Work is set to start on an essential programme of repairs to parts of the structure of the new Royal, which will ensure the hospital is finished to the high standards required.
Over the last year a thorough structural review of the building has been carried out by expert structural engineers Arup. This review analysed all elements of the concrete frame and provides solutions where it found issues in the original design that need to be rectified. Together with Laing O’Rourke, a detailed programme of work has been developed to fix these structural issues.
Prior to beginning this programme, Laing O’Rourke has been preparing all areas of the building for these structural interventions. This involves stripping back areas that were near to completion, to enable access to the concrete structure.
Jim Bell, director, Arup said:
“Our structural review looked at the building as it is now and the building at its peak use, once the hospital is open and fully operational. The solutions to address these issues involve using tried and tested methods to strengthen existing beams, reduce loads that are causing structural issues and putting in place additional support.
“The works are highly complex and are necessary to ensure the building is finished to the high standards required. We’re committed to collaborating with the Trust and Laing O’Rourke to help the Trust deliver the hospital that the city needs.”
The structural interventions will require over 220 cubic metres of new concrete and 165 tons of new fabricated steelwork.
Andy Thomson, project director, Laing O’Rourke said:
“This is positive progress. We’re working to a plan to ensure the building is finished to the high standards required and we’re moving forward with this.
Control measures are already in place to ensure there are no immediate risks to workers in the building.
Fixing the structural issues is a complex programme of work, with the added challenge of protecting the existing hi-tech fixtures and fittings in the hospital. This requires heating the building and maintaining water flow to prevent deterioration, which would lead to costly replacements if it was not diligently carried out.”
Laing O’Rourke have a great track record of working on major projects, especially in Liverpool, where they built, Liverpool One, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and are in the process of building the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre next to the new Royal.
Andy Thomson, project director, Laing O’Rourke adds:
“This is my fourth major hospital project and my team have a vast amount of experience in these types of schemes, having built around 1million square metres of healthcare projects between us. We understand how important the new Royal is for staff, patients and the people of Liverpool and we are committed to ensuring that it is completed to the high standards we all expect.”
Work on the structural interventions will begin later this month. To create access, to help transport materials like concrete and steelwork into the building, some of the cladding and exterior of the building will be removed. This is something that people can expect to see later this summer.
Dr Peter Williams, chief executive of the Trust said:
“We’re looking forward to updating our local representatives, Louise Ellman MP and Mayor Anderson on the progress being made and the challenges ahead. This is a complex programme of work that will take time to complete.
Whilst work on these structural interventions is underway, the programme to complete the new Royal will be finalised. Once the programme is finalised and the costs are all accounted for we’ll confirm timescales and costs. We owe it to everyone to not raise expectations with speculation, until everything is signed, sealed and delivered.
Our priority is to deliver the state of the art facilities that our patients need and the world class hospital we’ve all been waiting for.”