Cork University Hospital chooses modular building solution


Off-site construction solution for €3.4m paediatric wing delivered by Actavo Building Solutions

Cork University Hospital, Ireland, has added a new, single-storey €3.4m paediatric wing to its centre of excellence with a design and build project delivered by Actavo Building Solutions, formerly Roan Building Solutions.

The hospital treats sick children with a range of services including specialist care, inpatient surgical and day services. The aim of the purpose-built extension is to help reduce waiting times.

The extension sits on top of the ground floor of Cork University Hospital and has created six, six-bed wards and 15 single bedrooms with a total 1,600sq m of additional floor space and several link corridors to improve circulation within the hospital.

The new paediatric wing took only 26 weeks to build on site using modular construction methods. This meant 80% of the build took place offsite, which reduced onsite construction by a significant number of weeks compared with traditional methods.

Matthew Goff, UK operations director at Actavo Building Solutions, said: “When you build offsite, you plan and construct with meticulous precision. Enabling works happen in parallel with the building’s construction, which is manufactured in a high-quality-controlled environment. It takes strategic thinking and rigorous co-ordination, but the prize is minimal disruption, which is particularly key in the acute care environment.

“Healthcare environments share many similarities with our clients in the education sector except, in a hospital, your team must remain vigilant in following strict infection control protocols. Stringent attention is always shown to controlling the spread of dust, especially where immune-deficient patients are recovering.”

Cork University Hospital chooses modular building solution

The Cork University Hospital extension was difficult to reach as it is located above a working ward within a courtyard and with limited road access.

Tony McNamara, chief executive at Cork University Hospital Group, said: “We are very happy with the new unit. With limited space, and a requirement to keep noise and traffic disruption to a minimum, a modular building was the ideal solution for the high-tech unit to be put in place while the existing paediatric department is being refurbished and extended.

“Our patients and staff were not disturbed during the build, which was a key reason we went with a modular off-site build in that 80% of the construction, down to first fixes, was completed off the hospital campus and it was then placed on top of our outpatients department.”

Actavo Building Solutions also mirrored the existing external brick slip front, so the extension was aesthetically attuned with the rest of the hospital.

Environmental design features included measures to support both air-tightness and sound insulation. Actavo Building Solutions also fitted a pneumatic drug circulation system to both the new and existing building.

Helen Cahalane, assistant director of nursing at Cork University Hospital, said: “Our staff are delighted with the bright, spacious facilities that the unit provides, which incorporates a homely design for our patients and their families with children’s artwork lining the snow-white corridors.

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“We were able to move right in with our existing furniture and equipment and we will be able to move back out and let the building to the next department moving in. It was like a seamless jigsaw coming together.”

Cork University Hospital chooses modular building solution