Faculty of Applied Sciences (TNW)
New construction, Management
Electrotechnical, Mechanical, Access control and Fire safety installations
It is hard to determine where to start if you want to describe the new construction of the Erasmus Medical Centre. The new academic hospital has a floor area of approximately 210.000 m2 and is characterized by the application of many specific details and innovative techniques. The new construction, which started in 2009, aims to put the patient’s healing process at the centre and to make the work processes for the staff as efficient as possible. The new construction is accommodated with 522 single rooms, an OR complex with 26 operating rooms, 12 radiotherapy bunkers and several ML3 and ML2 laboratories. The laboratories only already cover around 15.000 m2. Since nature view has a positive effect on the recovery process of patients, two roof gardens are constructed with a total surface of 3000 m2 that are freely accessible to patients and visitors. The architectural contractors Ballast Nedam and BAM formed a building combination especially for this work. Also especially formed for this work is the installation combination consisting of the ULC Group and BAM. The installation combination (also known as IEBU) is responsible for the realization of all technical installations of the new construction.
ULC and BAM both have an equal share in the V.O.F. that forms the Installation combination. Forming a team consisting of two companies that are actually each other’s competitors and each have their own cultures, is quite a challenge. Project manager Jan Langelaar: “A whole team has been built from scratch. You can imagine that it takes a while before you are one team. ‘Trust’ is the key word here.” Project manager Gabe Westra shares a nice metaphor: “You could say that we, together, have transformed a farmland pathway into a highway within half a year.” The distinction between the staff of ULC and BAM has faded in the past ten years and created a culture of its own within the Installation combination. A culture that is created from the best of two “worlds”. That the cooperation has led to a well-oiled machine has been shown by the success delivery of “Phase East” and “Phase West”. This almost without any residual points for the Installation combination, which is unique for a project of this size.
The developments and techniques in both the installation sector and in the medical field continue to develop rapidly. To prevent you from building an outdated hospital, it is important to stay up to date, to make a lot of changes and to make adjustments throughout the entire design. There is almost no square meter in the hospital where no specific technique or thought is behind. All technical systems are linked to each other via the Building Management System. The data transmission takes place over more than 2500 km of data, LON- and fiberglass cabling. You can find the technical installations on the ground floor, the 30th, 13th, and 7th floor. The technical room, the heart of the hospital, covers the entire 7th floor. It runs through the entire building and is approximately 500 meters long and on average 30 meters wide. The size of the installations speaks to the imagination; the air channels are spacious enough to drive through with a small car. Do not try this out; you will not go through the ceilings.
Then we did not even mention the shafts yet; which cover a total of 7500 m2. 12.8 MVA is provided for emergency power capacity in the form of six emergency power generators. 9.9 MW of mechanical cooling capacity has been set up.
In addition, another HCS (Heat/Cold-Storage) installation was realized with a design capacity of 10.6 MWh per year. The air-handling units move a total of 2.2 million m3 of air per hour. Impressive numbers for an impressive hospital.
The OR complex actually forms a division in the building between short-term treatment and longer-term stays: the complex is located on the 6th floor of the new construction together with the central sterilization department. This OR complex covers an area of approximately 9000 m2. Out of the operating rooms (26 units in total), two are realized as hybrid OR, four as intervention rooms  and there is one brachy  OR. This latter operating room is provided with lead walls in order to carry out operations with radiation sources.
One organ perfusion room has also been realized. And no, that is not all, because in the basement of the new construction the 12 radiation bunkers are realized. For treatments of patients with a risk of infection, multiple underpressure and overpressure rooms have been realized. These are single rooms that provide view over the roof gardens and in which it is possible to personally control the climate of the room.
Together, enough facilities to let the new Erasmus MC serve as a central point for all employees and patients. And that’s right! The Daniël de Hoed Hospital, which is now located elsewhere in Rotterdam, will soon move to the new construction.
Being able to find your way in a building of this size has been an important element for the architect, and at the same time a challenge. Project managers Jan and Gave think that the architect has succeeded very well. Also in the structure of the building is looked at how, in a logical manner, the well being of the patient is put central. The higher you come, the more quit it will be. In this way, patients can experience more rest and staff can work in a centered place. Using the right colours and the right greening in the design of the central hall and the atrium gives the building a soothing and modern look. By using natural light, the hospital beams spatiality. An example of this is the use of coves at the windows in the outer façade. As a result, the light from outside has a wider range.
That a construction of this size with a variety of complex installations requires a lot of preparation time is clear. The first meetings started over twenty years ago. At the peak, during the preparation, 53 full-time employees worked for a considerable time. In total, more than 160 floor maps were drawn by the preparation team, with which the prefab was prepared in order to support the execution. In addition to elaborating the specifications, more than 3000 changes from large to small were included in the preparation and the execution. Through internal work meetings and procedures and thanks to the use of various planning tools, it has been possible to keep both the preparation and execution aligned and reach the milestones of the plans. That this has sometimes been accompanied by strong discussions is probably self-explanatory.
And then we did not even talk about the fact that the new construction part of the academic hospital is built on the site of the old hospital. A hospital that was fully operational during the construction. This created challenges in both transport and planning; it was a continuous interaction between assembly, dismantling, moving, and installing. By acting as one team, the installation combination together with the construction combination has solved all challenges and the building has ben delivered on time. The official key transfer took place on the 5th of December in 2017.
Of course, it is still not a pleasure to end up in the hospital, but the Erasmus Medical Centre does everything that is possible to ensure that the healing process takes place as quickly and pleasantly as possible. A little while and then you can also get a breath of fresh air with a beautiful view on the roof gardens of the hospital.
 These intervention rooms are located in the OR-complex and can be seen as ‘emergency operating rooms’ that are only accessible via a special lift from the ambulance rooms.
 Brachy is the Greek word for ‘short distance’.