Daisyhill Hospital

Daisy Hill Hospital is an acute medical facility which offers a range of services, including a 24-hour Accident and Emergency Department. This project included an upgrade of the thermal/fire performance and the aesthetics of the building’s envelope. With an outstanding track record and reputation, Collins Rolston was appointed to design the new ward building.

To improve the building’s thermal performance, air permeability and firestopping features, we used new high-performance window units, insulated cladding panels, pumped cavities, and fire-stopping cavity measures. In collaboration with the in-house energy assessor and insulation suppliers, our team also developed bespoke solutions to provide high-quality thermal comfort, reduce solar gains, maximise natural ventilation supplemented with heat recovery and increase u-values beyond Building Regulations requirements.

Work had to be carried out in active wards, so our team kept demolition work to a minimum and developed a phasing strategy with the client and the contractor to reduce disruption and ensure only a small number of rooms would be out of action at any time. This strategy also promoted flexibility and high responsiveness, and our team was on call and available to attend the site within two hours’ notice when required.

The main challenges in this project were an extremely tight deadline and budget constraints – in addition to high levels of asbestos.

To accelerate the process, we secured planning permission within just three months. We also carried out market research and early supplier engagement to ensure all specified materials were readily available and met our high-quality standards.

Always with the deadline in mind, we developed bespoke details and work methodology to allow offsite manufacture of panels and standardised cuts, which consequently reduced downtime. The team utilised a rapid delivery strategy based on lean construction methods by using off-the-shelf materials and components, prefabricated structures and avoiding wet trades.

Our contingency plan allowed work to be quickly transferred to another part of the building, so the programme was kept when work in wards and treatment areas had to stop immediately due to medical emergencies.

As there was limited compound and storage space on the site, we used a “just in time” approach to material delivery. That also helped reduce health and safety risks associated with a live hospital environment.

The project was completed within 12 weeks. Now the façade features “sunshine yellow” trims that have broken up elevation and created a bright, welcoming, and streamlined modern aesthetic. Our design delivered energy efficiency improvements of 82.5% to the existing building fabric.