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News archive - May 2015

A ‘perfect landing’ for Northwick Park development

A ‘perfect landing’ for Northwick Park development

Balfour Beatty’s Perfect Landings approach was used during the development of new emergency and acute care facilities at Northwick Park Hospital

In the construction of modern healthcare facilities, the handover process is absolutely vital.

As well as ensuring the building is ready for operation, it helps to identify emerging problems and enable occupants to gain full control over complex systems.

Set to apply on all public building projects from 2016, the Government’s Soft Landings (GSL) initiative has been developed to keep the professional team together after practical completion, providing a period of ‘hand holding’ during which the client and occupants can become accustomed to their new building.

Taking this process to the next level, Balfour Beatty has developed Perfect Landings to ensure buildings are sustainable in design, construction, and long-term operation.

The approach was recently used during construction of a new emergency department and reconfiguration work on the existing acute care facilities at Northwick Park Hospital in London.

“Few buildings are truly operationally ready at handover,” said Andy Kinder, the company’s construction director for major projects in the North and Midlands.

“At Northwick Park, the Perfect Landings process has allowed us to work closely with stakeholders to familiarise them with the form, function and operation of their buildings.”

Working in collaboration with London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, Balfour Beatty delivered three clinical simulation days that gave staff and stakeholders the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the building prior to work being completed.

In addition, a treatment room, with clinical equipment and trollies, as well as the ambulance parking site, were included to help the team prepare and agree final details to ensure the new department would function effectively.

Staff also had an opportunity to tour the site to familiarise themselves with the space.

Due to this approach, the concrete shell was transformed into a weather-tight building ready for a defect-free handover in just 10 months.

“Our Perfect Landings approach and well-defined build sequence helped us to build it fast, but right first time,” said Kinder.

“Although the speed we have achieved is quite fast for healthcare facilities, we have managed to bring all the systems together and deliver a stunning new hospital building that is ready to perform exactly as it should.”

Robert Bradley, Balfour Beatty project manager, added: “We developed a close working partnership with the trust during the project.

“It has been invaluable to all parties to engage with the project as we work together to deliver a state-of-the-art facility that will benefit the residents of Brent, Harrow and the surrounding areas.”

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