Best Practice Hub proves an invaluable resource for Vinci Construction UK Ltd on its Liverpool Life Sciences Accelerator project

The five-storey Liverpool Life Sciences Accelerator building is being constructed on the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust site as a joint venture between the Royal Liverpool Hospital and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

The first phase in developing Liverpool’s Health Campus, the project is the first step in expanding the scale of the existing model for development of commercial opportunities from the research and clinical base.

Commenting on how the Best Practice Hub has proved to be an invaluable resource on the project, Martin Horton, Project Manager, Vinci Construction UK Limited said:

“By using the vast amount of information available on the Best Practice Hub and using knowledge from past experience, we were able to undertake works in a way that would demonstrate that we are a considerate constructor. This is particularly important when working in a city centre location such as this, where we are surrounded on each side of the job.”

New biological and chemical laboratories

Detailing the project, David Willshire, VCUK Construction Manager for the LLSA project said:

“The works involve the design and construction of a five-storey building to provide new biological and chemical laboratories, together with staff offices and a reception facility. The building also contains a specialist category 3 and insectaries facility for the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Within the insectaries, internal condition can be set to create “tropical” environments.

“The building frame is reinforced concrete with post-tensioned slabs. The structural envelope consists of a mixture of structural curtain wall glazing and rain-screen cladding. Internal finishes consist of plasterboard wall – all plastered and painted – suspended ceilings and mainly vinyl flooring, with the exception of staff offices which will have carpet tiles. Due to the laboratories, the building is heavily serviced, with substantial M&E services in the two plantrooms along with an open roof deck plant space.”

One of the key challenges the project team faced was working on a site in close proximity to one of the hospital buildings, which was also used a teaching block. David explained:

“At certain times of the day, at the end of lectures, a number of students would leave the building opposite the main delivery gate to the site. A provision that we put into place was to have the site security guard and subcontractor supervisors put through banksman training so they could safely control site deliveries when they arrived on site, and were being offloaded. Further to this, additional pedestrian demarcation and barriers were provided outside of the teaching building to direct pedestrians away from delivery road.”

You can read all about the Vinci Construction UK Integrated Health Projects team’s many examples of best practice below:

  • Litter picking exercises were undertaken during the last hour of every working day. The team also ensured that the Trust areas outside the site were tidy at the end of the day, and the site’s road sweeper also covered the hospital’s roads.
  • The cleanliness message was stressed at induction, with inductees encouraged not to walk past any untidy or dirty areas. There was a significant amount of company branding at the site boundaries and on the team’s PPE, and the company’s policies and values were addressed during induction.
  • The client’s and company’s social media accounts were used to provide progress updates and other project-related information.
  • The project manager attended fortnightly logistics meetings with the hospital and maintained a daily interface with hospital representatives and other contractors.
  • Newsletters were distributed every 4-6 weeks and were widely circulated to the hospital and the surrounding area.
  • A revised Logistics Strategy was developed in conjunction with the Trust in order to address the needs of hospital staff and visitors, and this strategy gives due consideration to cyclists using the hospital campus.
  • Local labour and suppliers were used wherever possible, with figures being reported as a KPI. A local sandwich van was also located on the site.
  • The team was promoting an ‘Open Doors’ event at the end of March which allowed students and members of the public to see behind-the-scenes at a major live construction site. This event was aimed at the promotion of the construction industry, and became fully booked.
  • The team and the company supported trust events, including a Charity Ball which raised funds for the hospital.
  • An Environmental Champion was appointed and the project had a bespoke environmental plan. Team members were given the company’s Site Environmental Awareness Training (SEAT).
  • E-learning modules relating to environmental awareness/management were available on the company’s intranet and these were offered to subcontractors.
  • Prefabrication of specific elements and off-site cutting of materials was undertaken wherever possible due to the lack of space available on site, and in order to reduce material wastage.
  • The site took metered supplies of water and electricity from the hospital, with usage being recorded and reported back to the hospital. This, and other data, from the biometric control system is used in the calculation of the project’s carbon footprint.
  • A landscaping and streetscape improvement scheme was implemented later on in the project and a meeting/workshop was held with the local authority to confirm the requirements, as the scope of these works increased.
  • The workforce was re-inducted after the Christmas holidays, and there were safety stand-down days to allow the workforce to consider specific topics.
  • The team received the company’s ‘Step-Up’ training aimed at improving behavioural safety on site. Supervisors were also involved in this training.
  • The CLOCS initiative was encompassed within the project’s logistics plan and the team worked with the Trust’s Travel Manager to provide a safe environment for cyclists. Specific training was also provided for banksmen to adhere to the logistics Plan.
  • ‘Close Call’ cards were used to record near misses and rewards were available for those who submitted these cards.
  • The ‘Step-Up’ board in the compound indicated how issues raised through Close Call cards were addressed.
  • Subcontractors had access to the company’s e-learning modules.
  • The adjacent hospital PFI scheme had a trade-union led training facility and this was made available to the workforce from this project.
  • In-house health assessments were carried out and subcontractors were encouraged to do the same for their employees.
  • A range of posters were displayed giving advice on men’s health issues and encouraging the adoption of a healthier lifestyle.
  • Spot checks were carried out on site to validate CSCS cards and to identify potential illegal workers.
  • There were a number of trainees on site in both trade and management positions and the company’s ‘Academy’ dealt with training placements.
  • In addition to this, the Project Manager took guidance from the company’s Learning and Development Team in respect of the appointment of trainees. A separate facility was available in the hospital for use by those with specific religious or cultural needs. 

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