Burwood Hospital Rebuild


Over $650 million is being invested in redevelopment at Christchurch and Burwood Hospitals.  Construction at Burwood campus is well underway, and it certainly is an interesting building site.

Burwood Hospital Rebuild

Burwood Hospital - Artist's Impression


The upgrade consists mainly of two new buildings, with a total  footprint of 14,000 square metres and total floor area of around 32,500 square metres.

Back Of House     

Back of House            

  Excavation 2.5 mtrs deep

 Excavation 2.5.mtrs deep with Project office behind


The ‘back of house’ building will contain the hospital kitchen, loading docks, supply and distribution area and various building services items. A new boiler house and some services will be located separately.

The main building will house 230 inpatient beds, an extended Radiology Department and an Outpatients Department to handle 80,000 outpatient visits per year. There will also be a front of house area including a new main entrance, café and reception.

As at October 2014, construction of the skeletons of the two buildings is well underway. The back of house has the roof on and the interior framework is partially complete.

Main Building 1

The Main Building - Columns, Beams and Steel


The main building, consisting of three levels, is taking shape, with framework for two of the three ‘fingers’ in place

The thing that strikes you most when looking at the build is that it is obviously being built to withstand earthquakes. The impressive concrete columns and huge steel I beams say a lot about the thinking behind the design.

The site is mainly deep sand, so the top 2.5 meters of sand and soil (about 15,000 cubic metres) was removed. There is no basement or under croft area. The concrete floor is 1200mm thick, with all necessary services running through the slab. The floor is laid in three layers, with polystyrene and a huge amount of steel reinforcing. The reinforcing is very complicated, and you can barely fit your hand between the bars. In all, there will be about 1800 tonnes of structural steel in the two buildings.

Precision Built Columns

Precision Built 70MPa Columns


The 229 precast columns are precision built, with a tolerance of only 2mm where the steel I beams are bolted to them. The concrete in the columns is high strength 70MPa – vastly stronger than is used in most construction.  They are lifted into place by a 200 tonne crawler crane. There is no tower crane on site, but over the construction period they expect to have 130 mobile cranes on site.


Beam Joints

The I beams are custom built. Beams of this size were not available off the shelf, and each one is constructed locally from scratch.


Complex Reinforcing


When finished, around 15,000 cubic metres of concrete will have been poured – roughly equivalent to the amount of sand removed from the site.

Following completion of the new blocks, some existing buildings will be seismically strengthened.

The new facility is due to open in early 2016.