Hospital rebuild aims not to disturb patients

19:35, Mar 12 2014
St George's Hospital
LOW VIBRATION: Machines operated by staff from Hiway Geotechnical work on the first stage of the St George's Hospital redevelopment.

Work on the $122 million redevelopment of St George's Hospital has begun, with a pioneering engineering technique being used to minimise impact on patients and neighbours.

During the first stage of the development a large basement will be constructed on the site of the 1928 heritage building that was demolished in 2012 because of earthquake damage. Above that, a four-storey atrium, reception area, cancer treatment centre, staff cafe and chapel will be built.

The method being used to construct the basement is new to the Canterbury rebuild. Deep soil mixing (DSM) columns will be drilled to stabilise the ground for construction.

Hiway GeoTechnical completed 18 trial columns in November to fine-tune the methodology. An additional 726 columns will be drilled on the site.

Hiway GeoTechnical Canterbury manager Joel McLean said the process was low-vibration, so would cause minimal disruption to patients, staff and neighbours.

The three stages of the hospital redevelopment will be completed by 2019.

The redevelopment is mostly covered by an insurance payout, accumulated reserves and future surpluses. The first stage will be completed by September 2015. The second and third stages will house radiology services, operating theatres and intensive-care units.

The hospital will remain open.


The Press