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Steelwork begins for Orkney hospital

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Steel has started to be erected for the NHS Orkney’s new £65M hospital and healthcare facility in Kirkwall.

Steelwork contractor BHC is working on behalf of principal contractor Robertson on the state-of-the-art development that will transform the way healthcare services are delivered in the islands.

Designed by Keppie Architects, the hospital, which is due to be completed in 2019, will replace the existing Balfour Hospital, two local GP Practices and the Public Dental Service.

The 14,500m² development will provide 49 en-suite bedrooms for in-patients, assessment, maternity and mental health needs. Additionally, the new purpose-built hospital will include accident and emergency, surgical theatres, day surgery and cancer and palliative care units.

Cathie Cowan, NHS Orkney Chief Executive, said: “This development will match our aspirations to deliver the highest quality care and services from fit-for-purpose facilities.

“Delivering a major healthcare project in Orkney presents a unique set of challenges. To solve these, we have taken into account the remoteness of the island, supply chain logistics, local landscape and challenging climatic conditions, as well as specific archaeological and environmental considerations.

For example, procuring and shipping construction materials to the island and storing on site well in advance of programme requirements will reduce the vulnerability of the project to extreme weather conditions.

Structural steelwork will be fabricated offsite wherever possible to enable speedy completion of the building structure. The envelope of the building is designed to take into account the available trades on the islands and to achieve an early wind and watertight position, thus allowing internal trades to progress despite inclement weather.”

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