Waste collection and up-cycling

Project:  Barts and The Royal London Hospitals, London, UK
Segment:  Health
Main contractor:  Skanska
Ceiling contractor:  Clark & Fenn

Barts is Britain’s oldest hospital, opened in 1123, while the Royal London Hospital dates back to 1740. These two historic hospitals are now undergoing a 10-year, £1 billion redevelopment, which is being undertaken by Skanska under one of the largest ever PPP projects in Europe. The scheme will see the redevelopment of many of the hospitals’ ageing buildings with state-of-the-art healthcare facilities. The entire project is due for completion in early 2016, and Rockfon MediCare ceilings – which are specifically designed for healthcare applications – will be installed throughout both hospitals.

A crucial factor on this project was compliance with Skanska’s environmental policy. Skanska is determined to be the leading green project developer and contractor in the UK, so they have some ambitious targets.

Nick Baker, Skanska’s Environmental Manager, explains:

“The Skanska Colour Palette describes our Journey to Deep Green™. It identifies four key priorities: Energy, Carbon, Materials and Water. Our long term target is to have zero impact in each area. For Barts and The Royal London, we looked closely at our use of materials – in particular the target for Zero Waste to landfill. Manufacturer take-back schemes are an important factor in our ability to achieve this.”

Barts Hospital’s city-centre location presents an especially difficult logistical challenge, compounded by the fact that the new building fills the entire footprint of the site. An off-site logistics depot is being used to consolidate materials from all suppliers and its use reduces the number of daily deliveries to the site. The logistics company also return certain material off-cuts from site to the depot, where they are stored prior to collection for recycling.

Rockfon is working closely with the ceiling contractor, Clark & Fenn Skanska, to ensure all ceiling waste and off-cuts from both sites are recycled, and segregation of waste on site is a key factor in achieving this. In conjunction with storing off-cuts at CCF Distribution in Croydon, fifteen pallets of off-cuts have been returned to the ROCKWOOL factory in Pencoed (Wales) for recycling back into their production process.

“In the initial stages we believed that a metal tile would be far more practical as a solution for the corridors,” comments Derek Bennett of Clark & Fenn Skanska. “However, due to restrictions in void depth and the heavily-serviced corridors, Clark & Fenn Skanska – with assistance from the architects and Rockfon – developed a very cost-effective solution using Rockfon MediCare planks. This solution allowed Skanska to delay installing tiles until the commissioning stages. This reduced the actual damage that can occur on projects of this nature, thereby reducing any unnecessary waste.”

Rockfon’s MediCare range has been specified in standard tile formats for the rooms and planks for the corridors. With over 13 miles of corridors to cover, it was essential the ceilings could provide ease of access and be easy to demount and install. The Rockfon MediCare range also offers resistance to ubiquitous bacteria and fungi, in particular Staphylococcus Aureus including its Methicillin resistant strain (MRSA), making it fully compliant with HTM 60 and an ideal choice for the new hospitals.


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