project ICE completes, practical research into brain illnesses and injuries will be carried out – research that could transform the lives of many people.
“It’s a good thing to be a part of – it’s a project that benefits people,” Mr Johnston says.
Imaging Centre of Excellence
Contractor: Bam Construct
Client: University of Glasgow
M&E subcontractor: FES
Start date: October 2015
End date: February 2017