Laing O’Rourke reveals structural flaws at Royal Liverpool

Construction Manager reports Laing O’Rourke has begun the process of stripping back the new Royal Liverpool Hospital, which was being constructed by Carillion until its collapse, to reveal a series of structural flaws that require complex repair work.

O’Rourke is set to start removing some of the cladding and exterior of the building ahead of the structural work, which will involve 165 tonnes of fabricated steelwork and 220 cubic metres of concrete. The work begins later this month.

This follows a structural review of the building by engineers 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.

Photo of ward prior to Laing O’Rourke strip out.

O’Rourke has been preparing all areas of the building for these structural interventions, which has involved stripping back areas that were near to completion, to enable access to the concrete structure.

Jim Bell, director, Arup 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."

CGI of structural interventions on the ward

Andy Thomson, project director, Laing O’Rourke 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.

"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."

Dr Peter Williams, chief executive of the Trust said the programme to complete the new Royal was still to be finalised. He said: "While 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."

Top image: Current photo of the ward, stripped out by Laing O’Rourke in preparation for structural intervention

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  1. In the construction industry attitude to human resource is appalling. No way we will have the quality buildings whilst professionals with sound principles and knowledge are being pushed away and silenced when issues raised. Finance is dominating over quality and principles.

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