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Mitigating uncertainty and risk on a complex ‘refurb

Healthcare architect and consultant, Efthimia Pantzartzis, and Nikolaos Pantzartzis, a mechanical engineer with extensive experience in complex public schemes, both of Studio di Ingegneria e Architettura Pantzartzis in Bari in Italy, discuss a recent project to comprehensively refurbish the Surgical Block at San Paolo Hospital in Puglia. They also set out some of the lessons learned on how to successfully undertake such a project amid the constraints and challenges posed by an unexpected event – in this case the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ageing of hospital estate assets is a growing concern for many European countries, and indeed in any country in which care has been largely provided in buildings that are at least 30 years’ old. Against this backdrop, with physical constraints, a lack of decanting facilities, shortage of funding, and socio-political choices, refurbishment of existing buildings is often seen as more viable than building new healthcare facilities. Since January 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has piled further pressure on the healthcare system, including built assets and their operability. In this context, the refurbishment of the Surgical Block at San Paolo Hospital in Puglia, Italy, provides some useful real-world strategies to mitigate uncertainty and risk in project design and construction – from stakeholder consultation and needs, to final commissioning and operation.

Healthcare delivery in Italy

In Italy, 82% of the existing hospital building stock was built before 1990, and 58% before 1970. In Liguria and Marche 59% and 47% of the provinces’ hospital buildings respectively pre-date 1946.1 Puglia is no different – 31% of its hospital building stock was built pre-1946; 12% between 1947 and 1969; 46% between 1970 and 1989, and just 11% constructed post-1990.1

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The Fire Safety Event

NEC, Birmingham
25th - 27th April 2023

Facilities Show

ExCeL London
16th - 18th May

NAHFO Conference 2023

Crowne Plaza, Stratford-upon-Avon
5th - 7th June 2023

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Manchester Central
10th - 11th October 2023

Access the latest issue of Health Estate Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Health Estate Journal app from your device's App store

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