Work is set to start on an essential programme of structural repairs to parts of the structure of the new Royal later this month. The structural interventions will require over 220 cubic metres of new concrete and 165 tonnes of new fabricated steelwork to prop up floors.
To create access for materials into the building, some of the cladding and exterior of the building will be removed later this summer.
Over the last year a thorough structural review of the building has been carried out by structural engineer Arup. This review analysed all elements of the concrete frame and provides solutions where it found issues in the original design that need to be rectified. Together with Laing O’Rourke, confirmed as replacement management contractor in October 2018, a detailed programme of work has been developed to fix structural issues left behind by Carillion.
To pave the way for the structural works Laing O’Rourke has been stripping back areas that were already near to completion, to enable access to the concrete structure.
Arup director Jim Bell said: “Our structural review looked at the building as it is now and the building at its peak use, once the hospital is open and fully operational. The solutions to address these issues involve using tried and tested methods to strengthen existing beams, reduce loads that are causing structural issues and putting in place additional support.
“The works are highly complex and are necessary to ensure the building is finished to the high standards required. We’re committed to collaborating with the Trust and Laing O’Rourke to help the Trust deliver the hospital that the city needs.”
Laing O’Rourke project director Andy Thomson said: “This is positive progress. We’re working to a plan to ensure the building is finished to the high standards required and we’re moving forward with this.
“Control measures are already in place to ensure there are no immediate risks to workers in the building.
“Fixing the structural issues is a complex programme of work, with the added challenge of protecting the existing hi-tech fixtures and fittings in the hospital. This requires heating the building and maintaining water flow to prevent deterioration, which would lead to costly replacements if it was not diligently carried out.”
The Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust said that costs had yet to be ascertained and offered no comment on reports that the repair works would add £100m or even £200m to the original £429m budget.
Trust chief executive Peter Williams said: “This is a complex programme of work that will take time to complete. Whilst work on these structural interventions is underway, the programme to complete the new Royal will be finalised. Once the programme is finalised and the costs are all accounted for we’ll confirm timescales and costs. We owe it to everyone to not raise expectations with speculation, until everything is signed, sealed and delivered. Our priority is to deliver the state of the art facilities that our patients need and the world class hospital we’ve all been waiting for.”