Meet the Finalists

2022 | Healthcare

Andrew Witnall MCIOB
BAM Construction

NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter: remodelling of a warehouse as a 116-bed hospital and its subsequent conversion into a diagnostic centre, completed in 69 weeks.

Client: Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Contract: NEC option C, design and build

Value: £16.6m

About the Project

NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter

Most Nightingales built in 2020 were essentially field hospitals. Andy Witnall’s project was a complete intensive care hospital built from scratch within the same punishing time-frame as its namesakes. His 57-day delivery of the facility is phenomenal, and even included a last-second change of site location.

It was all about saving time. Andy had all the internal doors oversized so the 130 MEWPs on the site could pass through without ever having to be derigged. Factory output speeds were captured by standardising every possible element and making it off site, including 3,000 sets of bracketry for the bed head services. He designed the whole of the main drainage on paper and had it installed as drawn, as there was simply no time to wait for the civils team to be assembled to carry out a full design.

In those 57 days, he shifted 2,500 cubic metres of earth, built an 80m retaining wall, diverted three HV cables and a water main, and put in a new HV ring main, a gas main and 500m of drainage up to three metres deep. Along with installing 16 tonnes of metal framing, 8,000sqm of plasterboard, 14km of copper piping, 3,000 cubic metres of concrete and 250,000 metres of cabling, that’s some feat.

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