A new urology centre, set to transform the patient experience at the Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, has opened for patients. The £6m The Stokes Centre for Urology, will provide significant increased capacity and convenience for people in the south of England and will ease current long waiting times, diagnostic delays, availability of specialist equipment and treatments.
Measuring approximately 1600m2 the project included the formation of a new build two storey centralised hub for the urology department plus consultation and treatment rooms, administrative and staff accommodation, clinical facilities and new lecture facilities.
Constructed on pad foundations, this steel frame building has a contemporary style, featuring a curved front, open atrium entrance and is further enhanced externally by copper cladding panels, along with white rendered walls and complementary facing bricks and a flat roof.
The urology centre sits in front of the main hospital building and, along with an extension to another adjacent building, covers practically the entire available developable footprint on the previous landscape. The utilisation of this footprint required considerable excavation into an existing slope and the inclusion of retaining walls in the new building structure.
Further logistical challenges included relocating existing high voltage cables running through the slope to be excavated, below ground drainage the proposed construction area to be diverted.
Clarkebond engineers carried out an intrusive geotechnical investigation to identify the ground conditions at the site, identify suitable foundation options for the development and investigate anomalies found by a ground penetrating radar survey of the slope due to be excavated. The geotechnical investigation was required before construction work could commence to inform foundation design for the new building.
As part of the overall drainage strategy, an underground rainwater attenuation tank was provided to store excess run-off from the site as the existing ground conditions prevent the use of infiltration techniques. This tank system had to be sited outside the building but strategically within the limited footprint of the site.
With little room for on-site construction, the superstructure of the building was designed to be a fast-track steel frame solution with a manufactured off-site floor construction system to ease delivery, handling and construction.
An optimum shallowest structural floor was provided in the form of ‘Slimflor’ construction which maximised the height available for floor to ceiling heights and service zones within the overall building constraints.
The logistical challenges of constructing a new building within a restricted occupied hospital site included ensuring the safety of the general public and hospital staff, operating a safe and professional site with minimal impact on the hospital’s adjacent buildings.
In order to do this, Clarkebond re-routed pedestrian footpaths and closed the adjacent vehicle access route, ensuring that the site was safely segregated from the rest of the hospital and we worked with the client to relocate departments in adjacent buildings prior to the works starting.
With more than 20 years’ experience working in similar hospital environments, Clarkebond has established procedures and controls in place to meet these requirements, together with healthcare trained operatives.
Having successfully delivered a comprehensive surgical theatre project for RSCH, Clarkebond had an established relationship with the team and a good working knowledge of the hospital. This experience, coupled with a prompt efficient start to the project, excellent teamwork, good communication and mutual trust set the benchmark for a successful project.