Logistically challenging groundworks for new modular MRI unit

Located in Central London, St George’s Hospital has one of the world’s busiest A&E departments, and is where Channel 4’s 24 hours in A&E series is filmed.

Based on past performances on other modular healthcare and education projects, ESS Modular appointed Shanco to deliver the groundworks for the hospital’s new modular MRI unit. The work was delivered on a highly constrained site sandwiched between two, live hospital buildings.

Key Services

The project saw Shanco carry out a reduced dig and stone up to level the area, and fit drainage and services ducts. To minimise noise and vibrations, continuous flight augering (CFA) piling was installed and reinforced concrete foundations.

Overcoming Challenges

A very narrow access prevented more than one vehicle from entering the site with no room for turning. In addition, entry into Shanco’s working area was via a one-way road running around the hospital’s perimeter, which further restricted the movement of large vehicles.

The project also required a high voltage cable to be diverted from an enclosed space at the back of the site, which could only be accessed via an internal corridor. After protecting the floor, Shanco had to lift a digger onto industrial strength roller skates to manoeuvre it through the corridor and outside into the required space to carry out the work.

Shanco had to work very closely with the hospital to overcome the logistical challenges and avoid disrupting their services or emergency vehicles. This meant that stringent sequencing and out of hours working was crucial throughout the project.

The one-way system made it impossible for the piling rig to enter the site without blocking the road, so this took place at 4am. Similarly, the work to divert the cable, including moving the digger, took place in the early hours of the morning.

The Outcome

The project was delivered on time enabling ESS Modular to deliver the modular unit on programme.