CIBSE COVID-19 Achievement Award - Hoare Lea
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.
Hoare Lea Healthcare team for Rapid-Covid-Response Hospitals, Nationwide - Hoare Lea
Over two time-critical months, and across seven locations, Hoare Lea provided MEP and fire engineering design, testing, witnessing and validation to support the design and construction of the UK's rapidly assembled Nightingale field hospitals.
From quick problem solving and attention to detail, to communication and ego-free collaboration, this national undertaking exemplified what engineering is all about. As Craig Tatton, managing director of Interserve UK Building, said: ‘What has been delivered by everyone working collaboratively over the past few weeks is nothing short of miraculous… the whole industry pulled together to deliver what everyone thought at the start was an impossible feat.’
The first site needed to be delivered in 17 days, so Hoare Lea's teams had less than 12 hours to mobilise. To add to the project’s complexity, the needs of each site differed – and as more was understood about the Covid-19 virus, the engineers had to evolve the building services.
There were also major procurement challenges, because the national lockdown meant manufacturing and distribution had shut down. These issues were overcome by a flexible design approach.
The urgency allowed teams to maximise their experience of modern methods of construction (MMC) to deliver approximately 5,000 intensive care beds and supporting facilities.
The internal environment of these large hospitals was vital, and Hoare Lea's chartered CIBSE/IHEEM engineers helped resolve issues with ventilation, temperature control, oxygen pipework routing, oxygen concentration calculations, and water quality.
Early involvement of health trust-authorised people meant engineers could communicate design decisions and explain why HTM guidance was not always practical.
Greater understanding of oxygen flowrate requirements for ventilators and the importance of diversity in design of infrastructure and flowrate monitoring – not only in field hospitals, but also in permanent facilities.
Hoare Lea was able to show the industry that future Health Infrastructure Plan schemes can be delivered efficiently using digital engineering and MMC to improve the UK's health outcomes.