New Orkney Hospital

Healthcare case study, ComFlor®

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A cost-effective flooring solution was required that could meet the vibration requirements for areas such as operating theatres.
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Client: NHS Orkney
Architect: Keppie
Main contractor: Robertson Major Projects
Structural engineer: AECOM
Steelwork contractor: BHC
Building Systems UK products: ComFlor® 51+ and ComFlor® 60 composite floor decking
Year: 2019

The £64m hospital and healthcare facility on the Orkney Islands is a state-of-the-art clinical environment for the delivery of health services, and ComFlor® composite floor decking played a major role in its construction.

The challenge

The main challenges the products used in the design of this hospital had to overcome were the complex shape, and, as for all hospitals, minimising vibration in key areas. The complex design was necessary to support the required clinical facilities and flows.

It comprises a two-storey structure which includes two inner circular courtyards, one enclosed by the building and one a partially enclosed horseshoe-shaped yard with an opening. A connecting hub joins the courtyards in the middle and the main hospital building is a long-curved structure.

Minimising vibration is a critical issue for hospitals, particularly in areas accommodating wards and operating theatres.

The solution

At the Orkney Island’s hospital, the operating theatres are located on the first floor. To minimise vibration, the designers chose a steel composite floor deck with a reinforced concrete floor slab of 300mm thick, as opposed to a more conventional 150mm in less sensitive areas.

8,000m2 of ComFlor® 51+ and 6,000m2 of ComFlor® 60 composite steel decking was used to construct the floor decks, capable of achieving the vibration criteria. ComFlor® decking is compact to transport, another positive factor for this relatively remote location.

Supporting the thicker slabs, the design also required the use of short-span heavy steel beams and two additional lines of columns, further negating the potential for vibration issues.

The use of steelwork supporting metal decking made it easy to achieve the required curves in the floor plan. ComFlor® is lightweight and easy to cut on-site compared to alternative precast flooring solutions, and by using steel the floor deck was simple and easy to install.

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