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Orthopedic Hospital extension challenges Briggs and Forrester on M&E

Briggs and Forrester Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopedic Hospital CGI

A huge array of services meant the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital needed some careful planning.

The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Oswestry, Shropshire, offers specialised care for patients with bone tumours.

As one of only five in the UK, the existing unit faced increasing demand.

Briggs and Forrester Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopedic Hospital

Briggs and Forrester Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopedic Hospital

The existing facility is one of only five in the UK

To tackle this, a new extension to the existing facility is being built to provide a dedicated environment specifically designed to meet the specialist requirements of patient care.

Briggs and Forrester was appointed for this major extension, valued at £4.5m, through ProCure21+ with principal supply chain partner Kier. The project is one of several P21+ healthcare projects the company is delivering alongside Kier across the North-west.

The new three-storey building extension incorporates a major theatre development and tumour unit. The overall design aims to reduce waiting times and improve the flow of staff, patients and supplies around the hospital.

Complex service co-ordination

The challenges for this project were all about co-ordination of an extensive amount of services packed within a relatively small footprint.

This was not easy, and the Briggs and Forrester team encountered quite a few challenges to enable a compliant installation to be produced, with the flexibility for modification to accommodate change and variation.

Specialist healthcare services include:

  • Dedicated ventilation systems
  • Surgeons panels
  • PACS (picture archiving and communication system)
  • Control pendants
  • Bedhead trunking
  • Operating lamps
  • UCVs (ultra clean ventilation)
  • Nurse call/staff attack
  • Staff intercom systems

The scheme being produced to BIM Level 2 has enabled the design team and Briggs and Forrester to combine knowledge and skills, ensuring a fully engineered solution for all M&E services while maximising the expectations of both the architectural engineer and the client.

“The M&E design was challenged to provide a reduction in serviceable equipment”

In particular, the four new theatres, all fitted out with 3.5 sq m ECO-Flow UCV canopies, medical pendants and several other specialist medical services within a standard theatre-size room, can leave a tricky legacy due to the serviceable M&E equipment within the ceiling areas.

The M&E design was challenged to provide a reduction in serviceable equipment and, where required, Briggs and Forrester developed the model so that these were positioned outside of the theatre area – either in the plant room above or in the adjacent street corridors. Where this wasn’t practicable, the team used ‘through access’ luminaires to provide future access to serviceable equipment.

Repeatable design pays off

The repeatable design feature of bedrooms and ensuites enabled a consistent and streamlined approach to the M&E services layout through each of the various ward areas.

In addition, an integrated bedhead services arrangement was developed to provide a functional yet aesthetically pleasing product that offered various services for ventilation, power, data, medical gases and so on.

The trust was particularly keen to maintain a simple but efficient lighting control and energy-saving approach throughout the new building.

Briggs and Forrester has combined both these elements within the selection of LED luminaires throughout, as well as a cost-effective lighting control solution using both modern engineering practices of plug-and-play products and user-friendly control function for staff and patients alike.

Briggs and Forrester Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopedic Hospital CGI ward

Briggs and Forrester Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopedic Hospital CGI ward

The new theatres were challenging due to the M&E equipment in ceiling areas

All critical patient areas are supported by Health Technical Memorandum-compliant uninterruptible power supplies, isolated power supplies and medical gas installations, and provide an N+1 resilience solution in case of supply failure.

The new services are supported and seamlessly integrated with the existing hospital infrastructure, which will provide enhanced resilience throughout.

The new build has been designed to integrate with the existing main plant systems, which required a ‘live’ break-in gas and water supplies to avoid major disruption to the day-to-day operation of adjacent departments.

Early engagement and continuous liaison with the hospital project managers, lead clinicians and department heads enabled the project team to establish a sense of confidence and reliability, helping ensure everyone’s expectations were met at all stages.

Having commenced on site in August 2015, the new extension is due to complete in September 2016.

Alun Bunday is healthcare contract manager at Briggs and Forrester Engineering Services

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