South West Acute Hospital, Fermanagh

RPS was appointed by FCC Infrastructure and Interserve to fulfil the role of civil, structural and fire engineering consultant on this 380 bed acute hospital. The £267 million project provided all single rooms with en-suite facilities along with an A & E department, laboratory services, inpatient services (including critical care, major and emergency surgery, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology) as well as outpatient services. The development also included provision for key worker’s accommodation and a two deck car park.

The ground conditions varied considerably at the site, and as such a variety of foundation solutions were adopted from CFA Piling to pad and strip footings. The building structure is a reinforced concrete flat slab which offered benefits in terms of ease of construction and services distribution but which also maximises flexibility in the future spatial planning of the building by accommodating changes in layout without requiring alterations to the building structure.

In terms of fire safety, the strategy for the hospital was based on the “Hospital Street” concept. The street runs for the full length of the building, broken up by a central atrium space and acts as a primary means of escape from the building in the event of a fire and also serves as a protected mustering point for the fire brigade. Fire Engineering techniques were used extensively in the design of the building to address departures from standard guidance including smoke control provisions in the atrium, firefighting facilities, compartmentation and sub-compartmentation proposals and extensions in travel distance.