Multiplex has kicked off the New Year in a big way, with a $460 million contract for the construction of what will be the tallest hospital building in Australia – the new Westmead Central Acute Services Building.
The 12-storey building is the centrepiece of the $1 billion makeover of the Westmead health and knowledge precinct in Parramatta. It will provide new emergency departments for adults and children; state-of-the-art adult and paediatric operating suites; pharmacy and imaging services; as well as adult inpatient beds. A series of bridge links will connect the new building to the existing Westmead Hospital and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
The project is currently the largest hospital redevelopment project by value underway in New South Wales.
“The new building will offer future-focused facilities to support best practice models of care – we want to offer patients and their families and carers truly integrated care, with the right care, at the right place, and at the right time,” Member for Parramatta Dr Geoff Lee says.
Prior to signing the contract for the Central Acute Services Building, Multiplex had been engaged by the Westmead Consortium to undertake a seven-month Early Contractor Involvement process to refine the final design for the project.
Westmead clinicians, local community members, patients, and their families were heavily involved in designing the building, Mr Lee says, to ensure the space reflected the needs of the diverse western Sydney community now and in the future.
“We’re really looking forward now to kicking off work and seeing the building come to life,” he says.
The CASB project is expected to create 1,500 new construction jobs annually and more than 50 apprenticeships. Multiplex has also committed to 5% of the total contract price to Aboriginal Participation in Construction (APIC) – more than triple the NSW Government minimum of 1.5%.
The company is also set to launch a new connectivity skills and training centre on the Westmead precinct next year. This will act as a hub for collaboration between employment service providers including Jobactive, Disability Service Providers, PCYC, Transition to Work Providers VTEC, and Aboriginal support agencies.
It will also be the point of coordination for all employment, training, and community value-related activities for the construction of the new hospital building.
Mr David Ghannoum, Regional Managing Director of Multiplex, says the contractor is excited to move into the next phase of delivering a “fantastic facility”.
Designed by architects HDR Rice Daubney, the CASB is part of a growing trend for vertical hospital buildings, Mr Ghannoum says.
“The new building will be built up rather than out and won’t follow the traditional large horizontal floor plate,” he says. “For patients, this will mean faster transfer times, more natural light, and better views from their rooms, aiding their experience and recovery.”
The floor area of the new hospital will provide 95,559 square metres of space. In addition to the patient-centred services and spaces, there will be one and a half floors of dedicated University of Sydney space.
A helipad will be located on level 13. There will also be underground car parking spaces constructed as part of the works program. The final design also includes an outdoor public space, the plaza, which will form the entry to the precinct and the buildings within it.
“The plaza will be a highly interactive space with extensive landscaping, natural shade, and quiet green spaces to encourage staff, patients, and visitors to linger and engage with the Westmead precinct,” Mr Ghannoum says.
“Children will also have access to new play areas, while a carer’s retreat will provide additional amenities and respite for families of children who are being cared for.”
The new hospital building is due to open in 2020.