Bridgwater Hospital reaches practical completion ahead of schedule and on budget

A new community hospital in Bridgwater has achieved practical completion ahead of schedule, and is on track to be open to patients in the summer of 2014.  Clarkebond provided civil and structural engineering services on the project, which posed a number of design challenges.

With the site located within the Bridgwater flood plain, particular design consideration was given to solving surface water and flood risk issues.  Clarkebond successfully negotiated an agreement with the Environment Agency and the Internal Drainage Board to raise general site levels by up to a metre. Quarry waste reinforced with geotextile was used to build up the site level, provide a suitable platform for the piling rig to work from and a smooth clean surface for the contractor to work on from day one.

The design included fully integrated SUDS on site with porous pavement car parks linked to a new ditch and pond system with ecological enhancements such as a new otter holt, profiling of the pond to provide an otter ledge and landscape planting to provide butterfly corridors  to encourage the bio-diversity of the area.

The integrity of the design was put to the test during the heavy rainfall through January and February and passed with flying colours!

An in-situ reinforced flat slab design was chosen to minimise structural zones and avoid obstructions to horizontal services distribution, which is critical in a hospital environment.  A concrete roof enabled the installation of photo voltaic panels and other mechanical and electrical plant above and also gave total flexibility for the location of patient hoists and other such equipment beneath.


Further challenges were posed when a decision was made half way through construction to add an additional endoscopy department on the side of the building.  Overhead and below ground services already re-routed across the proposed extension site had to be diverted again and the structure re-configured to accommodate the proposed endoscopy department.

The Bridgwater Community Hospital and the Research, Innovation and Learning Development (RILD) in Exeter, built to BREEAM Very Good and BREEAM Excellent respectively, are currently the two largest projects in the South West procured through the P21+ framework.  

Clarkebond has provided civil and structural engineering on both projects.