The New Royal Adelaide Hospital (NRAH), under construction in the north-west corner of the city of Adelaide in South Australia, is Australia’s largest ever hospital project. The new hospital will replace the existing Royal Adelaide Hospital with advanced healthcare facilities and an increased capacity to treat a higher number of patients.
The NRAH project is being developed through a public-private partnership (PPP). SA Health Partnership, a consortium comprised of Leighton Contractors, Hansen Yuncken, Macquarie Capital Group and Spotless, will deliver and maintain the new hospital under a 35-year design-build-finance-operate concession.
The HYLC Joint Venture, comprised of Hansen Yuncken and Leighton Contractors, is responsible for the design and construction of the new hospital.
The construction of NRAH started in September 2011, with its completion expected in 2016.
New Royal Adelaide Hospital background
A major tertiary hospital was planned for the capital city Adelaide as part of the South Australia Government’s state-wide health reforms. The plan to build a new central hospital replacing the existing Royal Adelaide Hospital was unveiled in mid-2007.
Expansion of the existing Royal Adelaide Hospital was found to be unfeasible. The hospital, built in 1840, has been expanded several times in the past and doesn’t allow any room for future expansions. A new hospital was, therefore, proposed in a separate location.
The master plan for the new Royal Adelaide Hospital (formerly known as the Marjorie Jackson Nelson Hospital Master Plan) was released in April 2008.
Three bids were received to build the NRAH in July 2009. The South Australian Government announced SA Health Partnership as the preferred bidder and unveiled the design of NRAH in December 2010.
Site choice, structure and design of the NRAH
The NRAH is being built on a nine hectare site in the city’s West End, near Adelaide Railway Station. The site is surrounded by the Morphett Street Bridge to the east, North Terrace to the south and the River Torrens to the north.
The SA Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), which is currently under construction, is also located adjacent to the NRAH site.
The two buildings will have shared pedestrian and cycle routes. The site has good access to transport facilities in the city.
The completion of SAHMRI in expected in 2013. The site will emerge as a major health care hub with research and teaching facilities, when NRAH opens in 2016.
The NRAH will be an 11 floor structure with a building footprint of 27,000m². The new hospital will be appear like a seven storey building from the North Terrace and as nine storied when viewed from the river side. The building is 370m long from east to west and 215m wide from north to south.
The building will have a frontage towards North Terrace with its main entrance on the third floor. The parking facility will be housed in three levels beneath the North Terrace frontage.
The facade of the building will be covered with glass supported by steel beams, for ensuring the flow of natural light and air.
The building will have a total floor area of 172,460m² excluding the parking area. It will house 40 technical operating suites each of 65m² size and approximately 800 single-bed inpatient rooms with modern facilities. The patient rooms will offer easy access to outdoor areas and green space.
The hospital building has been designed with flexible spaces to cope up with changing medical facilities. The building also has two hectares of open space, by which the hospital can be expanded to accommodate more patients in future.
Construction of Adelaide’s new hospital
The construction of the NRAH building involves 100,000m³ of concrete, more than 2,000 piles, 25,000t of reinforcing steel, around 2,500t of structural steel and 80,000m² of facade. The peak construction phase will engage approximately 1,800 workers.
The remediation and piling works were completed by the end of 2012. The construction of the hospital superstructure was started by April 2013.
Facilities and sustainable features at the NRAH
The hospital will have 6,000 staff and the capacity to admit 85,000 patients per year. It will have parking facility for 2,300 cars, and a helicopter launch pad.
The hospital will feature 700 single patient rooms, with attached bathrooms to avoid cross infections and 100 same-day beds. There will be 40 operation theatres, 181 recovery spaces, 78 emergency treatment spaces and eight resuscitation spaces.
Amenities in the building will include internal gardens, retail stores, restaurants, cafes, bank, post office, a gymnasium and a crèche. The hospital will have rainwater and storm water conservation facility.
The harvested water will be used for toilet flushing and landscape irrigation. The building will also have a water efficient thermal plant. The hospital will utilise waste heat from the energy generators to provide heating and cooling to the building, which will offset greenhouse gas emissions.
Optimum daylight penetration will be used to reduce the need for artificial lighting. The building will have number of green spaces on balconies and the roof. Low volatility organic compound (VOC) paints will be used for the building.
The hospital will offer a proper healing environment to patients, with external natural views from the rooms, access to ventilated internal balconies, cautious acoustic design to minimise disturbances and ample respite areas.
Contractors involved with the New Royal Adelaide Hospital
The architectural design of the hospital building was provided by a joint venture comprised of Silver Thomas Hanley and DesignInc. Tract Consultants is the landscape architect for the project.
WG-KBR, a joint venture between Wallbridge & Gilbert Consulting Engineers and Kellog Brown and Root Consulting Engineers, is responsible for the civil and structural engineering for the project.
The engineering consulting services, including mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and fire, are being provided by BESTEC and Lehr Consultants. Enright Consulting is the fire engineer for the hospital building.
Hastie, Frigrite Air Conditioning and CDC Plumbing & Drainage were awarded a work contract worth $270m in November 2011 to provide the mechanical, medical gases and hydraulic engineering services for the project over five years.
Nilsen, a company based in Adelaide, was awarded a $170m contract in April 2012 to provide electrical and integrated communication services for the hospital building.
Financing the New Royal Adelaide Hospital project
The project is being financed through both equity and debt. Private equity investment of more than $230m is being provided by InfraRed Capital, Leighton Infrastructure Investments, John Laing Investments, Lloyds Bank and Macquarie Capital.
A long-term debt of $1.9bn has been arranged from a group of banks led by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and National Australia Bank. In addition, the state government will fund $244.7m for the medical equipments of the new hospital.
The scheme is the first five-star Green-Star-certified project in South Australia, recognising ‘Australian Excellence’.
Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station (formerly Spencer Street Station) redevelopment project was completed in July 2006.