Mackay Base Hospital DSC00770

Hospital redevelopment almost doubles capacity

Opus provided structural and civil engineering services for the redevelopment of a hospital servicing Central Queensland.

When complete, the $423m redevelopment will increase bed numbers from 163 to 318, add more operating theatres, a dedicated coronary care unit, new emergency and outpatients’ departments, and a support services building.

Engineering challenges included the sheer size of the buildings, the need for future proofing, the cyclonic wind loading, meeting the serviceability guidelines developed in consultation with Queensland Health, and the post disaster function of the buildings. And the $423m construction had to take place alongside a fully operational hospital.

A 3D dynamic spectral analysis helped to accurately determine earthquake loads and confirm governing load criteria. The façade was also analysed for debris protection in cyclones.

The staging strategy was a critical design component. It included a patient management and servicing strategy and a strategy to minimise the effects of construction activity on the hospital’s normal processes.

The future proofing strategy we developed will enable the hospital to adapt to the continually changing requirements of health infrastructure. 3D design and analysis meant we could develop an efficient, resilient structure to deal with the post-disaster design aspects of the facility.

We also used finite element modelling to analyse the vibration effects of the operating theatre slabs, which resulted in a slab framing solution for the main clinical building.