New Zealand Wide Construction
Watts & Hughes Construction does not operate outside of New Zealand and has no intention of doing so.

Nuclear Medicine Unit Refurbishment (Christchurch Hospital)

Project Name
Nuclear Medicine Unit
Medical/Health Care
Canterbury District Health Board

The Nuclear Medicine department had to remain open during the day, 5 days a week, so the works were carried out in five stages. The scope of work involved a major renovation of the department layout below suspended ceiling level, together with a significant strengthening of the structure above ceiling level, using substantial structural steel beams to tie walls to the perimeter of the building and stabilise the large parapet wall.


Stages 1 and 2 were able to run concurrently. These stages involved the bulk of the demolition and new partitioning. Existing walls were removed and new partitions constructed. In the Main Scanner Room, which was due to house a new scanning machine, we had to construct new walls and then line them with lead. Structural bracing had to be installed to all the new lead-lined walls. This bracing was fixed back to the plantroom floor. Other areas in Stages 1 & 2 required walls and ceilings to be demolished and reinstated in a new configuration, creating larger offices and a new Waiting Room. All areas received new wall & floor finishes.


The structural steel strengthening above the ceiling line that had to be installed in Stages 1 and 2 proved challenging as in most areas we had no more than 1m of head space to install 300UB, 200UC and 200X16EA in up to 3m lengths.


Stages 3 & 4 were more straightforward as fewer new lead-lined partitions were required. Existing rooms required new ceilings and floor and wall finishes, together with new bathroom equipment.


Stage 5 involved the most structurally complex work. The second Scanning Room required a secure, scaffolded, protective structure to be built around the scanning machine as it would be left in place whilst the structural strengthening works were carried out above it. The roof above the machine had to be removed and a 5-story tented scaffold was erected against the exterior of the building, maintaining weather-tightness.


Throughout the Department new services were installed. New switchboards were required to feed the new scanner. This involved core drilling through the 400mm thick floor below. New medical gas lines and mechanical plant were installed throughout the Stages.