Acute Mental Health and Community Hospital, Irvine

Key facts

  • PROJECT: Acute Mental Health and Community Hospital
  • LOCATION: Irvine
  • CLIENT: Balfour Beatty
  • SIZE: 206-bed hospital
  • TIMING: 23 Weeks

Type and size of project

The Acute Mental Health and Community Hospital in Irvine is a £47 million
adult acute mental health facility and community hospital at the Ayrshire
Central Hospital site. The community hospital covers an area of 12,465
square metres, which brings together a full range of inpatient and outpatient
facilities. The project had strict budget and time constraints and had to be
delivered within the space of two years.

Description of project

Stewart Milne Timber Systems were appointed by Balfour Beatty to design,
manufacture supply and install the timber frame for the project. This partnership came following the success of the two-company’s collaboration on the Stobhill Hospital project in 2006. Stewart Milne Timber Systems has extensive experience in health care projects that include, Ryphope (Sunderland), Monkweatmouth (Sunderland), Larbert (Central Scotland) and Prudhoe (Northumbria). In all of these projects design and building performance standards were particularly exacting in nature.

Stewart Milne Timber Systems worked with Balfour Beatty throughout the bid
process for the project providing advice and guidance on budgets, programming,
products and detailing. Stewart Milne Timber Systems also reviewed technical
and design aspects of the project and was able to commit to having the capacity to
complete the project within budget and time constraints. Balfour Beatty was awarded the contract in February 2014.

In terms of design, Stewart Milne Timber Systems offered technical guidance, through a dedicated Design Co-ordinator, acting as chief liaison in the preconstruction phase. Delivery of a preinsulated wall panel which would meet the
thermal requirements of the building was an early consideration: how to meet and
guarantee the 0.22 W/m2K wall u-value, air tightness of 5m3/hr/m2, as well as
robustness in the structure for equipment support. From the Stewart Milne range of
panels, the 140SP wall type was specified: 140mm stud, with factory fitted 120mm
polyurethane insulation, VCL and internal 9mm OSB liner board. The final site fixed plasterboards were specified by design team to meet the performance standards of an acute mental health facility.

The roof design was reviewed to ensure the most cost effective solution was used, with cassettes being replaced by roof trusses. The mono pitch design would lend itself to factory assembled cassettes, however the financial appraisal suggested little benefit so trusses were chosen as the more cost effective. These were then assembled on the slab in 8 metre modules and craned into place on supporting cradles. Stewart Milne Timber Systems worked with the design team, construction and commercial departments throughout the process to ensure the best value was delivered by the contract. This was particularly evident in the way the design team meetings addressed M&E services integration and the clash detection systems used in design by Stewart Milne’s timber frame designers.

Offsite construction offered many benefits throughout the project, and was utilised
to reduce the build programme on site. Stewart Milne Timber Systems worked
with the construction team to reduce time and cost onsite by utilising a scaffold
free project. Large wall panels, up to 3.6metres in length were designed for full
crane off load and placement. Where steel beams and posts were required the CDM processes were robust enough to allow the steel beams and columns to be erected as part of the timber frame installation by the timber frame installers, reducing multiple trade interfaces and the supply chain.

Stewart Milne Timber Systems compressed its build programme to meet the timescales on the project and careful project management allowed two areas of the
site to be worked on at one time. Offsite assembled wall, floor and roof systems
obviously make a significant contribution to compressing today’s construction
programmes, but that still requires a high degree of on site management and coordination which Stewart Milne provided –

• Full time, site based contract manager
• Full time, site based site supervisor
• Deployment of 20 timber frame erectors, working in two crews on separate wings
concurrently. Each crew with their own compliment of lift supervisors and banksmen so that their logistics and lifting operations were self-contained
• Up to 4 cranes operating at any one time with master planning carried out by Stewart Milne’s Contract Manager
• Weekly progress meeting with Balfour

Beatty, as principal contractor, and daily ‘setting to work’ briefings for the 20 strong erector crew – an essential management tool in a project of this nature.

The majority of the onsite delivery by Stewart Milne Timber Systems took place
during the winter months ensuring that timescales were met and other aspects of
the project were not delayed. A further feature was that Stewart Milne fitted roofing
felt to the roof modules before they were craned into place, to give immediate water protection to the loaded in bathroom pods and the building, this allowed internal works to commence before the final roof cladding was installed (profile metal sheeting). Stewart Milne Timber Systems design and construction method ensured that offsite manufactured bathroom pods, supplied by others, could be craned into place, hence the use of scaffold-less system with roofs constructed on adjacent floor slabs and lifted into place without the need of space and time consuming nets or temporary decks.

The project was manufactured in the Stewart Milne factory in Aberdeen, along
with its factory in Witney, Oxfordshire, Stewart Milne Timber Systems services
the UK construction industry in the private house building, commercial and public
sectors. They have 50 designers from the four regional offices that also include
Manchester and Glasgow and in local erectors crews trained in the installation of
the various panel types.


Homes For Scotland Home Builders Federation National House-Building Council Royal Institute of British Architects Structural Timber Association Constructionline British Board of Agrement Wood Campus Build Off Site Building Research Establishment WOOD FOR GOOD

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