Monkwearmouth Hospital, Tyne and Wear

Key facts

  • PROJECT: Monkwearmouth Hospital
  • LOCATION: Tyne and Wear
  • CLIENT: Laing O'Rourke
  • SIZE: 24-bed hospital
  • TIMING: 12 weeks

Type and size of project

Designed by specialist firm Medical Architecture, and managed by the Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Monkwearmouth Hospital is a 24-bed facility for patients living with dementia.

The Monkwearmouth project specified the highest standards possible in terms of the quality of the buitding, speed of the build programme, reduction of waste, safety measures and overall cost of the project.

Description of project

Timber frame was the ideal choice for achieving all of these objectives and, with extensive experience of working in this sector, Stewart Milne Timber Systems was chosen as Laing O'Rourke's partner.

Taking a collaborative approach from a very early stage in the project, Stewart Milne Timber Systems worked with both the contractor and the architects at the design stage to identify opportunities for value engineering, and any design challenges that could benefit from offsite manufacture solutions.

This included input from all parties on the planning of the build programme to allow for a seamless schedule.

The team undertook the designs in a Building Information Modelling (BIM) environment to maximise the lead-in period and design efficiencies. This is where a 30 model is used before manufacture and construction of a building to ensure that the building and all the services within it don't clash. For projects such as hospitals this is vital in ensuring everything from large mechanical structures to site-wide ventilation systems integrate perfectly into the building. By employing BIM, Stewart Milne Timber Systems was able to design both the structure and the services in tandem, thus avoiding any clashes and subsequent delays while ensuring every element of the build would fit together on site.

To realise the energy standards required for the project, Stewart Milne Timber Systems employed a closed panel wall system, achieving a U-Value of 0.26w/m2K. This had the added benefit of cutting down costs through reduced labour time required and less waste needing to be removed from the site. It also achieved excellent thermal bridging, with an air tightness of just 4. Stewart Milne Timber Systems used mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) to erect the timber systems and to ensure safety when working at height.

The earlier BIM modelling revealed the opportunity to develop a cost effective mono truss arrangement for the roof instead of the originally planned attic truss, which saved costs and further streamlined the build programme.

Stewart Milne Timber Systems also loaded pre-fabricated bathroom pods as part of the project, which delivered additional benefits for the client by minimising site disruption as the pods could be manufactured offsite simultaneously with the site preparation.


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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