On an average day, around 400 people attend Kwong Wah Hospital (KWH)’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department, while up to 2,000 patients are treated by its specialist, family and general out-patients clinic. Based in Kowloon, Hong Kong, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, KWH is renowned for its comprehensive range of acute services. But the majority of the hospital complex is over 50 years old and many buildings are no longer fit-for-purpose and require constant repair.
A Ready for Tomorrow Facility
When the hospital’s stakeholders decided that a new development was required to replace KWH’s overstretched infrastructure, the vision was not only to meet the current needs of Kowloon’s residents but create a world-class clinical facility ready for tomorrow. KWH, the flagship of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs), needed a building that would be ‘future proof’, accommodating technological advances and clinical methods that are only just emerging.
We were brought on board the redevelopment plan early in 2013 to fulfil two key contracts; firstly, engineering consultancy and secondly, civil, structural and geotechnical engineering services. These services are to be provided across the two phases of the 12-year redevelopment scheme, which is still in its first phase. The first phase covers surveys and preparations, the second will see the demolition of most of the existing hospitals and the creation of a new main building. This will result in a complex covering 270,000m2 and providing 1,600 beds.
A Redevelopment providing New Opportunities
Central to the redevelopment is the expansion of KWH’s acute care services. The new building will offer an expanded A&E department of 5,000 m2, which includes a new emergency medicine ward to care for A&E admissions. KWH’s existing intensive care unit (ICU) will also be redeveloped. Enhanced isolation facilities, which are easily accessed from A&E and ICU, will be installed to reduce the risk of the spread of infection. Other features of the new building include 20 operating theatres, an ambulatory care centre, specialist out-patient department, new oncology unit and maternity centre.
Our approach is to embrace the opportunities offered by the almost total rebuild of KWH to weave future-proofing initiatives into the very fabric of the new hospital. This means comfortably accommodating current technologies such as computer tomography (CT) scans and creating flexible building engineering services that can, for example, support spaces for disaster contingency. Over 140 beds are fitted out with negative pressure control isolation facilitates, to control the risks of infection. In addition, approximately 100 beds are convertible from “normal mode” to “isolation mode” in the case of an outbreak of infectious diseases.
Iconic Community Building
Founded in 1911, KWH’s charitable origins and long commitment to providing traditional Chinese medicine all mean the hospital has a special place in 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 fit for the future.