CMYA Finalist

Employer: BAM Construct UK

Project: The intra-operative MRI / Hybrid Cardiac Theatre (MRIHCT) Building, Leeds General Infirmary

The unique appearance of this fourth-floor hospital extension, supported on eight 17m-long angled stilts is an apt reflection of the unusual nature of Daniel Marsh’s project. Arriving on the scheme only when construction was under way, he had to juggle the works and the logistics so that the build would have no effect on the hospital’s operating theatre schedules.

A clear risk was presented by the hospital’s nearby helipad with a flight path that crossed the site (depending on the direction of the prevailing wind). Dan established a safe strategy to avoid collision between his cranes and the helicopter and to prevent the 90mph downdraft of the aircraft causing elevated loads to spin or become unstable.

The facility’s MRI scanners presented another unique hazard. Dan had to extend the venting of four quench pipes (which dispel superchilled helium from the scanners in the event of an emergency shutdown) to outside of the site zone. And with the MRI’s magnets making metal a no-no (because it would interfere with the images created by the scanner), he identified how far the gaussfield extended and then erected aluminium scaffold outside the interference radius.

He deployed a digital delivery booking platform specific to the project. It allowed all regular hospital deliveries to be prebooked, simplifying site logistics and ensuring that the hospital’s critical supplies, including to its blood bank, were not affected.

For most of the construction phase, the site workforce were going about their construction business just a 40mm studwork partition away from cardiac and neuro surgeons going about theirs. Dan held weekly liaison meetings with hospital planners and theatre managers to highlight works that could be disruptive, undertaking noisy works outside theatre hours. And he installed a hotline that clinicians could call if they felt his works were affecting theirs; answered in two rings, it ensured those works would be stopped within just one minute.

After a detailed interrogation of the design, Dan realised that very few services required access at the third-storey plant level and so made it double-height to the top of the building. His removal of an entire level saved programme time and provided a significant saving for the client, with no detrimental effect on performance.