Building Control Approved Inspector services for new helideck

Jan. 10 2019

A new helideck under construction on the roof of the Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH) in Brighton - scheduled to come into use early in 2019 - will be the first major improvement delivered by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust's  £485m 3Ts Redevelopment programme.

The landmark structure is being built on top of the Thomas Kemp Tower, the RSCH's highest building. It will enable air ambulances to land directly on the site for the first time - a massive boost to the hospital's role as the Major Trauma Centre for Sussex and the wider region.

The 3Ts Redevelopment project will see a provision for specialist tertiary, trauma and teaching facilities amongst a wide range of improvements. The scheme will take nine years to complete and is being undertaken in three stages. All the hospital's clinical services will continue to run on site during the works.

The redevelopment will offer significantly improved, state of the art accommodation for the patients and staff from more than 30 wards and departments. As well as the helideck, the project will deliver 100 extra beds across a range of specialist services and additional underground parking for patients and visitors.

Architect for the scheme, BDP, is working with the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and the main contractor is Laing O'Rourke. Bureau Veritas has provided Approved Inspector services from the inception stage of this major scheme.

Work on Stage 1 started on site at the beginning of 2016 following enabling works and an extensive decant programme. When completed, this first phase of the redevelopment will house the replacement wards from the oldest working acute ward building in the NHS - which opened its doors in 1828 - in cutting edge, modern accommodation. It will also expand services for neurosciences, stroke and critical care amongst others. The new facilities will help ensure more patients can receive treatment locally and significantly reduce the need for transfers to London-based hospitals.

Bureau Veritas has been a key member of the project team from the earliest design stages and its involvement has been crucial in the timely resolution of important issues to ensure project risk is mitigated. This involvement has included agreeing the complex fire strategy which has been successfully negotiated with the local fire services.

In regard to the provision of the helideck, Bureau Veritas' experts had to consider the issues surrounding the erection of the large steel structure on top of an existing and fully functioning hospital building. This type of major structural engineering is not normally seen in redevelopment projects and Bureau Veritas worked closely with all parties including specialists and the aviation authority to ensure the safe construction of this facility.

In addition, future demands for fire safety also had to be addressed and earlier this year the RSCH received a donation to fund a state of the art helideck fire suppression system. The £650,000 contribution came from the HELP Appeal - the only charity in the country dedicated to funding hospital helipads.

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