Bendigo Hospital—A Regional Hospital on a Global Scale

Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group provided services for the new Bendigo Hospital in Victoria, Australia. At 372 beds, this new hospital is about 60 percent larger than the previous facility with expanded capacity to include an integrated regional cancer center and a new psychiatric inpatient facility, being Australia’s first world-class regional hospital.

The AUD$630 million (USD$425 million) New Bendigo Hospital is Victoria’s largest regional hospital. Servicing 26 percent of the geographical land mass of Victoria, the hospital brings world class capability to a widespread community.

One of the most important design considerations of any hospital is its technological capability—the equipment, plant, communications, and the connecting platform used. The client’s technology requirement was to ensure the hospital could accommodate future changes as well as current needs. A specific need was for high transfer data—the ability to use mobile devices and to give staff and patients mobility throughout the hospital. This involved the integration of a considerable number of complex systems and technologies and masterful engineering design.

To ensure the successful integration of all systems, Tetra Tech undertook extensive Building Information Modelling. This provided the appropriate technology framework to ensure design integrity, design efficiency, and an upside for longer term facilities management. Significant consideration was given to the coordination aspects of the plant and equipment, particularly around the future extraction of plant.

With emerging technologies and the convergence of clinical and healthcare systems, the emphasis was on a converged network solution to enable staff and patients to interact in a live environment. The communication system was one of the most important project considerations, moving from old telephone services to unified communications of the latest Internet Protocol network. The outcome of the modelling enabled smooth integration of many disparate systems onto one converged network.

The infrastructure was of vital importance—the cables, the black boxes etc., that bring together the technology—and provides a reliability factor of 99.99 percent, ensuring all systems are fully operational 24/7.

An important logistical outcome is the macro-planning capabilities of the hospital, with warehouses, portering, key storeroom, and activities centrally located. Clinical staff can log any request at any bedside terminal to raise an activity or task for one of the hospital operatives to attend. The widespread use of robotic Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) enables the hospital to automatically transport food, linen, materials, and waste without the need for any manual handling.

Bendigo is not only one of the most energy-efficient hospitals in Australia, but it is also one of the most carefully considered. With a total of 40 internal courtyards, an Aboriginal healing garden, and a ‘basket-woven’ timber ceiling to represent tree-dappled sunlight, an environment that facilitates improved healing and recovery has been created.

Photo courtesy Bendigo Health