Kier has been selected by Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to design and construct major new 16,700m2 clinical buildings at Luton & Dunstable (L&D) University Hospital. Procured through the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) framework, this project will improve maternity, neonatal, theatres and critical care services, providing new high-tech facilities which will improve staff and patient experience and clinical outcomes. 

The project includes the design and construction of a new acute services block and a new ward block which will house a delivery suite, the midwifery-led birthing unit, a neonatal intensive care unit with parent accommodation, an ambulatory surgical unit to support day case surgery, theatre suites and a critical care unit. A new five-storey link building will house three passenger lifts and will blend the new acute services and ward block with the existing hospital.

These new buildings will be constructed in a live hospital environment in the heart of the existing hospital estate, with neighbouring clinical blocks continuing to run throughout the build programme.

The project showcases Kier’s strength in sustainability and pre-fabrication. The team will use low-carbon concrete in the building frame and floor slabs while a number of building components will be pre-fabricated off site to reduce vehicle movements and carbon emissions. These include internal staircases with balustrades, and M&E pipework support and washroom panels. Kier will also use electrically-powered plant and machinery, including tower cranes and 360 degree dumper trucks.

Kier will deliver a number of environmental and social value commitments as part of the project in partnership with its supply chain. As well as creating new full-time job opportunities, 15 apprenticeships and work experience placements, the project will also divert some 7900 tonnes of waste from landfill and provide 350 hours of environmental education to subcontractors on site. Kier will also support Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Charity and host mental and wellbeing campaigns for staff and subcontractors.

The project will start on site in the next month and is due for completion in 2024.

Liam Cummins, Group managing director at Kier Construction, said: “This is a key appointment through the Government’s CCS framework and is one of the 20 projects that the Government announced in August 2019 to receive £850m additional capital funding investment. We have been, and will continue to, implement the Construction Playbook and its principles and policies throughout project delivery.

“Kier brings a breadth of experience in delivering large healthcare facilities, as well as localised experience of the provision of opportunities for the local community through our Luton DART project.”

Melanie Banks, Director of Redevelopment and Strategic Planning at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to have appointed Kier as our contractor to deliver the Acute Services Block and New Ward Block at the L&D. This has been many years in the planning and we are thrilled that work will start imminently.

“These buildings will provide modern facilities, allowing our teams to continue delivering excellent care to the local community.”

Kier is a leading provider of healthcare facilities for NHS Trusts. It has recently completed a £98m transformation programme at Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot, the new £28.5m imaging centre at Royal Brompton Hospital in Chelsea, and is currently on site delivering a new £87m surgical centre at Musgrove Park Hospital for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

Kier is also currently working on the Luton DART project, which is delivering in joint venture with VolkerFitzpatrick under the name VolkerFitzpatrick Kier (VFK). Throughout project delivery, VFK has kept social value at the heart of its operations. The Luton DART Construction Skills Hub was launched as part of the project and through it 720 local people were provided with the skills needed to help them enter the construction industry. As part of the programme, VFK also created over 80 permanent new jobs for local apprentices, graduates and other new entrants to the industry.