Our Work - BAM Building - Health
New Children’s Hospital, Dublin
- National Paediatric Development Board (NPHDB)
- St James's, Tallaght & Connolly Hospital Campuses, Dublin
- Architects: BDP/ O'Connell Mahon / Coady Architects, QS: Linesight / Turner Townsend, Structural Engineers: OCSC / ROD
An innovative model of care
BAM is playing a pivotal role in the delivery of Ireland's new national children’s hospital: the country’s largest single capital investment in healthcare. Once complete, the project will provide a world-class paediatric facility serving over a quarter of Ireland’s population.
Ireland has long been served by three separate children’s hospitals scattered across Dublin city. But in 2013 the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) – was set up to design, build and equip an entirely new children’s hospital.
The vision was to bring together all the services delivered by the original hospitals to create a modern, digitally enabled hospital, designed to be transformational for paediatric care and provide an exemplar for other countries.
In 2016, BAM won the build-only contract to deliver the main hospital at the St James’s Hospital campus in south Dublin and two specialist paediatric outpatient and urgent care units, at Tallaght and at Connolly, Blanchardstown. These satellite centres are part of a new model of care for children’s health services in Ireland, focused on providing care as close to the patient’s home as is clinically appropriate.
The new national children’s hospital is a key government priority, focused on delivering the best and most appropriate child-centred care and treatments for Ireland’s sickest children and young people.
As well as providing world-class acute paediatric healthcare, the new facility will be the national centre for paediatric education, training and research.
The whole project is driven by a passion for innovation and excellence in children’s healthcare: resulting in an environment that actively supports not only children and young people, but also their families and the hospital staff that look after them.
Building on excellence
The chosen site for the main building was a redundant area of the St James’s Hospital campus in southern Dublin: the country’s largest teaching hospital and home to world-class specialists across almost 40 disciplines.
In 2017 BAM also delivered the enabling works contract which involved the establishment and preparation of the site for the construction of the new children’s hospital main project, including demolition and diverting utilities.
Architects OCMA described the concept for the building: “The new hospital sits comfortably within the existing St. James’s Hospital campus, the first views of the hospital being the distinctive oval wards sitting above a pavilion set in a therapeutic elevated rooftop garden.
“The garden is an integral part of the design as it will give a tangible sense of this being a special place – one for children and young people, elevated above the world of adults.”
Spectacular and sustainable
The dramatic, oval building is seven storeys high, with over 6,000 rooms including 380 individual in-patient rooms with an en-suite and bed where parents can stay over with their child. There will be 60 critical care beds and 93 day beds.
The 160,000m2 hospital will have 22 state-of-the-art operating rooms, including specialist heart, neurosurgery and orthopaedics theatres. All have been future-proofed to adapt to advances in radiology and surgical procedures.
Outside, the four-acre site will feature 14 different courtyards and gardens, with over 400 trees being planted.
Sustainability and infection control are built into the project, which has achieved a BREEAM Excellent design rating. The high-spec heating, cooling and ventilation systems incorporate heat recovery where possible. And natural ventilation is being used in non-critical areas, to reduce energy consumption and ensure that people using the building get all the health benefits of breathing fresh air.
Care close to home
In August 2019, BAM completed the first of two outpatient and urgent care units, at Connolly, Blanchardstown. The walk-in urgent care centre comprising 5,160m2, three storey extension and 100 m2 internal reconfiguration, treats children with minor injuries (such as sprains, factures and minor burns) and illnesses that are not life threatening and do not require a visit to the emergency department (ED).As well as the urgent care and outpatients clinics, there is a child sexual abuse assessment and therapy unit on site, and specialist dental provision.
The opening of the Connolly centre helped to reduce waiting lists for general paediatric services by 65 per cent.
The second satellite centre at Tallaght – completed by BAM in 2021 – provides urgent care and general paediatric and trauma orthopaedics services, as well as chronic disease management, diagnostics and support for community and home-based services.
Attached to the general hospital at Tallaght, the building consists of a three-storey, 3,142m2 extension, as well as a refurbished area on the ground floor of the existing building. BAM’s work involved using existing infrastructure services wherever possible, including water, electrical power, communications and building safety systems.
When the unit was handed over, David Gunning, chief executive officer at NPHDB, said: “We are proud of the design, quality and finishes within the building and are delighted that children and young people will… be attending a state-of-the-art facility for their appointments and treatment.”
The unit is designed to enable up to 17,000 extra outpatient appointments in its general paediatric, specialist and orthopaedic clinics, and it’s expected to deal with more than 30,000 emergency visits a year.
Delivering social benefit
BAM’s voluntary Community Benefit Fund has been a key initiative at the new children’s hospital. BAM pledged €500,000 to the fund, which awarded grants to local projects that focus on building stronger and greener communities, and supporting recreation, sports, arts and culture and education and employment opportunities.
The fund also provided educational bursaries for third-level and further education studies in construction and healthcare, as well as an apprentice support initiative.
BAM’s long-term commitment to this challenging development – Ireland’s biggest ever health infrastructure project – reflects its role as a leader in social responsibility as well as a pioneer in sustainable construction and the use of digital technology.
This project will transform how paediatric care is delivered in Ireland. The new children’s hospital building is at the heart of this transformation – bringing the acute paediatric hospital services and specialities in Children’s Health Ireland under the one roof for the first time, leading to improved clinical outcomes and a better experience for children, young people and their families.”
Micheál Martin TD, Taoiseach of Ireland 2020-2022
Don’t just take our word for it…
The NPHDB website showcases some spectacular visuals charting the progress of construction work on the new hospital
Explore the site
The Irish Independent reported on the handover of the Tallaght outpatient and emergency care unit
Read the full story
The architects for the main hospital site, O’Connell Mahon, featured the project on their website, with striking CGI visuals