A contract to re-clad the Scott building has been signed between Counties Manukau Health and Hawkins 2017 Ltd, a subsidiary of Downer.
The contract represents an important first step in fixing a number of Counties Manukau DHB facilities.
Acting Chief Executive, Gloria Johnson, says it is widely known that Counties Manukau Health has issues, including weather tightness, with a number of its buildings. She says issues with the Scott building’s cladding were identified in 2012.
“The Scott building, which houses several wards including cardiac, coronary care and oral health, is an important facility on the Middlemore hospital site,” she says.
“Re-cladding the building and fixing any underlying related structural problems is important to ensure the building’s longer term life as an acute hospital building.”
Dr Johnson says the remediation work will be carried out whilst Middlemore Hospital remains operational. There will be an immediate start to a 25 week design and material importation period, followed by an 11 stage construction period of 644 working days.
Construction work has been tailored to mitigate disruption and allow patient care to continue throughout with careful selection of tools for the work at hand alongside physical barriers to address noise transfer and keep out any debris.
“The importance of the Scott building as an acute hospital building has added complexity to the re-cladding and related work,” she says. “The re-cladding is intended to take place while the building continues to function as a hospital for acutely unwell patients.”
Hawkins is using innovative design solutions such as a 'breathable building wrap' to ensure that the increased water tightness of the building does not lead to internal condensation issues later. A High Pressure Laminate product from Austria has been selected for both durability and fire safety integrity.
Terry Buchan, Auckland Regional Manager for Hawkins says he is pleased to be working with Counties Manukau Health.
“Hawkins has a longstanding relationship with the DHB and our commitment is to helping the community in its drive for better health and wellbeing,” he says.
“Hawkins is all about building better communities. A large number of our employees are from South Auckland, and it gives us great pleasure to build facilities that will benefit our people, their families and the local community.”
The methodology underpinning the remedial works has been carefully worked up by Counties Manukau Health and Hawkins over some time and involved trials. The re-cladding and related works are in any many ways unique and require careful consideration well beyond the norm.
Dr Johnson says that currently, while interior walls and exterior cladding is intact, there is no risk of mould affecting patients, staff or the public.
“When works start, however, we will have in place all the necessary protections,” she says. “The designed methodology will be carefully adhered to throughout. This will include regular monitoring and checking by Infection Control teams. They will sign off our progress for patient and staff safety every step of the way.
“We will also be erecting appropriate barriers to ensure that passers-by are not in the area, and will continue to recheck panels on sections of other buildings that may be high risk (for example the KidzFirst and McIndoe buildings) to apply repairs.”
Dr Johnson says Counties Manukau Health is grateful to the Minister of Health, Dr David Clark, who on 22 March 2018, announced that the Government had approved an extra $11.5 million funding for the re-clad of the Scott Building.
In his announcement, the Minister recognised that Counties Manukau DHB is dealing with a number of urgent facility remediation and capacity issues, requiring a range of investments, on the Middlemore campus.
Dr Johnson welcomes the signing of the contract with Hawkins and looks forward to overcoming the current weathertightness issues.