This new world-class healthcare facility will eliminate the use of fossil fuel on-site, in alignment with the Government of South Australia’s commitment to a 100 per cent renewable grid by 2030. This will be achieved by connecting to an electricity source supplied from the electrical network or through on-site electricity generation and storage.
This is the largest hospital development project in Australia within a health precinct and will transform healthcare for women and children serving the Central Adelaide region. WSP is engaged for the Masterplan and Concept Phase as the lead consultant for all engineering design including, building services, structures, civil, façade, transport, environmental, sustainability, acoustics and geotechnical services.
Creating a resilient and Future Ready™ hospital
“We’re pleased to be supporting our client, SA Health, in creating a resilient and Future Ready hospital that will leave a positive legacy for future generations,” says Matthew Salisbury, Project Director and Regional Director for South Australia (SA) & the Northern Territory. “We’ve been helping to develop a solution aligned with the Government of SA’s strategic targets for sustainability.”
Developed with the input of climate change experts, South Australia’s Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025 outlines government-led objectives and actions to build a strong, climate smart economy. The construction of the all-electric hospital will be the most sustainable major public hospital in Australia, helping to work towards an emissions-free health sector for the state and supporting zero-emissions targets.
Matthew adds, “The design and build of the hospital represent a very significant piece of infrastructure for the South Australian community. The level of expertise and innovation in design is providing a world leading outcome in terms of driving decarbonization targets whilst aligning to world-class benchmarks for patient centered care.”
There will be more to come as the project evolves over the course of its design and construction, aiming for finalization in 2030.
The project reached concept phase completion in July 2022. And, with a recent change of Government, there has been an additional request for the State to consider an alternative site, to explore opportunities that may better suit the clinical requirements, cost efficiency and site constraints. As a result of our positive work relationship, WSP was engaged as part of a separate exercise to undertake an eight week rapid site assessment for alternative options, with a preferred alternative site selected for further exploration and master planning.
Holistic approach to sustainability
Initial planning stages of the project involved benchmarking against similar global facilities and conducting visioning workshops with client stakeholders to develop and understand key drivers for the hospital design.
Bernadette Fitzgerald, Sustainability Lead for WSP, says, “A high performing asset with patient and staff wellbeing at its heart, were key for SA Health when defining the design of the New Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
“While we’ve been guiding the project team on a range of sustainable design features, the decision to go all-electric has been the most significant and only made possible by the robust feasibility assessment that each of our engineering disciplines contributed to.”
The project has also taken a holistic approach to sustainability by using WELL Building Standards and Green Star rating tools. We are currently investigating the use of:
- Floor plate layouts and façades designed to provide building users with as much access to daylight and views as practicable
- A low-embodied greenhouse gas emission construction materials strategy
- Non-potable water solutions through rainwater collection and connections to recycled water supplies
- Energy modelling for the entire hospital including building services, clinical and other non-regulated equipment to develop an energy efficiency strategy.
Undertaking this work early in the design phase enabled our project team to assess a range of sustainability implications such as different plant spatial requirements, as well as appraise additional benefits like improved operational redundancy.
The Government estimates that as a net zero operational hospital, the hospital will prevent approximately 2,100 tonnes of greenhouse gas being emitted per year, which is the equivalent of taking approximately 700 vehicles off the road.
WSP is working collaboratively with the builder as part of an Early Contractor engagement process to inform further opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the project.
Bernadette adds, “The Government of SA is demonstrating robust leadership in the design of the hospital, which is set to become the most sustainable major public hospital in Australia when the project is completed.”
One Team drives success
Working as part of a consortium requires collaboration, transparency and agility. Thus, the judicious management of resources is key to success. On a healthcare project of this scale, there are often varied views and directions that require consideration and action. This can create tension in a large team, due to the stop/start nature of the services we are undertaking in addition to the rapid increase of resources needed to undertake works to meet project programme milestones.
“What has brought about the success of this project is the adoption of a ‘One Team’ attitude – to deliver a unified collaborative team environment with mutual respect,” concludes Matt.
“Complex infrastructure projects as such create great learning opportunities for our project teams. These range from technical responses and innovations, cross sector experiences, understanding of procurement practices through to governance and political influences. They are a microcosm of specialist activities and technical solutions that create interesting environments for our team members to engage, learn and thrive. Through this project and with others nationally, we are aiming to capture key lessons learnt and ensure we apply them on future major projects.”