The Royal Hospital for Sick Children project is the first acute care hospital facility to be procured under the Scottish Government’s Non-Profit Distributing model and will be delivered as a stand-alone new build on the existing site of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

RBG Client:
Brookfield Multiplex
Primary Contractor:
Brookfield Multiplex

Robert Bird Group Services:
Civil Engineering
Structural Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering

Key technical challenges

  • The primary tower structure consists of a composite slab and beam structure. Due to the long beam spans and thin slab, extensive analysis for footfall vibration was required to ensure the structure achieved code requirements and client expectations.
  • Working with the existing structure and developing design solutions that strengthened rather than demolished.
  • Extensive co-ordination with the mechanical engineer to develop a strategy that minimised beam penetrations and beam notches.
  • Differential shortening analysis with consideration of mega truss, steel structure, concrete structure and existing structural elements

Environmental performance

  • 5 Star Greenstar
  • 5 Star NABERs Energy and 4 Star NABERs Water ratings.

The site has a high risk of flooding due to the land topology and required extensive surface water management. A suitable SUDS strategy had to be developed to deal with large volumes of water in extreme events which must not disrupt the operations of the hospital and emergency units; however, existing sewers were at a shallow level, which restricted underground storage. Permeable paving with a cellular crate sub-base provided attenuation across the external areas of site at a level that achieved gravity discharge to the existing sewers.

RBG provided specialist geotechnical design for the basement excavation to define slope stability, pile exposure protection and interfaces with adjacent constraints including live highways, flood defense bunds and in-ground utilities such as gas pipelines and water supplies. The excavation was modelled in 3D to establish construction sequencing and extents of works for co-ordination with the main build packages.

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