King’s College Hospital, one of London’s largest and busiest teaching hospitals, is known around the world for the first-rate care it provides to the critically ill.
Patients travel from far afield to access the hospital’s services in areas including liver disease, transplantation, neurosciences and haematology.
New State-Of-The-Art Critical Care Unit
Maintaining its reputation means having the facilities to match, and in 2010 King’s developed a business case to expand its critical care unit (CCU) with a new 60-bed, state-of-the-art facility located above an existing surgical block. That project is now under way – and set to cement the institution’s position as the UK’s leading provider of critical care.
Finding Optimal Solutions to a Challenging Scheme
WSP are providing a range of services to this technically complex scheme, including MEP design, façade engineering and vertical transport consultancy. Joining the team part way into the design process, we were asked to review the MEP proposals and buildability requirements, and to establish a construction sequence for integrating the new building services with the existing facilities below.
A key requirement was for the theatre block to remain fully functional throughout construction, calling for considerable ingenuity in the arrangement of temporary services and design of the new building and plant rooms.
A steel superstructure – comprising 7m-high single-span roof trusses – will ‘over-sail’ the existing building footprint, allowing the new floors to be suspended below. This will also create space for a new plant room within the roof structure, set to include an air handling plant, primary and secondary chilled water, hot water and heating pumping systems, new cold-water storage tanks and electrical distribution switchgear, among other equipment. During construction, a carefully planned transition programme will connect the existing services to the new facilities, while keeping the operating theatres up and running.
Aiming for Energy Excellence
The facility is designed to operate efficiently while providing exceptional comfort for occupants. High performance building fabric with low air leakage rates is combined with energy-efficient heating and cooling and maximised natural light. The design reflects the client’s ambition for BREEAM Excellent, with measures to reduce water consumption by 25% and minimise noise and light pollution, for example, as well as use of materials with low environmental impacts.