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Nightingale hospital designs win BCIA award for best construction initiative during COVID-19 pandemic

The incredible work of our healthcare teams in designing and delivering six Nightingale hospitals across the UK, has been recognised at the British Construction Industry Awards (BCIA) with the award for outstanding contribution to the Covid-19 response.

This special category for 2020 celebrates the innovation and ingenuity demonstrated by the construction industry to develop initiatives and solutions to keep the sector operating safely during the pandemic. BCIA joined forces with the Infrastructure Projects Authority to launch the award earlier this year.

James Hepburn, said: “This win highlights how BDP’s critical designs supported the tireless work of the NHS in a time of crisis. The successful delivery was a product of incredible collaboration and we are delighted to accept the award and share it proudly with everybody involved in the projects. The overall philosophy applied on site was rigour of processes and flexibility and there was an overarching shared purpose of rapidly delivering the facilities. It was wonderful to see the whole construction industry come together to achieve something amazing.”

In April 2020, to help the UK national effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic and respond to the shortfall of ICU beds, we undertook a study proposing the conversion of large scale event venues into temporary ICU facilities.  This led to the conversion of the 115,000 sqm ExCeL conference centre at London Docklands into the nation’s first NHS Nightingale temporary hospital for Covid-19 patients.  Collaborating with clinicians, consultants, contractors, the ExCeL FM team and the British Army, the first 500 beds were ready in just nine days.

We were then approached to lead on the design of five other NHS Nightingale Hospitals in Birmingham, Manchester, Harrogate, Bristol and Cardiff.

Delivering emergency hospitals in exhibition centres and stadiums was unprecedented, so our healthcare design teams had to draw on their previous extensive experience of designing world-leading hospitals across the UK.