Working under main contractor Interserve, we are providing the design and engineering expertise and skills to convert the 175,000 sqm NEC venue into a temporary 4,000 bed emergency hospital for COVID-19 patients. The hospital was officially opened on 16 April by the Duke of Cambridge, for which the military and health professionals also attended.
Our knowledge and experience gained from helping in the delivery of the ExCeL London hospital has provided valuable design principles and guidance that we have applied to the NEC. Like the ExCeL centre, minimal building intervention has been required, building assets are being fully utilised and bed bays are being constructed from an exhibition component system.
Our teams worked with the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust almost a decade ago to build the biggest critical care unit in Europe. We are now working together again to ensure that every ward and bed is fitted with all the facilities and equipment required by dedicated clinical teams to treat COVID-19 patients.
Architect director, Max Martin, whose Sheffield studio healthcare team is working closely with consultants, specialists and contractors from other organisations, said “It is an intense and exhausting experience, but extremely rewarding to be part of this multidisciplinary team who are so dedicated and determined to deliver this crucial facility for the region.”
Other UK hospitals have been delivered in an effort to combat coronavirus, with the NHS Nightingale Hospital in London, being the first project. We published the NHS Nightingale Hospital instruction manual which outlines the fit-out strategies and processes adopted by this project, in order for information to be shared quickly. BDP is also helping to deliver the conversion of both Manchester Central's G-MEX conference centre and Harrogate Convention Centre into NHS hospitals.