Colchester Hospital
Elective Orthopaedic Centre – Dame Clare Marx Building

A brand-new orthopaedic centre for East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust’s Colchester Hospital providing new operating theatres, wards and plant room to the hospital. The centre is located on the edge of Colchester Hospital on a quarter-hectare plot and once complete, will be one of the largest orthopaedic centres in Europe.

The build is a hybrid design combining Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and traditional build techniques. Almost 300 modules were used within the build, creating three-storeys with partial basement and roof level plant room with an internal floor space of 8300 sqm. A modular construction was chosen as it allows for quicker construction than traditional builds, as the modular units are built off-site.

Rossi Long Consulting were appointed as Civil and Structural Engineers, providing foundation and drainage support as well as designing the temporary works for Main Contractor MTX Contracts working with architect Arcadis IBI. A key function of our services was to co-ordinate and conceive the construction sequencing from enabling works stages through to completion.

Constructed on a sloping site, our engineers provided a design solution that incorporated a partial basement with fully waterproof concrete. We also undertook a drainage strategy to aid the cleaning of existing site of its services by diverting it to the new building.

The site is a constrained site, bound by surrounding operational buildings in constant use by hospital staff and patients. This included an operational ward that required underpinning to install the primary drainage diversion to the live foul and surface water drains serving the majority of the hospital estate which crossed the proposed footprint. Live primary services are present at the boundaries, with a 450mm diameter low water mains and high voltage cables. Our engineers were able to respond to these challenges by evolving the brief to the surrounding environment and by coordinating with parties outside the ground and with hospital stakeholders that interact with the project.

The scheme increased in size during the planning process, adding in two more operating theatres. We provided Civil and Structural Engineering consultancy to support a new, separate energy centre which was needed to support the new theatres. The new plant area contains air conditioning units and a substation on the roof.

Sustainability has been considered throughout the project, which has resulted in a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’. By using MMC, construction waste was kept to a minimum by reducing the amount of construction material used and construction material has been kept on site where possible. Our team provided a sustainable solution for drainage, whereby surface water goes to a local ditch with the flow restricted to help flooding in the area.

Images courtesy of MTX Contracts