An integrated approach bringing together multiple disciplines to design a massive new hospital saved time and money while delivering an optimal building.

The Grand Hôpital de Charleroi will be one of the largest hospitals in Belgium. Set to open in 2024, it replaces five existing hospitals with a next-generation building covering around 150.000 m2.

Royal HaskoningDHV has been involved since the start of the project, contracted to provide the internal architectural design as well as MEP (mechanical and plumbing). We were singled out for the project on the basis of our considerable expertise in the sector and proven ability to deliver within unusually short time frames when working on complex, integral projects.

Before design work started, decisions were made on the healthcare process at the new hospital. This covered aspects such as the wellbeing of patients and staff, as well as the patient journey - from illness to treatment and recovery. It included discussions over the use of video consultations, allocation of space and the ordering of rooms, down to specifics such as materials, lighting, surfaces and use of colour. Experts from Royal HaskoningDHV advised on all these aspects, which then formed the basis of the design.

Integration is key for success

The scale and complexity of the project was huge. It demanded expertise and input from multiple disciplines and close co-ordination with our client and other contractors. This is a key capability of our Building Technology team.

To ensure successful integration, digital 3-D models using Revit software provided the central point for input from all the disciplines. As a consequence, clashes could be identified and solved very early on. In addition, the detail within the models was such that very precise quantities and measurements could be extracted quickly and simply. This meant our client was able to provide contractors with very accurate and precise information, saving money in procurement. The models bring longer-term benefits too in that they can be used in future asset management.

“The size and detailing of the project were immense. Added to this was the complexity of integrating input from many participants, some of whom were in different countries,” said Jurgen Boonstra, Architect. “Our solution which centralised input within a comprehensive 3D model led to an optimal building and savings on money and time. These are the benefits of effective multi-disciplinary integration.”