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Wilo Supplies Pumps for Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth


When the decision was taken to effectively demolish and rebuild the elderly Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, piece by piece, the PFI project that resulted imposed a number of demanding requirements on the consultants and contractors involved in delivering the required outcomes.

Because the hospital sits on a relatively small site for such a large undertaking, parts of the hospital had to be demolished and rebuilt whilst allowing the rest of the hospital to function normally. Storage space was at a premium so deliveries of materials required, had to be delivered as they were needed – a ‘just-in-time’ delivery regime had to be implemented and maintained.

In keeping with the location, project involved some intricate surgery and its fair share of intensive care to make sure the hospital came through the operation!

The Queen Alexandra Hospital – the QAH – in Portsmouth, is a major provider of health care services through the National Health Service. It’s operated by the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust. The Trust has a vision to be recognised as a world-class hospital, leading the field through innovative healthcare solutions focused on the best outcome for our patients delivered in a safe, caring and inspiring environment. A new, modern, highly equipped set of buildings was key to delivering this vision.

DSSR headed up the project with Carillion as the main contractor and Hayden Mechanical as the M&E contractor. Hayden Mechanical has worked with Wilo on some major projects previously and so it was natural that they looked to Wilo to supply the pumps required for the project – a contract worth around £250,000 to Wilo, highlighting the level of investment this project represented. Wilo’s Sue Claydon headed up the pump support activity for Wilo using her technical expertise to help write and amend the specifications to ensure that the project benefitted from exactly the right pumps to deliver the huge demand for hot, cold and chilled water – to provide water at the taps and showers around the building, to run the air conditioning and heating systems and to provide the necessary water sources for specialist departments including for example, cooling water for the radiology centre.

As with most major projects this one evolved as the months ticked by, and Wilo’s Sue Claydon was part of the project team that worked closely together over the duration of the project to decide the way forward and deliver the finished project.

The pumps were required for three main buldings – Pathology, the Energy Centre and the main building. The pumps were required to drive the main heating systems and the air conditioning systems, and the specification included pressurisation units, and booster pumps – a five pump booster set was selected with a separate inverter in the control panel to ensure the circulating water was able to reach the upper floors and the extremities of the buildings, on demand.

For a big project, there was a need for big pumps and most of the pumps were end suction pumps with separate inverters, with a few in-line pumps and a couple of direct couple pumps. The pumps were mounted on concrete inertia bases and had anti-vibration mountings to stop vibration heading off around the pipework. The pumps were incorporated in a large number of plant rooms around the building and included sump pumps in the main plant room, on the ground floor to address potential flooding issues.

Wilo’s pumps offer easy integration into building and facility systems, pumps that only operate on demand, and pumps which utilise far less energy to keep them operating when they are operating than traditional pumps , offering improved performance and reliability and as a result, lower maintenance costs as well – a key component of any life cycle costing calculation.

Project Manager for Haydon Ian Wright says working with Wilo was a good experience: “In installations like this, all you want are good quality pumps that are simple to install and which can quickly begin to do the job you ask of them,“ he says. “That’s exactly what we got from the Wilo pumps that have been integrated into this project – and they are already delivering the performance and results we were given to believe they would – its been an excellent project to work on. It hasn’t been without its nail biting moments – you’d expect that on any major project like this, but the support and rapid response we’ve had from Sue and her colleagues at Wilo, has been magnificent.“

“We were delighted to win this project and to have delivered on it,“ says Wilo’s Sue Claydon. “From the moment we were able to sit down with the contractors, I knew we could deliver here and so its proved. We’re providing the highest quality pumps and pumping systems options to the hospital and the patients and the staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth will continue to benefit from them – probably without knowing it – every day of their involvement with the hospital.”

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