PPI Cancer Centre, Reading

Dowds Group recently completed the M&E installations on a revolutionary new High Energy Proton Beam Cancer Therapy Centre in Thames Valley Science Park, Reading. The £30 million Rutherford Centre has been hailed as one of the most exciting health and life sciences projects in Europe and includes facilities for proton beam therapy, a linear accelerator, a CT suite and an MRI.

The design and installation of the M&E services in such a heavily serviced and precisely engineered therapy centre, at the very cutting-edge of medical advancements, provided a multitude of technical challenges to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the facility. Attention to detail was critical whilst we were provided with specifications and drawings for the project we had to look beyond these and review multiple other documents and drawings to ensure we considered all essential components.  Not only did we have to adhere to highly complex specifications of the equipment suppliers but we also had to comply with specific Health Technical Memoranda (HTMs) design guides which dictated the highest standard of commissioning.

The project required extensive off-site construction and fabrication necessitating Dowds Group working in close collaboration with the client, main contractors and design team to compile a systematic management programme to oversee the works.  Due to the specialist nature of the project Dowds partnered with numerous specialist contractors to complete the installations in complex rooms, which included linear accelerator bunkers, an MRI scan room, CT simulator room, CT Scanner, Superficial treatment room, X-ray rooms and chemotherapy suites. The project was modelled to BIM Level 2 ensuring services could be installed in the designated spaces. Particular attention was paid to the main ventilation for the MRI, CT and LINAC plant areas to overcome the difficulties of limited plant space and access/egress, this involved numerous design developments to guarantee fit and accessibility for future maintenance.

PPI Reading

To overcome the coordination issues of working with various other on-site contractors we produced main plant deck drawings, showing our plant install routes and identifying plant areas reserved for other contractors. We held weekly coordination meetings with the specialist site teams to demonstrate the model and encouraged comment on walk-overs, where they could be installed and any possible clashes/problems that could arise.  The programme for the M&E contract was extremely tight and there were a number of key milestones that had to be met – lives literally depended on it!  We worked closely with main contractors Graham to ensure we met the sectional and final handover dates so that the specialist equipment was installed and commissioned to meet the clients ‘go live’ date.  Ivor Brown, Senior Project Manager, Graham, said of our work on the project: “Owing to the specialist nature of this contract, there were only a number of M&E contractors with the necessary skills and experience to complete the project to our required high standards.  We were extremely impressed with Dowds Groups’ level of professionalism and look forward to collaborating with them in the future.”

Northwood School, London

Dowds Group completed the construction on the remarkable new building for Northwood Secondary School in Hillingdon, London. The London Borough of Hillingdon and the Education Funding Agency funded this £35 million development.

The new school building accommodates 1,050 pupils, it has three storeys and measures 9,800 square metres in size. In total there is 53 classrooms which include, science rooms, a science garden, specialist design and technology rooms, a large library, a large art room, sixth form study and social areas, special education needs room, a spacious sports hall and an outdoor learning terrace. Northwood School promotes an academic focus on performing arts with a stage area with retractable seating, an outdoor amphitheatre and performing arts/music specialist rooms.

In a collaborated approach, Farrans along with Dowds Group successfully completed Phase 1 of the development within 18 months giving an ideal environment for the continued delivery of top quality teaching and learning for the students of Northwood.  We completed M&E installations within the main school building and fitted out the classrooms, labs and office accommodation.

Altnagelvin Hospital – Radiotherapy Unit

The successful completion of the New Radiotherapy Treatment Unit at Altnagelvin Hospital has sustained our long standing presence on this acute hospital site and further enhanced our ongoing relationship with the Western Health and Social Care Trust. The project consists of all mechanical, electrical and medical gas installations necessary in the construction of a new Radiotherapy Unit on a brownfield site within a live hospital campus.

The new building provides ground floor treatment rooms including 4 linear accelerator bunkers, MRI scanner suites, CT scanner suites, and plain x-ray, as well as first and second floor offices and respite care, bed wards and isolation suites. Works also included the extension and refurbishment of the existing Chemotherapy Suite, the refurbishment of the ground floor of the Tower Block, and the construction of an underground car park. The new unit links to the existing hospital via underground service tunnels and new link corridors.

On Altnagelvin Radiotherapy Unit we utilised our in-house BIM/CAD facilities to encourage early integration of the client, design and build teams to facilitate better decision-making in regards to the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of mechanical installations.

Omagh Hospital & Primary Care Complex

Successfully handed over in April 2017, Dowds managed the electrical contract of this was a complete new-build, state-of-the-art hospital – it has been our largest solely electrical contract to date and one of the largest public sector construction projects within Northern Ireland in recent years. We are extremely proud to have been integral in providing a new facility that has set a bench mark for healthcare in Northern Ireland.

The colossal 22,900 sq m complex is set on a brownfield site and hosts a range of co-located services under the one roof. This entire hospital is newly built and consists of 6 blocks housing services including a 40 single en-suite bedrooms unit for in-patients for Rehabilitation and Palliative Care patients, a 24 place renal dialysis unit, a Health and Care Centre including modern GP practices and an Urgent Care and Treatment Centre. In addition it will also provide advanced diagnostic services including a CT scanner and endoscopy services. There are also 3 day surgery operating theatres and 22 recovery beds, specialised AHP, Women’s & Family Health and Children’s Services. The external areas consist of staff and visitors parking, play areas, viewing gardens and a Heli pad for emergency services. Such is the scale of the building that it required a purpose-built energy centre, complete with generators and CHP.

