With demand continuing to grow for private hospital services, the redevelopment considers existing operations while providing future-proofed flexibility.
The redevelopment, designed by architects Silver Thomas Hanley with Built as main contractor, will transform Warringal Private into a full-service “flagship” Ramsay Healthcare hospital. Custom-designed and purpose-built, it will offer some of the most modern and progressive infrastructure, incorporating state-of-the-art facilities with fresh and contemporary design.
IMPROVING PATIENT ACCESS
The project has been designed to be built in stages with the car park handed over first. This lack of amenity space was seriously compromising the client’s business and the ability to fast track this element was a critical selling point.
“It was a challenging schedule,” admitted Rennie Darmanin, Discipline Leader – Structures at Meinhardt. “We had to make allowances in the programme to ensure delivery prior to all other works. This meant the steelwork, supporting structure and civil engineering requirements all needed to be 100% completed and safe to enable the car park to begin operations.”
Warringal CEO Petra Snelleman said that hand over has been eagerly anticipated, “Patient access has been a challenge since works began and it will be a significant improvement for our patients and their families to have an expanded onsite parking capacity at Warringal, particularly given the high demand for parking within the medical precinct we share with Austin Health.”
MODIFYING THE EXISTING TO ALLOW FOR NEW WORKS
A key component of the design has been a walkway to connect the existing facility with the extension to allow more efficient access, both improving operations and the user experience.
This suspended steel walkway carries over the top of an existing building. The only way to support this was through the existing floor slab. This posed two challenges: ensuring no disruption of critical hospital infrastructure such as oxygen pumps, which had to be relocated, and the continued operation of the space below the overhead construction. The successful solution dropped the supporting posts down behind the corridor walls to ensure this passageway remained useable.
FUTURE PROOFING: THE EXTENSION
As a private hospital, the client is reliant on occupied beds for financial sustainability. They cannot afford to have beds out of action and fall below required utilisation rates.
The design was already significantly progressed when approval was given for a second stage. A full feasibility proposal and redesign had to be developed in collaboration with the builder without any increase in programme. At the same time it also had to enable the future addition of 3 levels while the floors below remained in use as hospital wards.
The top level that has now been constructed (5th floor) was therefore designed as an all-encompassing solution with no restrictions on how the expansion can be built.
“You have to find a trade-off,” explained Rennie. “Although it is more expensive initially, it will deliver greater benefits longer term. There is maximum flexibility from a design perspective, there will be no disturbance of the wards below and it will make things easier for the builder to construct.”
On completion the hospital will expand to 215 beds and a total of 11 operating theatres.
Included as part of the $54 million redevelopment are:
- 64 private single rooms with en-swuites
- 5 state-of-the-art integrated operating theatres
- 12 bay recovery unit
- A custom-designed central sterilising department
- Multi-level car parking of 270 car spaces