The new, state-of-the-art 63,000 sq ft Dumfries and Galloway hospital in southwest Scotland, due to be completed in the next few weeks, is part of the Scottish Government’s £2bn investment in healthcare. The expansive site will feature 344 beds, inpatient treatment and surgical suites, emergency and ambulatory care centres, specialist oncology, maternity and paediatric facilities, as well as staff residences, a helipad and 980 parking spaces.
Laing O’Rourke’s digital engineering processes were implemented from the outset. At the tender stage, we consulted with consortium partners to produce 3D plans, which were presented to the client using immersive, 360˚-view virtual-reality headsets. By using 3D techniques at this stage, the team was able to complete a considerable amount of the building design, interior layout and product specification before work on site had even begun.
Digital models also proved crucial to project coordination. More than 9,000 products have been manufactured offsite at Laing O’Rourke facilities, including 1,572 precast concrete cladding panels, 1,758 hollowcore floor slabs, 113 precast stair units, 947 mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) modules and 116 preassembled bathroom pods. Digital engineering models were shared during the fabrication stage, saving time and reducing the risk of future errors.
The project has been pioneering in its use of our new Datalink software, which gives onsite staff real-time information on the status of different components built at Explore Industrial Park (EIP). “We’ve been one of the first projects to use component tracking throughout the build, and have seen the benefits for tracking designs both in the factory and on the project to see what has and hasn’t been done,” explains digital engineer Paddy Corkery. “There have been other projects that have only tracked installation, but we could see the status in the factory at a much earlier stage, and the status from our design consultants.”
Datalink uses coloured-coded images to indicate what action is required on each section, and to flag up any areas that don’t comply with required quality standards, eliminating the requirement for status reports. “We developed a system for setting out co-ordinates from the model, so you can view the information directly on site,” says Paddy. “One block took around 20 minutes, whereas it would have taken about three hours using CAD designing and rendering, so it saved a lot of time.”
The software is connected to a tablet‑based system, Fieldview, used to monitor quality. Users can sign off individual rooms as and when various stages of fit-out are complete, and the information is fed directly into the system. “We linked the data from Fieldview with the models to visualise the progress effectively,” says Paddy.
Datalink has also been used to link the data from Fieldview with 2D room layouts within the Navisworks environment, allowing for the creation of marked-up plans showing where tasks such as snags, outstanding works, actions or issues were present. In the past, Laing O’Rourke has used Fieldview to create reports and photos of problems, but it didn’t have the ability to show the user where that particular problem was within the building. To solve this issue, the reports have been linked via Navisworks/Datalink, which clearly display what needs doing and where.
Speeding the construction process
DfMA has proved crucial to the installation of the hospital’s bathroom modules, each containing two bathrooms. With the support of Explore Manufacturing, CHt and the Engineering Excellence Group, the project team devised a method for delivering the assembled modules.
On the whole, the application of digital engineering methods, alongside DfMA, has resulted in increased efficiency on site. Streamlined processes and reduced timelines have kept the project on track, so that it can be ready to open to the public this winter.