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Offsite firm wins £15m hospital contract

12 November 2018 | By Neil Gerrard

Image: Render of how the new hospital wing will look

Offsite firm the McAvoy Group has won a £15m contract for the construction of a new wing at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.

The project, which is the company’s largest healthcare contract to date, will see the construction of a 6,500m2, three-storey building that will be linked to the existing hospital.

The offsite construction method used by McAvoy is set to reduce the build programme by half to less than 12 months, with completion due in spring 2019.

McAvoy said the project would involve a number of innovations in offsite technology, including larger, bespoke modules up to 14.85m long which have been specially engineered to provide a structural flooring solution that integrates with the existing hospital building. This will meet the key requirement for efficient patient flows, removing the need for ramps and steps. 

Meanwhile, mechanical ventilation, heating and cooling systems will be installed in the ceiling voids in the McAvoy factory, which the company claims is an industry first in the healthcare sector.

Designed by healthcare specialists P+HS Architects working with McAvoy as principal contractor, the new wing will replicate the appearance of the existing hospital which opened in 2015. It will have a faceted external facade to create curved ends to the wing and will be finished in blue and white render.

While the three-storey structure will be built offsite, a curved link on each floor will be built in situ. The building will also feature a roof-top plant room and full-height stair towers.

The first floor will be fitted out as part of this contract to accommodate one of the UK’s first purpose-designed Ambulatory Care units for up to 150 patients, with the other two floors fitted out in the next phase of the development.

Commenting on the use of offsite construction, Robert Sanderson, deputy director of capital projects at Northumbria Healthcare FML said: “With this new development, the Trust is demonstrating a dynamic approach with its use of modern methods of construction. The quality of the facility to meet the clinical requirements is our main driver for a McAvoy offsite solution. We will also benefit from a huge reduction in the build programme – from at least two years to just 12 months. This will bring enormous benefits for reducing waiting times in A&E next year and the new ambulatory care unit will enable us to assess, treat and discharge patients more quickly.”

Raymond Millar, construction director of the McAvoy Group said: “This is a highly complex project on a live hospital site. We are integrating with the design of the existing hospital and using offsite construction to deliver the building to a very short programme, achieve exceptional value for money and to the Trust’s stringent quality standards. We have developed a hybrid solution which incorporates both offsite and in-situ building methods and are maximising fit-out in the factory for this first phase to enhance quality and reduce disruption to staff and patients.”

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