Works began on-site for Dowds Group in August 2015 with an initial skeleton staff, which grew to a team of approximately 120 site operatives.  The new-build facility was fully operational within a week of handover which is testament to the expertise of the service providers involved in the project.  Working alongside Main Contracts, McLaughlin & Harvey and Consultant Engineers, White Young Green (WYG), we were fully committed to the two and a half year project. 

Due to the sheer magnitude of the project it is unlikely that any other electrical contractor in Northern Ireland would have had the specialist knowledge or years of expertise in healthcare installations that it took to successfully manage this electrical contract.

Harris Sixth Form, Westminster

Client: Harris Federation

This project involved an internal refurbishment over three storeys of an existing building to provide accommodation for up to 600 pupils.  The facilities include state of-the-art science labs, a library, and study areas in addition to classrooms, music rooms, an art studio and seventh floor refectory.  Throughout the project we worked closely with the main contractor and staff at Westminster College in order to accommodate the services installation in adherence to the accelerated construction programme.

Throughout our installation, we had to make allowances for the busiest of city centre locations such as delivery plans and noise management plans.  We had to liaise closely with the M&E coordinator to ensure sufficient time allocations were made for commissioning works.

Addenbrookes, The Rosie Perinatal Unit

We were tasked with the complete M & E works on this 7,968sq.m facility. It comprises of of 10 birthing suites, a 28 cot Critical Care Neo-natal intensive care unit, a 30 bed sick childrens birthing unit all with complex services including dual medical gas and power systems, a MRI unit and 10 birthing pool suites together with Fetal Medicine and Day Assessment Units.

Monaghan Education Campus & Theatre

Client: Monaghan VEC

A new multi-user, 5 building educational campus located on the site of the former Military Barracks.  The schools included sports halls, 250 seat theatre, multiple classrooms & teaching spaces complete with hygiene facilities for nursery, primary & post primary, covered courtyards, dining & social concourse areas, kitchen, storage areas & outdoor gym.  Detailed testing and commissioning programmes were developed in conjunction with the M&E Coordinator to ensure commissioning was optimised to suit the individual project and pattern of use for the buildings.  A fully demonstrated handover to design team, end user and building control was carried out to ensure that all fully understood the installed systems and their potential.

Bangor Aurora Pool & Leisure Complex

Client: North Down Borough Council

The 15,374sq.m facility included the Olympic sized 10 lane swimming pool incorporating two moveable floating floors and two submersible booms, a 25m diving pool, a themed family fun area including a wave pool, water slides, flumes, interactive water play features and bubble pools, a health and fitness suite, a conditioning suite, an 8 court main sports hall, a cafe, 2 function rooms, a minor sports hall, 2 squash courts, a creche, children’s soft play area, changing facilities for 6 outdoor football pitches.

Altnagelvin Hospital, Endoscopy Suite

We installed the mechanical and electrical services at the new Endoscopy Suite in Altnagelvin Hospital.  The project consisted of a refurbishment of the existing Day Hospital within the South Block building and the construction of a satellite building linked to the refurbished day hospital area via two link corridors.

The new 320m2 extension houses Recovery Suites, Wash Facilities and Staff Areas, as well as a new dedicated plantroom at roof level to accommodate the associated ventilation plant and equipment.  The old 600m2 Day Hospital area now includes three Endoscopy Procedure Rooms and associated Clean and Dirty Scope Rooms, as well as Reception, Patient Interview Facilities and Changes Prep Rooms.

Craigavon Area Hospital

Client: Southern Health & Social Care Trust

Dowds Group started work on the £9.6m Craigavon Hospital Framework in 2009, initially completing the provision of a new Trauma and Orthopaedic Unit. The new three storey unit included a total of 33 beds together with two dedicated laminar flow theatre units along with various support, recovery and office accommodation.  We also completed electrical works on the Maternity Unit extension which provided six new delivery suites, refurbished the existing four and added a four bedded induction ward and three bedded recovery ward completed over nine phases.  Running concurrently with maternity installation we worked closely with the consultants and hospital engineers to complete critical upgrades to the hospital infrastructure. This included a complete new Data & Telephone Network, a new Fire Alarm Network and a new electrical Infrastructure Low Voltage Ring.

In addition, we provided a complete electrical installation of 2 new buildings (PICU and ALDAU) which were constructed at each end of the existing Bluestone unit, including new switchgear and sub-mains cabling and full integration of systems between the new and existing buildings.  A major component of the contract was the CHP installation, this involved the supply, connection and commissioning of a new 1200 KWE CHP unit to the existing stores energy centre building, with new switchboards and submains cabling to allow the CHP unit to be integrated onto the trusts site-wide LV network.

Having successfully completed these contracts Dowds undertook significant side wide infrastructure upgrade as well as the major refurbishment and extension to the existing Maternity Unit. The new maternity unit includes six new delivery suites, whilst we helped refurbish the existing four wards together with a four- bed induction ward & three-bed recovery ward.