Umow Lai’s capacity to deliver a range of engineering services for highly specialised hospital projects with distinctive and complex requirements is nowhere more evident than in the health sector.  Queensland’s $1.87B Sunshine Coast University Hospital and the $630M Bendigo Hospital in Victoria recently opened their doors.

The Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) commenced patient care on 21 March 2017 and is creating some significant milestones associated with a tertiary hospital campus. It is Queensland’s first hospital built as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) offering around 450 beds with the ability to grow to more than 738 beds by 2021 if needed. Being located within 100m of wetlands of high ecological value and incorporating a raft of sustainable features in its design, will see the facility targeting GBCA 4-star Green Star ‘Design’ and ‘As Built’ rating from the GBCA.

Built as part of the 20-hectare Sunshine Coast Health Campus, the new facility incorporates the Sunshine Coast Health Institute (SCHI) and is co-located with the Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital. There are further opportunities for other health-related developments on campus. The SCHI has spaces dedicated to integrated research and learning. It operates in partnership with affiliated organisations including TAFE Queensland East Coast and University of the Sunshine Coast.

As part of its aim to deliver a best practice, environmentally sustainable facility, the design of the new hospital includes:

  • high performance, maintainable and durable building fabric and enclosure
  • renewable and energy efficient infrastructure
  • thermal energy storage tanks to reduce electrical consumption in peak periods
  • rainwater harvesting and water reclamation
  • solar hot water systems
  • energy efficient lighting, ventilation systems and controls
  • an environmental management system that meets the benchmark ISO 14001 international standard
  • a building management system for efficient building operation, monitoring and maintenance
  • the use of sustainable and environmentally responsible products
  • bicycle destination facilities.

“Umow Lai was engaged to provide master planning, technical and documentation advice. This was a seven year journey from engagement to completion both rewarding and sometimes challenging,” said Director Elizabeth Coe, who headed the consultancy’s team. “We relished the challenge of contributing to essential new infrastructure to meet Queensland’s fast track timeline,” she explained. “Fortunately, our previous experience working on other institutions that have complex requirements, particularly as relevant to delivering PPP hospital projects, was an advantage.”

SCUH has been delivered through a public private partnership (PPP) contract with Exemplar Health. A consortium it comprises Lendlease, Siemens and Capella Capital.

Stage 1 of the new $630M Bendigo Hospital commenced operations in the new facility on 24th January 2017 with 372 inpatient beds, 72 same-day beds/chairs, 11 operating theatres, a regional cancer centre, 80-bed integrated mental health facility, a mother and baby unit, and car park. Umow Lai continues to provide engineering services advice to the Department of Health and Human Service for Stage 2 for what is the largest infrastructure project currently underway in Victoria.

Stage 2 includes construction of a 508-space, multi-deck car park and helipad across Arnold Street connected to the new hospital via a two-storey Air Bridge. It will also include a conference centre and retail space along with the decommission of old buildings on the site bordered by Arnold, Lucan and Stuart Streets.

The new Bendigo Hospital is one of the first hospitals to be provided with two 1.25MVA/1.0MW integrated Diesel Rotary UPS (DRUPS) system which means that uninterruptible power is always available to the critical care services within the hospital. Although DRUPS are frequently provided in data centres for telcos and banks, this is one of the first applications in a major hospital in Australia.