Blog Posts

Opening of innovitive new building at Bath's RUH

RUH opening 1
RUH opening 2

On 6 June 2015 Dr Peter Hansford officially opened the new IT and Medical Records building at the Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath.

Shortlisted for four Constructing Excellence South West awards and finalist for a Local Authority Building Control award, the project has been recognised in a number of categories:

  • Innovation Award
  • Integration and Collaborative Working Award
  • Value Award
  • Project of the Year Award
  • Best Public Service Building Award

Competition is stiff, but we are hoping to celebrate success at the upcoming Awards Dinners!

Why awards judges are interested in the building

To achieve a successful project, collaboration between designers and constructors is critical.  We know this to be true, so does Constructing Excellence.  Constructing Excellence drives the government change agenda to improve the industry’s performance.  As an organisation they seek out projects to showcase excellent practice.

They have found such practice in the newest administrative building at the RUH Bath. 

Real team work delivers 

This latest office for the RUH was developed using the innovative Öppen system.    Öppen was initially designed by SRA Architects, and engineers Mann Williams and Hulley & Kirkwood.  As the design developed building contractors Pollard joined the team.  They brought with them their supply chain to help fine-tune the design. It is a true example of the building industry working together to deliver the best results for the client.

Refined construction methods are quicker and cost less
The Öppen system uses pre-fabricated, flat-pack components: hot rolled steel, precast concrete, cross-laminated timber panels.  For efficiency these are made off site, for fast assembly on site. The RUH building took only 20 weeks from completing the groundworks  to handing over the fitted-out building.

In competitive tender, the Öppen design proved 15% faster and 30% lower cost than similar designs using traditional construction methods.  As a result the administration building at the RUH is an HM Government Cabinet Office Trial Project.  It demonstrates a successful approach to achieving the Government’s Construction 2025 Industrial Strategy.

Meeting client needs today and designing for their future

Employees in the hospital’s IT and Medical Records Departments now have an open, airy, light place to work.  The Öppen system allows for a large undisturbed floor plate which can be easily adapted to meet the practical needs of the departments today as well as being fully adaptable for any future NHS needs.  An office in 2015, it could be a laboratory or ward accommodation in 2025 and the costs for the change would be minimal.

The contractor and the design team delivered a fantastic office building using the Öppen system. The project demonstrated construction innovation, teamwork and provided adaptability and value for money. The end users are really pleased with their new environment; it has improved working practices and created a real buzz. Even on this fast track programme the end users could fine-tune the design.
— Daniel Barnett, PM, Royal United Hospitals Bath, NHS Foundation Trust
This building embraces the principles of Construction 2025. It is the start of a new age in the UK [construction industry].
— Dr Peter Hansford, HM Government’s Chief Construction Adviser