Royal Liverpool Hospital has begun searching for a contractor to remove and replace faulty cladding as part of its delayed redevelopment.
The value of the cladding tender is between £10m and £20m, with the contract set to be awarded by the end of March, the hospital confirmed. The process is set to take around 20 months.
A project to redevelop the hospital, including to create one of the largest emergency departments in the North West of England, began in February 2014 and was slated to complete by 2017.
However, work stalled due to several issues including cracked concrete beams and asbestos in the ground. Further delays arose as a result of the collapse of main contractor Carillion in 2018, and the project is now not expected to finish until 2022 at the earliest, led by Laing O’Rourke as the new main contractor.
Engineering firm Arup, which conducted a structural review of the existing building in 2018, reported in September that year that some parts of the cladding used in early phases of the scheme failed to meet UK fire safety regulations, which have been revised following the Grenfell Tower tragedy. The hospital has now commenced the hunt for a contractor to replace the cladding.
A spokesperson for Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospitals Trust, said: “We remain focused on delivering the highest standards for our patients and a hospital that enables our excellent staff to provide exceptional care.
“A thorough analysis by specialist advisors has concluded that parts of the cladding system on the new Royal require remedial work. The Trust has now put out to tender for the design and replacement of this section of cladding.”
Windtech is acting as facade consultant and has proposed new designs. Prospective contractors have until 31 January to complete pre-qualification requirements for the tender.
Other parts of the redevelopment require remedial works as well, Arup noted in its report in 2018, and the trust is working with Laing O’Rourke to devise a detailed programme of structural repairs to address certain issues. Once complete, the hospital is planned to have 646 hospital beds, a 40-bed critical care unit and 18 operating theatres.
Steve Warburton, chief executive of Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation, told a cabinet meeting in December that an additional £300m, which includes cladding costs, would be required to finish the scheme. A total £285m of the original £335m budget has already been spent, he added.