Manchester hospital tour de force
Given the challenge of combining five separate hospitals on a single city centre site, Mott MacDonald responded with a flexible design and meticulous planning.
(Article taken from our customer magazine Momentum)
Pinning down zones where services could be routed enabled design to be accelerated. Geoff Mather
Central Manchester University Hospitals is one of the largest hospital projects anywhere in Europe. It has brought together five different hospitals on a single city centre campus and was built without interrupting the provision of care to the existing hospitals’ combined million patients per year.
The new £380 million campus provides 122,000sq.m of state-of-the-art facilities for 700 staff and rooms for 4500 patients in a number of buildings. Mott MacDonald provided structural, civil and geotechnical design for private finance initiative consortium Catalyst Healthcare.
“Structural and logistical flexibility was fundamental,” says Mott MacDonald project manager Geoff Mather. “Facilities have to meet the requirements of the full spectrum of medical disciplines. It was imperative that sensitive areas like operating theatres would not be affected by vibration resulting from use of the building. And construction had to take place without adversely affecting the day-to-day activities of existing hospital facilities.”
To meet these challenges a reinforced concrete frame of flat slab floors supported on columns was selected. Dynamic analysis software developed by Mott MacDonald was used to keep structural vibration below strict limits.
Flat slabs allow full flexibility in the way internal spaces are divided up. Partition walls and services do not have to negotiate down-stand beams. This will enable the hospital to adapt to changes in medical provision over the course of its 60 year design life.
Very early in design development the team agreed a set of rules governing the positioning and installation of services. “Pinning down zones where services could be routed enabled structural design to be accelerated and minimised the number of design changes required,” Geoff explains. Despite overlapping schedules, this helped structural design stay well ahead of construction.
Work was broken down into phases, enabling space across the campus to be juggled. Noise and vibration from construction were limited by using bored rather than driven piles, for example. For speed and simplicity, the buildings were designed to minimise temporary works. Shear studs were used for column to floor slab connections, avoiding rebar congestion. Prefabricated rebar mats were used for the slabs to minimise construction time.
Hand-over of buildings to hospital staff and patients has followed a rolling completion programme – the first moved in June 2009 with final construction works completing in September 2010.
How we’ve contributed to successRapid changes in medical technology and patient care require total flexibility of floor space and services. We provided a structural design that allows for easy adaptation over the hospital’s 60 year life. The solution limited noise and vibration while maximising construction speed and safety, keeping disruption to ongoing hospital operations to a minimum.
Client: Catalyst Healthcare (Bovis Lend Lease, Vita Lend Lease and Sodexo)