Through a Public Private Partnership (PPP), the Casey Hospital Expansion in Berwick was completed in a 24/7 operating environment and handed over during the COVID-19 pandemic. After 15 years as a community hospital with multiple redevelopments, the expansion provided 60% increased floor area including the hospital’s first ICU ward, all servicing the eighth fastest-growing community in Australia. Upgraded pharmacy, pathology and back-of-house areas, education and training spaces.
Jobs created both
directly and indirectly
Increase in gross floor
area of the hospital
Maintaining hospital operations throughout construction
Delivering in a live environment
The 8-level clinical tower was constructed above an existing 24/7 operating hospital. The tower comprises 128 new multi-day beds, new intensive care unit with 12 beds, 12 day surgical beds and four operating theatres. Safe, uninterrupted access for staff, patients and visitors was achieved through a tailored business continuity plan and close consultation with Monash Health and other key stakeholders. This ensured access and interface protocols were tailored to the needs of the hospital, mitigated impact on daily operations and safeguarded sensitive medical equipment against dust and vibration. This was particularly important for the timing and methodology for services infrastructure cut-ins, which were agreed in collaboration with the hospital. The continuity plan also detailed rigorous pedestrian management plans that ensured the safety of hospital personnel, patients and members of the public at all times.
Improved delivery through design
Going beyond project requirements, we implemented a 3D Design platform for architectural and services design documentation which improved coordination of the detailed design and reduced the potential for issues during site installation. We also used cloud-based data management and a BIM collaboration tool providing a single repository of information and this improved accuracy while minimising conflicts and errors.
Handover during a global pandemic
As part of the expansion consortium, one of the first successful PPP hospital expansions in Australia, BESIX Watpac delivered the four-phase project from 2017 to early 2020. The timing of completion in early 2020, during the height of Victoria’s COVID-19 pandemic response, meant that existing patients were moved into the tower on completion, providing further capacity to receive coronavirus patients and lift strain off nearby tertiary hospitals.
The hospital was the first major metropolitan hospital in Victoria to require environmental sustainability targets for energy during preconstruction. One design solution involved a full roof exhaust canopy in the food preparation facility, removing the need to provide significant dedicated exhaust systems. This provided an energy efficient outcome as well as providing a better environment for kitchen staff.
Decades of transformation
Casey Hospital opened in 2004 as a 273-bed community hospital providing bed-based services, ambulatory health care and support services to the Casey and Cardinia communities. A fast-growing regional population is expected to reach 450,000 by 2036, increasing by more than 7,000 people every year with 80 babies born every week. After 15 years of progressive redevelopment, the facility was at capacity with just 96 medical/surgical beds, four fully utilised operating theatres and limited emergency services. The project enables Monash Health to treat an extra 25,800 patients, perform an extra 8000 surgeries and procedures and support an extra 1,300 births every year, with clear expansion zones built in to cater for future growth.