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Health Projects Refurbishment Work

Rockfon helps revive historic London hospitals


Barts is Britain’s oldest hospital, opened in 1123, while the Royal London Hospital dates back to 1740. These two historic hospitals are now undergoing a 10-year, £1 billion redevelopment, which is being undertaken by Skanska under one of the largest ever PPP projects in Europe.

The scheme will see the redevelopment of many of the hospitals’ ageing buildings with state-of-the-art healthcare facilities. The entire project is due for completion in early 2016, and Rockfon MediCare ceilings, which are specifically designed for healthcare applications, will eventually be installed throughout both hospitals.

A crucial factor on this project was compliance with Skanska’s environmental policy. Skanska is determined to be the leading green project developer and contractor in the UK, so they have some amibitious targets.

Nick Baker, Skanska’s Environmental Manager explains: “The Skanska Colour Palette describes our Journey to Deep Green™. It identifies four key priorities: Energy, Carbon, Materials and Water. Our long term target is to have zero impact in each area. Barts and The Royal London has looked closely at our use of materials, in particular the target for Zero Waste to landfill. Manufacturer take-back schemes are an important factor in our ability to achieve this.”

Barts Hospital’s city centre location presents an especially difficult logistical challenge, compounded by the fact that the new building fills the entire footprint of the site. An off-site logistics depot is being used to consolidate materials from all suppliers and its use reduces the number of daily deliveries to the site. The logistics company also return certain material off-cuts from site to the depot, where they are stored prior to collection for recycling.

Rockfon is working closely with the ceiling contractor, Clark & Fenn Skanska, to ensure all ceiling waste and off-cuts from both sites are recycled, and segregation of waste on site is a key factor in achieving this. In conjunction with storing offcuts at CCF Distribution in Croydon, fifteen pallets of off-cuts have already been returned to the Rockwool factory in Pencoed for recycling back into the production process.

“In the initial stages we believed that a metal tile would be far more practical as a solution for the corridors” commented Derek Bennett of Clark & Fenn Skanska, “However, due to restrictions in void depth, and the heavily serviced corridors, with the assistance of Rockfon, Clark & Fenn Skanska together with the Architects developed a very cost effective solution using Rockfon Medicare plank. This solution allowed Skanska to delay installing tiles until the commissioning stages. This reduced the actual damage that can occur on projects of this nature, thereby reducing any un-necessary waste.”

“From our point of view, the waste recycling is a very good idea. The only drawback is that you need a lot of storage space to recycle effectively, it also requires a high level of control from the logistics team on site. However, it has proved very successful on this project and we would certainly use the scheme on other projects.”

Rockfon’s MediCare range has been specified in standard tile format for the rooms, and planks for the corridors. With over 13 miles of corridors to cover, it was essential the ceilings could provide ease of access and be easy to demount and install. The Rockfon MediCare range also offers resistance to ubiquitous bacteria and fungi, in particular Staphylococcus Aureus including its Methicillin resistant strain (MRSA), making it fully compliant with HTM 60 and an ideal choice for the new hospitals.

All MediCare tiles have smooth aesthetically pleasing surfaces, reinforced by a concealed mesh that provides enhanced impact resistance and durability. The MediCare range is easy to cut and handle and is available in sizes up to 2.4m in length to span corridor widths. Installation in the RockLink FasTrac grid system saves time and grid components, while for corridors, System MaxiSpan can be used to fasten the ceiling to the walls instead of the often congested soffit.

The first phase of works at Barts are already completed, providing one of the most advanced cancer centres in Europe, while the second phase will house a Cardiac Centre of Excellence. The Royal London will include a leading trauma and emergency care centre, the capital’s second largest children’s hospital and one of Europe’s largest renal units. The London Air Ambulance service will also operate from the top of the new building. The two hospitals will offer 1,248 patient beds, with 40% in single occupancy, along with 30 operating theatres, the latest medical equipment and the most up to date diagnostic and treatment technology.