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General Intensive Care Unit delivered during pandemic scoops prestigious industry award

GICU University Hospital Southampton

The extension and refurbishment of the General Intensive Care Unit (GICU) at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS), delivered during the pandemic, has been recognised with a prestigious construction industry award.

The £22 million state-of-the-art GICU, designed by architect Stride Treglown and delivered by BAM Construction, was named ‘Best Non-residential Extension or Alteration of the Year’ at the 2021 LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Building Excellence Awards.

The GICU is situated on the first floor of a four-storey extension at the front of the UHS’ main site, Southampton General Hospital, with close links to other critical care departments, operating theatres and diagnostics.

The facility was designed following extensive consultation with the clinical staff that highlighted the impact that internal environment can have on patients’ wellbeing and recovery, with emphasis placed on the use of natural daylight to create a sense of connection to the outside. The unit’s requirements of observation, privacy and flexibility are also balanced with a mix of open bays and isolation rooms, including a specialist burns room with humidity control.

BAM worked closely with the Trust’s Estate Project team, who provided P22 Project Management and Supervisor roles and who instigated a robust BIM and asset modelling requirement to facilitate the project’s maintenance and future management.

Adam Harding, Regional Director – South East for BAM Construction, commented:

‘We are delighted to receive this prestigious recognition from the LABC. Work on the new GICU at University Hospital Southampton began pre-pandemic when no-one could have predicted how important the need for the new facility would become in the face of what was an unprecedented nationwide medical crisis. As the scale of the situation became apparent, delivery of the new GICU was critical and a monumental effort from the project team meant that we were able to hand over the project earlier than planned, giving UHS additional Intensive Care beds at a time when they were needed most.’

Lorna Stimpson, LABC Chief Executive said:

‘These awards reflect LABC’s new focus on skills, quality and competency and reflect the best in construction from a technical perspective. The BAM team at University Hospital Southampton, faced – and overcame – the most extraordinary circumstances – a crumbling supply chain and anxious workforce when Covid first hit. They pulled quickly together as a team, introducing Covid secure measures and motivating the entire supply chain. UHS was delighted and relieved to take ownership of the new facility, delivered on budget and ahead of time.’

The construction of the GICU extends BAM’s association with UHS, that dates back almost 50 years when it built some of the hospital’s original buildings. Other significant projects delivered by BAM in Southampton include the University’s Life Sciences, EEE and Centenary buildings and the crown and county courts.