Burwood Hospital – Seismic Design and Construction monitoring of Suspended ceilings and internal partitions

Written by Craig MacDonald and Alex Merino

Over the past 3 years Burwood Hospital has been given a 32,500m2 upgrade which will be the first of  Christchurch’s new hospital facilities to open since the 2011 earthquakes. The new facilities, which opened June 2016 include new ward blocks designed to house 230 patients, outpatient areas which will see up to 90,000 patients per year as well as radiology and pharmacy areas. The new buildings link to the current Burwood Hospital facilities and have an impressive new front of house off of Burwood road.

The Problem:

BVT was engaged to provide a design for the seismic restraint of all partitions and suspended ceilings throughout the hospital extension. Typically seismic braces extend above ceilings up to the roof structure. One of the unforeseen problems with this project was due to the fact this was a hospital a sea of building services such as ventilation ducts, pipework and electrics were to be suspended in the space above the ceiling restricting where bracing could be installed and in some cases preventing it altogether.

The Solution:

The tight construction schedule at Burwood did not account for any delays in installation so where clashes were encountered preventing the installation of our braces a design was required urgently to resolve the problem.

In the final stages of the build during the installation of the ceilings and partitions BVT worked closely with site managers from Leighs Cockram and approached problematic areas on a case by case basis to resolve bracing clashes with suspended services and provide simple and effective bracing design for additional elements such as feature ceilings and glazed partitions.

The Outcome:

As BVT was closely involved involved with the installation process it allowed problems to be resolved efficiently and ensure the bracing installation was of a high quality giving confidence that the ceilings and partitions would withstand any earthquakes in the future. The bracing designs  and installation met the requirements of the NZ Building Code therefore a Producer Statement PS4 – Construction Review was issued once construction was complete.