The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) in Melbourne’s medical precinct was our first project in Australia. We were part of the hospital’s joint-venture design-build team with Melbourne-based Grocon Construction (GPCL). GPCL belongs to the Plenary Health consortium, which was contracted to design, build, finance and maintain the facility for 25 years under a public-private partnership (P3) with the Victorian Government.

The state-of-the-art cancer center includes 96 overnight inpatient beds, 110 same-day beds, a dedicated clinical trials unit, accommodations for families of patients, dedicated research space for up to 1,200 researchers, eight operating theaters, two procedure rooms, eight radiation therapy bunkers and education and training facilities.

The two main areas of construction included a new 20-story building, six of those levels below grade, and four new floors on top of the existing Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH). The new VCCC building and RMH extension are linked by covered bridges, allowing cancer patients, visitors and staff to move easily between the two buildings.

Along with GPCL, we worked tirelessly to innovate countless features to allow the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre to become Australia’s leading facility for patient care and cancer research. Nonclinical features include the future provision for tri-generation of energy on-site, thermal storage of chilled water to reduce peak energy demand by at least 1.7 megawatts, solar-assisted domestic hot-water production, fresh air where possible to all clinical and research spaces and high availability of natural daylight in most indoor spaces.

GPCL also implemented innovative construction methodology in the bunkers, modular service risers and modular plant rooms. These items helped enhance safety, quality and schedule.

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