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Leighton Theatres & Critical Care Facilities


Leighton theatres & critical care facilities

The hospital theatres have been brought together into one state-of-the-art area, replacing the three areas previously in use. An additional theatre suite has been added, bringing the total number to eight. The number of intensive care high dependency beds has increased from 11 to 14. The building which houses the new theatres and critical care units is adjacent to and integrated with the hospitals existing Treatment Centre. The theatre rebuild will allow the trust to maximise productivity and efficiency in modern surroundings with the most up-to-date equipment. 

The most notable feature of the project was the requirement for the construction of a £1m plant room covering 1,730 sq m – almost half the size of a football pitch.

The works were undertaken within a live and fully operational hospital; the logistical demands required considerable planning and daily liaison with hospital staff to maintain infection control regimes, patient dignity and privacy.


In addition to the plant rooms significant size, it also needed to be constructed on a roof top. The major complexities and demands of the hospital site meant that the space available for the parking of vehicles and storage of materials was extremely limited. It was therefore decided that the best means of delivery was to make use of prefabrication methods.


Due to various additional demands of the project, it was also decided that building information modelling would be used.  The use of BIM facilitated the identification of clashes within the project, allowing these to be addressed prior to construction and further reducing unnecessary cost ad time spent on site.

Further benefits derived from the use of BIM included correct alignment of modules and of the components within these, such as pipework and cabling. There will also be future benefits that can be attributed to BIM. The completed plant room has been designed to provide defined and suitably spacious pathways to give easy access for the maintenance of equipment.

Health and safety

Traditionally, a plant room could require several crane lifts for heavy plant, resulting in numerous lifting plans. This modular plant room required only one lift plan. Involving fewer operatives on site correlated with a reduction of site management time required for the supervision of health and safety and significantly reduced the risk of slips, trips and falls due to materials. The project is due to complete with 0 reportable accidents.  


The use of renewable technology was regarded as costly for this project and it was deemed to be more cost-effective to take the ‘fabric first’ approach, with high levels of insulation used in order to achieve Building Regulation compliance.

Fewer site deliveries reduced the requirement for storage and waste, which in turn required less skips. This not only helped with site logistics but contributed to the BREEAM very good accreditation.

The project benefited from Interserve’s previous involvement in Passivhaus-accredited projects to achieve a rating of 4 AHR.


Factory tolerances significantly reduced the risk of human error in installation eliminating the risk of reinstallations and remedial works. Further advantages included the testing of pipework and other services of site, which is far easier to do in a dedicated facility.


In summary the prefabricated method has minimised the impact of the works upon the hospitals service provision, and ensured the hospital was able to remain fully operational.

The project is due to complete within budget, although it is not possible to place an exact figure on the savings delivered through the use of offsite manufacturing.

At least 50 per cent of the works were undertaken off site and prefabrication has guaranteed finishing on time. Although the project involved 12 months of work, the creation of the 25 modules took just six weeks. Installation was completed in an impressive six day timescale, with five modules delivered and positioned on site each day. Prefabrication excelled completion, saving around 48 per cent of time compared with traditional methods.

Looking at the finished project you would not know it was prefabricated.

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Project vitals


Crewe, England


Mid Cheshire Hospitals National Health Service Foundation Trust




March 2013 to January 2014

Successful completion of £20 million operating theatres and critical care facilities creating a world class centre of excellence.


We work with high profile government and private sector clients, delivering everything from minor property services roll-outs to large complex construction projects.