Providing care at Highfield Hospital

A brand new 200-bed residential care facility will provide much need services for people living with dementia.

The care facility at Highfield Hospital opened its doors in March 2012 and will provide appropriate care for patients within a nursing home style environment. The £20 million facility was built on behalf of the Highfield Hospital Group, an organisation responsible for providing important residential care for people suffering from dementia.

The project was funded by the Ulster Bank, whilst JJ Rhatigan and Company was the main contractor and The O’Toole Partnership was the architect.

Planning for the residential care facility took place in 2008, with tendering following in late 2009 and construction commencing in October 2010. The project reached completion in January 2012.

Following an official handover by the site team, the facility underwent a process of approval overseen by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) in order to ensure that the new building met the required standards and criteria for clinical guidelines. HIQA is an important health body and every residential care centre that opens in Ireland needs to get approval from the organisation before it can accept patients.

The facility has been built on a former Greenfield site that is now partly used by two other residential care units under the Highfield Hospital Group. The three-storey building was constructed using a block wall frame with precast walls on the first and second floors, whilst the exterior finish is a mixture of cladding panels, stone and an acrylic render system.

The greatest challenge encountered whilst constructing the care facility was the close proximity of Dublin’s Port Tunnel, which lies below the development. The tunnel is an important traffic route that forms a section of the M50 motorway and completes the northern area of the C-Ring around the city.

As a result of weight restrictions applied by Dublin City Council and the National Roads Authority, there is a limit to the amount of weight that can be placed above the tunnel. To aid in construction and reduce the weight of the building, a top layer of soil was removed from the site. This served to counterweight the structure before a light weight method of construction was applied.

In order to make the building as energy efficient as possible, all of the work conducted on Highfield Hospital was implemented to go above and beyond the usual standards of insulation. In order to achieve this and to help reduce fuel consumption costs a warm wall construction method was used, which involved filling walls with up to 150 millimetres of insulation.

A combined heat and power (CHP) unit was also installed in the building in order to provide the facility with power and water security throughout the life of the hospital.

Additional work on the project included maintaining a number of mature trees on the site and replacing shrubs and plants that were removed during the initial stages of construction.

The O’Toole Partnership Partner, John Dennehy, said:

“It’s always great to have a finished project in your portfolio, especially one as good as this one at Highfield Hospital. There was a tight schedule on this project and it had its challenges, including constructing above the Port Tunnel and limited storage space for materials – however everything ran exactly to plan.

“We are always looking at a project from the point of view of how we can improve on what we have already created and this is what we work towards when we are looking at our next project. Highfield Hospital was an important project and the key for us is to now use what we’ve achieved on this as a benchmark to show potential clients what we can do in the future.”

“Highfield Hospital Group is a fantastic client that has been in the business for 150 years. They were a pleasure to work with and the end result reflects how understanding they were during the build. They allowed us to get on with the work to do what we needed to do and we look forward to continuing this working relationship with them.”

JJ Rhatigan & Company

With over 50 years of experience in the industry, JJ Rhatigan & Company is one of Ireland’s leading construction companies. The premier contractor has successfully completed a diverse array of projects working across industrial, commercial, residential and healthcare sectors and this includes working on the Highfield Hospital project.

JJ Rhatigan & Company is proud to be the main contractor on the new 200-bed care facility at Highfield Hospital. The company is also involved in modification work to a care unit located at the Highfield site for patients living with Alzheimer’s.

JJ Rhatigan & Company prides itself on its ability to complete projects on time, within budget and to a very high standard. Many satisfied customers continue to trust JJ Rhatigan & Company and this is reflected in the amount of repeat business that the company achieves.

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