In densely-populated Kowloon, Kwong Wah Hospital (KWH) is one of Hong Kong’s oldest and busiest hospitals. Every day, more than 400 people attend its A&E department and up to 2,000 patients are treated in its specialist, family, and general out-patients clinics. Demand for patient services is increasing, too, as the local population ages. Yet some of KWH’s buildings are over 50 years old and require constant repair.
Faced with these challenges, the Hospital Authority decided that a new development was required to replace KWH’s overstretched infrastructure. Their vision was not only to meet the current needs of Kowloon’s residents but create a world-class clinical facility, able to accommodate technological advances and clinical methods that are only just emerging.
We were appointed in 2013 to help bring this vision to fruition by providing a range of engineering and consultancy services across the two phases of KWH’s extensive redevelopment scheme. The first phase, covers surveys and preparations; the second involves the demolition of most of the existing hospital and the creation of a new main building. This end result will be a complex covering 270,000 m2 and providing 1,600 beds.
A redevelopment providing new opportunities
The driving principle behind our approach is to exploit every opportunity offered by the almost total rebuild of KWH to weave future-proofing initiatives into the very fabric of the new hospital. This means creating flexible building engineering services that will comfortably accommodate current technologies, such as computer tomography (CT) scanners and allowing for future technologies.
This flexibility is being designed to also meet sudden surges in patient numbers, for example, by supporting spaces for disaster contingency or an epidemic of infectious disease.
Enhanced isolation facilities, easily accessible from A&E and ICU, are designed to reduce the risk of the spread of infection. Isolation facilities with more than 140 beds are designed to be negative pressured. In addition, facilities with approximately 100 beds are convertible from “normal mode” to “isolation mode” in the case of an outbreak of infectious diseases.
Other features of the new building include 20 operating theatres, an ambulatory care centre, specialist out-patient department, new oncology unit, maternity centre and an expanded, state-of-the-art A&E department.
Iconic Community Building
KWH’s long history and a commitment to providing both western healthcare and traditional Chinese medicine mean the hospital has a special place within the local community. Its iconic Tung Wah Museum, KWH’s original building, will remain the cultural focus of the new campus. But the critical zones that provide acute care, along with the rest of the new campus, will be entirely Future Ready.
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