Construction of the new Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury has enabled the consolidation of Pembury and Kent & Sussex Hospitals into one. Built on the site of the former, the new facility has 512 bedrooms and is the first NHS acute hospital in Britain to have single room wards.
Our engineers provided structural and civil engineering services, along with advice on the complex underground and surface drainage required and transport assessment for the contractor Laing O'Rourke. We also undertook a full environmental impact assessment, environmental management during construction and provided environmental advice and monitoring post completion.
The hospital is built into a steeply sloping hill and squeezed between the rock line and a restricted height level. The scale of the 66,000 sq m building dictated that it be split into four structures of varying heights, with three storeys at the top of the hill and seven at the bottom. Retaining walls of up to 11m run along the full face of the building. Excess cut has been used in the fill sections, avoiding the removal of material from site.
The structure comprises an in situ concrete frame on pad foundations, a solution chosen for its construction programme benefits and its resolution of the difficult ground condition issues. The long span post-tensioned floor slabs are a mixture of in situ ground-bearing and suspended solutions, depending on whether they cross cut or ground fill conditions. The building is braced by concrete shear walls to the stair/lift cores. Steel portal frame structures house plant on the roofs and to the rear.
The primary road access is a signalised junction, with separate access for service vehicles. A new road layout for the site was devised to minimise conflict between cars, buses, pedestrians and ambulances. A plaza provides set-down points for buses, taxis and patient transport, and aids circulation. A helipad is located on the upper part of the site. A total of 1,200 parking spaces are available, 500 of which are provided in a three-storey split-level independent building.