Midland Metropolitan Hospital is one of the largest acute hospital developments in Europe.
Construction Innovation Hub Healthcare Sandpit
A prototype healthcare module to test and demonstrate innovative construction technologies with the use of innovation practices, for the future of new hospitals in the UK.
Healthcare - Yorkshire
The Healthcare Sandpit was built as part of the Construction Innovation Hub programme, led by the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC). It is a prototype healthcare module adopting the use of innovative construction technologies such as 2D Laser Cut Reinforcement (LCR), robot drilled services and the adoption of a completely pre-cast concrete sub-structure and super-structure.
The project is an opportunity to test and demonstrate the viability of these construction technologies with a view to using the innovation practices on a mass scale for future new hospitals in the UK.
The Healthcare Sandpit is designed to replicate a typical isolation theatre including a gowning room, dirty utility room, clean preparation room and corridor access.
The Sandpit aims to demonstrate a building designed with efficiency in mind. The structural frame consists of three different types of precast concrete members, blade columns, edge beams and slab panels. These repeat at ground-floor and roof levels to ensure structural simplicity and efficiency.
The driver to minimise and simplify the type of pre-cast members manufactured off site was for the Sandpit to showcase that on a large scale this structural solution can take huge advantage of the cost and time saving associated with off-site manufacturing of repeatable elements and just in time site delivery.
To demonstrate a new and unique way for healthcare facilities of the future and to pave the path to a more sustainable way of building these new facilities.
One of the key areas of focus for the Sandpit project was to display the ease and speed of construction, utilising a process focused on MMC whereby much of the construction takes place off-site ready for piecing together on-site. To gain as much as we could from this process, we as the structural engineers ensured that the structural form was kept simplistic with only a few types of members manufactured off site to be delivered to the site when they were needed. On-site time-consuming processes of in-situ shuttering, pouring, and curing, reinforcement tying and stripping were all eliminated along with the inherent errors the in-situ method poses.
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