Premier Construction

Ulster Hospital

Ulster Hospital
Written by Roma Publications

Redeveloping Ulster Hospital

Ulster Hospital

BakerHicks, the multi-disciplinary design and engineering business, has completed its part in the latest phase of the redevelopment of Ulster General Hospital, taking one of the largest hospital redevelopment projects in Europe one step closer to completion.

The Inpatient Ward Block (IWB) saw the first patients move into wards last month. The seven-storey, 288 single bedroom facility is part of the Phase B Redevelopment Programme, which will provide the Ulster Hospital with two new ward blocks. BakerHicks is providing the Civil and Structural Design for Phase B, which began in 2013 and has attracted £232 million of investment.

The hospital environment provided a number of unique challenges that BakerHicks’ structural engineers had to take into account. Work had to be carefully co-ordinated and conducted without impacting ongoing acute services and access for the public and blue light routes. There was a particular focus on vibration analysis so as not to interfere with sensitive imaging and scanning equipment, operations, or patient care.

Detailed planning and sequential implementation was therefore critical, as well as close consultation with the client and associated construction partners. Information sharing was key, supported by the use of 3D modelling. BakerHicks also provided an on-site engineer as a dedicated point of contact.

The design of the 30,000m2 IWB focuses on patient comfort, with 12 wards across four levels comprising of 100% single, en-suite bedrooms, which provides patients with maximum privacy levels. The IWB also features four Operating Theatres, an Endoscopy Suite, Cardiac Cath Lab, Aseptic Suite, a Pharmacy Department and a Cafe.

Robbie McKillop, director for the public sector at BakerHicks, said: “Hospitals are very design intensive projects, with very specific requirements that need close collaboration and co-ordination with regards planning and delivery. They also tend to be heavily serviced buildings in terms of M&E provision, which demands the highest levels of skill, expertise and experience in terms of design.

“This complex and large-scale project was particularly challenging as it had to be completed in a live acute hospital environment, whilst maintaining access to essential clinical services.”

Work on the next element of the capital redevelopment project, Phase B3, is already underway. This sees the design and construction of the new Acute Services Block (ASB) which will house a new Emergency Department, Inpatient Imaging and Specialist Wards. A temporary link bridge connecting the IWB to the Critical Care Complex will also be erected while the ASB is being built, allowing patients and staff continued ease of access between the two buildings.

BakerHicks, formerly Morgan Sindall Professional Services, was awarded the Civil and Structural Design contract by The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust (SEHSCT).


Baker Hicks Limited

Baker Hicks Limited (BakerHicks), formerly Morgan Sindall Professional Services, is a design and engineering company that specialises in complex infrastructure, process and built environments across the full project life cycle. Its disciplines range from initial architecture to civil and structural, building services, specialist high voltage and process engineering services, programme management, temporary works and CDM consultancy, using the latest innovations in Building Information Modelling (BIM) for the most efficient and cost-effective design.

Morgan Sindall Professional Services rebranded to BakerHicks in February 2017. The name comes from two pioneers of the founding business: Professor Sir John Baker (later Lord Baker), Research and Development Director and previously Head of Cambridge University’s Engineering Department; and Howard Hicks, the Group Chairman and Chief Executive. The name BakerHicks better reflects the company’s established reputation as an independent consultancy, delivering award-winning design and engineering services across the UK since 1957.


BakerHicks is part of Morgan Sindall Group plc, a leading UK construction and regeneration group with a revenue of c.£2.6 billion and which operates through six divisions of Construction & Infrastructure, Fit Out, Property Services, Partnership Housing, Urban Regeneration and Investments.


About the author

Roma Publications

Leave a Comment