Fletcher is in the last months of construction of a six-story addition to Taranaki Base Hospital that includes six new operating theatres and 170 beds across three floors of wards. Known as Project Maunga, the building provides a comprehensive modernisation of hospital facilities, and also includes a new main entrance atrium, elective surgery services, inpatient wards, and new day-stay services.
Built to the very high seismic standards required for hospitals, the structure is made from a framework of reinforced concrete columns and beams. A total of 3,500 cubic metres of concrete, 900 tonnes of reinforcing steel and 300 tonnes of structural steel has gone into the building.
Following the heavy structural work Fletcher and subcontractor teams have performed the internal fitout, external facade installation, and placement of all building services.
The building facade is a unique combination of panels made from terracotta, locally-made aluminium, and glass. Most of the internal walls are full height to accommodate acoustic, smoke and fire requirements. The steel stud walls are specifically designed to accommodate the seismic movement of an extreme SLS2 seismic event, so that the hospital will not only survive but also operate after a significant earthquake. Furnishings throughout the block include more than 300 hand basins and 142 toilets, not to mention many kilometres of plumbing pipes to service these.
The nature of hospital construction means building services were an enormous job on their own. Installation of key plant included new Air Handling Units, two chillers with cooling towers, a medical gas plant, steam-driven sterilisation equipment, a reverse osmosis water system, and two new 750kVa transformers with full reticulation.
The building’s electronic fitout means Taranaki Base Hospital is the first fully digital hospital in the country. Ultrafast broadband will be accessible through wireless hotspots, and using mobile devices patients can be tracked electronically throughout the building. There are 400 nurse call points for patient assistance, all wired into a highly advanced network; each bathroom alone will have three or four call buttons.
About 135 construction staff worked on site at any one time. In a boost for the local economy, approximately half of these were from the Taranaki region.
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