The Challenge:

The University of Sheffield, in partnership with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, aimed to establish a new PET-MRI facility to improve patient care and understanding of diseases, such as dementia, cancer, MS, Parkinson’s, and epilepsy, among others.

The facility is formed of a two-storey, concrete-framed extension to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. The site will be next to the Minor Injuries Unit; a former car drop-off canopy will be demolished to make room for the extension, along with partial demolition of the existing MRI facility. The site is extremely restricted, surrounded by a busy hospital access road and Claremont Crescent, and an ambulance drop-off area, which cannot be blocked at any time.

The facility will require extensive specialist equipment and materials, including lead-lined blockwork and fire doors for procedures requiring radioactivity. The cladding will be traditional brick and block with stone and curtain-walling.  

The Solution:

To accommodate the restricted site, the site cabins were position a short walk from site in Beech hill Road, where the hospital’s staff accommodation is located. There was also no on-site storage, because of the site’s size. Instead, this is located across the access road to the ambulance drop-off area, with a crane to lift goods from the storage area over the road and into the site.

The cladding for the new building has been chosen to reflect that of the surrounding conservation area, using natural stone and slate blue facing brick to mirror the houses and buildings of the area.

The extension’s internal layout has been designed to work effectively with the main hospital building. For example, the PET-MRI scanning facility must be located on the first floor in order to tie in and have direct access to the existing MRI imaging suite.

The Impact:

The new PET-MRI facility will provide new, state-of-the-art services in Sheffield. The project is one of only eight such facilities in the UK, and will provide local people access to new clinical trials, and will support the development of new therapies and outcomes for patients.

The facility will provide faster diagnosis, track the progression of disease more easily, and accelerate the delivery of new drugs.

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