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Open Doors Week: Interserve's proton beam therapy centre

Interserve welcomed visitors to a ground-breaking, UK-first project as part of Open Doors Week 2016.

The firm is on site at the Christie Cancer Care hospital in Didsbury, south Manchester, where it will deliver the UK’s first high-energy proton beam therapy centre for the NHS.

As part of the ProCure21+ framework, the five-storey building will deliver the facilities to provide a specialist form of radiotherapy for cancer patients, alongside clinical facilities, treatment and research rooms, and new public space.

Works began on the site in August 2015, and with piling complete and the concrete frame well under way, the Open Doors tour is shown where the most technically challenging aspects of the project will take place.

To provide the proton beam therapy, Interserve will have to install a particle accelerator, called a cyclotron, which weighs more than 200 tonnes.

Special 6 m-thick reinforced concrete will house three three-storey gantries which will help deliver proton beam therapy as part of the treatment process.

The site visitors are shown how the concrete was modelled to make sure there was no shrinkage or thermal cracking, and also how the site had been extensively modelled with Level 2 BIM – the first time BIM has been used in the UK to model radiation protection.

Overall, the project will need more than 20,000 cu m of concrete.

The site is also hemmed in on all fronts, with a main road on one side, existing hospital facilities all around and blocks of flats mere metres away, presenting huge challenges to the Interserve team in terms of access and planning.

The project, which is due to receive its first patient in August 2018, will be the first of its type in the UK, providing a facility with life-changing potential.

Jennifer Patrick, a teacher at the nearby Parrs Wood Academy, says seeing a site like this and meeting the people who work there “really resonates” with students.

“Sometimes it can be hard to get them enthusiastic about construction but showing them a project that will really make a difference to the local area is important,” she says.

Proton Beam Therapy Centre, Christie Hospital

Contractor: Interserve
Client: The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
Architects: HKS
M&E and structural engineer: Arup
Cost consultants: Gleeds
Concrete contractor: Heyrod
Project value: £90m
Start date: August 2015
Completion date: August 2018

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