CIBSE COVID-19 Achievement Award - Services Design Solution
CIBSE COVID-19 Achievement Award
Created for 2021 in association with CIBSE Journal, this award recognises the remarkable work that building services professionals, with their supply chain, have undertaken to contribute to the nation’s efforts to combat the effects of Covid-19. It celebrates the outstanding achievements of individuals, teams, organisations, projects, products or services, taking account of the challenges they have faced across the full range of activities in the built environment, and the impact they have made in responding to the unprecedented circumstances of 2020.
Devon and Cornwall Nightingale Hybrid Facility, Exeter - Services Design Solution
A former warehouse, the Nightingale Hospital in Exeter was built to treat Covid-19 patients, but now also offers diagnostic testing so the region’s five other hospitals can continue to deliver essential clinical services.
The 116-bed, mini general hospital took less than 57 days to complete, and is testament to the effective collaboration between the contractor and design team, with Services Design Solution (SDS) acting as the building services consulting engineers.
SDS was involved from the outset, surveying sites across the South West to identify the most suitable. For each location, it reviewed the infrastructure and capacity, and identified the upgrades necessary for a Nightingale-standard hospital. Its expert advice was then shared with the primary decision-makers.
SDS engineers were based on site throughout the project, allowing direct communication with the design and construction teams. This was vital because of the speed and changing requirements of the project, including updated official guidance from scientific advisers as the pandemic developed.
A 3D survey of the existing warehouse was carried out by SDS to obtain in-depth understanding of its constraints. This informed the BIM model, produced to avoid potential installation clashes on site and to deliver a ‘right first time’ approach.
With no windows in the warehouse, SDS designed a full mechanical ventilation solution. To control the spread of Covid-19 in what is a hybrid facility, it worked with an infection control specialist, the local health trust and an authorising engineer to provide a system with appropriate control measures.
The M&E installation was complex, involving two 11Kv substations, a 32,000m oxygen plant, medical air and vacuum plants, two 2,500-amp distribution systems, many thousands of metres of pipes and cables, and numerous air handling units. Several of the engineering systems implemented at Exeter were adopted by NHS Improvement for incorporation into other, completed Nightingale facilities.
As a local business, many SDS staff work and live in the area, and felt immensely privileged to work on the Exeter Nightingale project. There was impressive collective desire and positivity from the team throughout to make it happen.