The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Redevelopment involved of one of the most intricate mixes of demolition, new builds, rebuilds, refurbishments and equipment upgrades for a Victorian health facility, as well as the largest live asbestos remediation works in Victoria. The impressive list of clinical facilities includes a 13-cubicle Emergency Department, numerous outpatient consulting rooms, specialist clinics for audiology, orthoptics, speech, cochlear, eye, physiotherapy, and diabetes, eight operating theatres, 14 recovery suites, 15-bed inpatient accommodation, same-day and ambulatory clinical services. New teaching, training and research facilities were also incorporated, including a biomedical research centre, PC2 laboratories and an auditorium.
With works undertaken in a multi-staged approach, to maintain 24-hour live services throughout the hospital, innovative engineering solutions, meticulous planning and best practice health and safety initiatives were always required. Working within an operating hospital campus, this challenging and complex build required the safe and methodical removal of hazardous material, while undertaking the demolition of adjacent buildings sandwiched between two central hospital buildings to allow construction of a 10-level 'infill' building. Landlocked between five buildings, this infill section fully integrates the new and existing hospital on all floors and incorporates a cold shell floor to futureproof any further expansion requirements. This complicated integration of old and new highly technical facilities over multiple sites in a live emergency hospital environment, including full shutdown and relocation of the hospital's fire detection and evacuation systems, was carried out safely and without any unplanned interruption to the hospital's critical infrastructure and operations.