MRI Building, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff
Flexibility and insight were Matt Gavin’s big allies in delivering efficiently and cost-effectively this new-build project in an enclosed courtyard, surrounded on all sides by ongoing clinical facilities. His level of stakeholder liaison with multiple internal hospital departments with potentially conflicting interests was extraordinary. His logistical planning was exemplary, and his dynamism and resolve were key to ensuring that the technical difficulties that arose did not derail the project.
About the Project
Client: Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Contract: NEC option C
Taking on this six-storey replacement MRI facility at the biggest hospital in Wales (a 1960s build that has been repeatedly adapted and extended over the years), Matt Gavin had to find a way out of a construction straitjacket. With the hospital campus having reached the limit of all constraining boundaries, the new-build project was sited in an enclosed courtyard, surrounded on all sides by live medical facilities, with the only access through office space immediately below the maternity suite.
He showed flexibility, dynamism and insight in devising a methodology that maintained operational continuity and kept disruption to a minimum while delivering the works efficiently and cost-effectively. His stakeholder liaison was superb: he acted not just as a contractor but as an intermediary between internal hospital departments with sometimes conflicting interests. He carried out detailed user reviews with each of the many departmental stakeholders, working hard to understand the nuances of what worked and what needed improving.
Matt’s exemplary logistical planning included erecting a tower crane within the courtyard – the only practicable way to move materials into and out of the site. In an emergency corridor over which the crane lifts would take place, he installed a CCTV camera linked to the crane cab so the operator could check if the corridor was clear before each lift.
The demolition of the existing MRI facility required the removal of the ground-floor slab. Matt had the saw-cutting operation carried out between 8am and 9am to prevent disruption to resting patients and prior to CT scanner operations commencing. The slab was then crushed in sections by a remote-operated demolition robot to limit the noise and vibration
When difficulties arose, Matt’s dynamism and resolve mitigated them. Take the precise service load requirement of the new facility’s specialist equipment. As this was unknown, Matt had proceeded on a worst-case basis, only to be blindsided in the final months of the project by a change in the equipment specification that pushed the electrical load much higher. Matt introduced a cast resin busbar. By vigorously resequencing, he allowed snagging and commissioning to continue while the busbar was sourced and installed, reducing a potential 16-week delay to just four.