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The new South Glasgow UniversityHospital and Royal Hospital for Children, which was officially opened by HerMajesty the Queen on July 3rd and consequently renamed the QueenElizabeth University Hospital, is a benchmark project for many reasons.

One is its size – being the largesthospital building project in Europe to date,and another its design for client NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde by specialisthealthcare architects IBI Group (formerly Nightingale Associates) – which iscolourful and brave in its use of internal “floating” cantilevered pods, amongother elements.

First impressions aside, it is equally ground-breaking in the background,being the largest off-cut recycling project to date by Armstrong Ceilings whodiverted more than 10,000m2 or 35 tonnes of mineral ceiling tileoff-cuts from landfill.

Main contractor Brookfield Multiplex had worked with Armstrong before torecycle 8,000m2 or 32 tonnes of Bioguard Plain ceiling tile off-cutsat Peterborough City Hospital.

It was also the largest project to date featuring elements from ArmstrongCeilings’ service and systems portfolio – not just tiles for acoustic andhealthcare purposes but also a variety of suspension and Dry Wall Grid systems withbespoke Axiom perimeter solutions - backed by the company’s industry-leading30-year systems warranty.

Such was the size of theproject that it required two members of Armstrong’s Green Omega network of specialist sub-contractors especially recognisedfor their recycling expertise - Roskel Contracts and PFP.

The project was also noteworthy for Roskel Contracts, who installed thefirst, laboratory phase - 30,000m2 of Armstrong’s lifetime-guaranteedDune Supreme Tegular mineral tiles on a Prelude 24mm grid – becoming the firstGreen Omega member in Scotland.

Armstrong worked with Roskel Contracts to create 800m2 ofexemplar mock-up areas of two sizes (600mm x 600mm and 1200mm x 600mm) of thesquare-edged Bioguard Acoustic tiles which combine good sound absorption andattenuation to ISO 5 levels with antimicrobial properties.

PFP then had a team of up to 60 men on site for two and a half years,installing 110,000m2 of Armstrong’s Bioguard Acoustic mineral tilesand a variety of wall-to-wall suspension and transition systems.

The 140,000m2 of Armstrong wall-to-wall ceiling systems used atthe new hospital also include the manufacturer’s pre-engineered aluminiumperimeter solutions Axiom transitions, profiles and accessories.

In addition, in the cantilevered pods that are the most jaw-droppingelement of the project, a 100mm Axiom profile was coupled with a bespoke 225mmAxiom profile and riveted together to create a 325mm bulkhead/upstand at acustom length of 3.6m.

This particular method took just 25% of the installation time compared totraditional plastering methods, prompting PFP to remark that this Armstrongsystem represented the next generation of building products.

A variety of Armstrong suspension systems were also used on the project including70,000 linear metres of the Drywall Grid System for use with plasterboardceilings (including curved DGS around the nurses’ stations in the wards),12,000 linear metres of Axiom plasterboard-to-tile transition trims incorridors leading off a central atrium, 10,000 linear metres of Axiom profiles(which help with ceiling level changes, floating ceiling construction andlighting integration) and 40,000 accessories including connecting brackets,clips and hanging brackets.

Along with the Armstrong Prelude standardand non-corrosive exposed grids which combine exceptional stability withinstallation ease, all of these systems were installed by PFP a year beforetiling to minimise damage to services in the ceiling void.

In keeping with its size, the new hospital on the site of the SouthernGeneral Hospital took five years to build. The 170,000m2 combined adultand children’s hospitals are expected to treat 750,000 patients, including110,000 A&E patients, every year. It has one of the biggest emergencydepartments in Scotland, 30 state-of-the-art operating theatres and a dedicatedlaboratory block.

The mammoth development is divided into two elements – the larger adulthospital of 1,109 beds in single-room accommodation and the adjoining smaller children’shospital with 256 beds.

The former also comprises two separate sections, the first a three-storeypodium housing operating theatres, diagnostic, outpatient, ambulatory care and emergencyfacilities. The second is an eight-storey tower rising above the podium with ahelicopter landing pad on the roof.

The adult building has also been designed with a large atrium housingretail shops, café, restaurant and coffee area on the first floor. Patientrooms overlook landscaped gardens to help promote a sense of well-being.

Home to major specialised services such as renal medicine, transplantationand vascular surgery, the publicly-funded development will give Glasgow one ofthe most advanced adult acute services hospitals in the UK and is the biggestcritical care complex in Scotland.

James Bailey, senior quantity surveyor (construction) for BrookfieldMultiplex, said the Armstrong wall-to-wall ceiling systems specified by thearchitects had met all the required SHTMs (Scottish Health TechnicalMemorandum), were a “suitable product range for a major hospital” and had beenused extensively as a major internal fit-out component throughout both theadult and children’s elements.

He also added: “Armstrong’s commitment to recycling damaged tiles andoff-cuts was a key factor in their selection for this project.”

At the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the off-cuts from the ceiling tilessupplied by the Glasgow branch of distributor CCF were collected in one-tonnebags supplied by Armstrong. These were then gathered in an on-site holding areaby on-site waste management company Skipeez until there were enough (20 bags onpallets) for an Armstrong truck to collect them and transport them back to thefactory in Gateshead.

PFP’s Gary Mortimer said: “The sheer size and complexity of this projectcould have made it an extremely challenging one but the recycling element,particularly with Skipeez on board, went very smoothly. 

“We had never used such a variety of Armstrong systems before on oneproject but thanks to the level of support we received from Armstrong’s localsales and technical teams and the distributor, we managed to deliver a projectwe are all very proud of.”




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