Altnagelvin Area Hospital, Co Londonderry

Doran Consulting has had a long association with Altnagelvin Hospital, which is a key acute care provider in the north-west of Northern Ireland and one of province’s 5 designated cancer units. We were appointed to provide structural and civil engineering design services for the first major extension to the hospital in the late 1970s. That project comprised two templates designed using the Nucleus Planning System and the provision of new roads, drainage infrastructure and car parking.  In the 1980s, we were commissioned to provide structural engineering services for extensions to the hospital’s boiler house and stores, development of Cluster 2 and chimney alterations.

Doran Consulting was then appointed just over a decade ago as a member of the design team which won the design competition to refurbish a number of floors within Altnagelvin Hospital’s tower blocks and construct new 3-storey and 4-storey extensions to accommodate the outpatients department, day case unit, surgical wards, a maternity ward and oncology unit, allowing Altnagelvin to provide over 480 beds and all the services required at a major acute hospital. The works were carried out in a two-phase performance related partnering contract as detailed below.

Redevelopment – South Block Extension, initial phase (3.2A)

The completed award winning extension is a 3-storey, concrete-framed building with basement plant-rooms and a services tunnel, built adjacent to the existing hospital tower block with break-ins to the main tower at 3 levels for circulation. The substructures of the extension comprised reinforced concrete pad foundations and a basement raft foundation which required extensive deep ground excavation into the clay strata to form the basement plant-rooms to the south side of the existing tower block.

The work was successfully carried out in close proximity to the existing tower block, which had to remain fully operational throughout the construction period. In addition to the building works, the internal road and footpath network was also rationalised and a traffic regime established to provide ease of access and safety of use.  The car parking capacity was also significantly increased.

On completion, this extension and refurbishment project won several international commendations and awards including 2nd Place (Highly Commended) in the "Health Buildings Under 40,000m2" Category of the International Academy World Design & Health Awards, the Construction Employers Federation’s Health Infrastructure Award and a Commendation in the Best Hospital Building Category of the Building Better Healthcare Awards.

Redevelopment – South Block Extension, second phase (3.2B)

Once the initial phase of the South Block works were completed and the new facilities were fully operational, a second phase of extension works commenced. These works included the provision of a new 3-storey concrete framed building with basement plant-rooms and services tunnel which was built adjacent to the existing hospital tower block, linking the tower block to the South Block extension, with break ins to the original tower and to the new South Block for circulation at basement and 3 upper levels.     

This phase also included the construction of a 10-storey extension to the end of the existing hospital tower block ward wing to provide additional new fire prevention facilities, bed evacuation lifts, service distribution space and generally improving the circulation throughout the building with the increased space. The new structure was formed in reinforced concrete and was equipped with a 2-storey basement formed. The project was completed with the existing ward block remaining operational at all times throughout the construction period.

Additional & Future Works

In addition to the two-phase contract for major refurbishment and extension works detailed above, we have also provided design services in relation to several smaller, discreet projects for the hospital including the provision of a new gas storage facility, a new 2-storey block with necessary alterations to existing buildings to provide a new endoscopy unit and a new single storey mortuary block with separate access.

Following these successes and progressing with the hospital’s ongoing development, we have now also recently been commissioned to provide a full range of design services in relation to a planned set of works to refurbish and expand the north block of the hospital.