hospital beds, 14 operating theatres, 50-space emergency department


reduction in costs through the smart design of a façade system


hospital to achieve a Green Star Rating within NSW

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The challenge

Engaged to provide structural, civil, façade and traffic engineering services to construction of the Northern Beaches Hospital, Arcadis was chiefly responsible for all stages of design, from concept design to construction phase services for Northern Beaches Hospital, a major Health infrastructure NSW initiative.



    The scope and complexity of the design and build of the hospital presented Arcadis with multiple challenges in all design disciplines including structural, civil, façade, stormwater and traffic services. Particularly difficult was the hospital design of operating theatres and ground floor designs that housed the medical imaging equipment with very stringent requirements regarding their vibration criteria, while the traffic network required a design to allow for the unhindered movements of the various vehicles and pedestrians.

    To best meet the needs of multiple project responsibilities, Arcadis would need to ensure the design approach was highly collaborative and streamlined. Key to this approach was an intuitive understanding of Arcadis’ client, builder CPB’s needs, expectations, approach and culture to enable a strong working relationship throughout the project and an effective stakeholder relationship with NSW Health and the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).

The solution

By combining various 3D modelling software into a single platform (Navisworks) for the first time on a project of this scope and size, Arcadis was able to coordinate with other elements of design structures in a 3D space. This innovation provided the client assurance that the project could be built quickly and with ease, and also improved the client review processes through a visual representation of the site.


    Drawings and BIM models were issued progressively throughout the design process to ensure that the final design was fully coordinated. Across all disciplines, Arcadis issued between 30 - 40 sets of drawings per month. Extensive 3D finite element modelling was also used to optimise the design and ensure the Northern Beaches Hospital meets the requirements of a “post disaster function” building. The Arcadis structural team conducted dynamic spectral 3D earthquake analysis of the hospital and carpark structures to determine the way that they would behave in an extreme earthquake or wind event, with the structural elements designed accordingly.

    The size and scope of the project also drew on Arcadis global expertise. Close collaboration with the Arcadis’ Manila office was crucial to the success of the project, with the Manila team performing much of the analysis requirements, the Sydney Arcadis team performed a verification and project management role. This significantly decreased costs and design time.

The impact

Consisting of two distinct buildings; a nine-story hospital (plus two basement levels) and a multi-story car park structure, the delivery of a Healthcare facility design incorporated 490 new hospital beds, 14 operating theatres, 50-space emergency department and numerous cutting-edge medical imaging equipment. The impact on health outcomes for the people of Northern Sydney and the wider region was immediately positive. In addition, the Northern Beaches Hospital has reduced the load on Manly and Royal North Shore hospitals, resulting in significant improvement to the quality of care at those locations. The economic benefits of the project was evident in approximately 1,300 permanent jobs for medical and administrative staff. The delivered design optimization and value engineering, which reduced manufacturing and installation time, reduced costs of the façade development by 30%.


    The Northern Beaches Hospital was a complex project delivered to the highest standards of quality ahead of time and on budget. The impact of using Building Information Modelling (BIM) to validate the design process against initial requirements enabled collaboration with both the clients and the contractors, whilst still improving transparency and reducing costs. This achievement has led to the Buildings and Urban Development teams increasing their use of BIM in other large-scale, multi-disciplinary projects with the goal of using 100% BIM planning for Arcadis globally.

    The Northern Beaches Hospital project adopted a ‘Best Management Practice’ for sustainable environmental outcomes by utilizing Water Sensitive Urban Development (WSUD) principles to minimize the hydrological impacts of urban development and maximise the multiple use benefits of a stormwater system. The stormwater quality initiatives on the project achieved a Green Star rating for the Northern Beaches Hospital by meeting pollutant reduction targets and peak discharge criteria. The site also incorporates several on-site detention basins and tanks which facilitate both water quality and flood mitigation criteria for a range of storm events from the 2 to 100-year annual recurrence interval, mitigating flood impacts on the downstream environment.

    Arcadis’s expertise in performing detailed and precise analysis and design of the operating theatres and imaging suites also had a wide-reaching impact, resulting in Arcadis producing a technical paper based on the analysis and design of these elements to promote knowledge sharing with the wider engineering community.

    The Arcadis team’s key contributions to the Northern Beaches Hospital at all stages of the project, ranging from design excellence to comprehensive site services resulted in excellent outcomes, both in terms of time and cost. And most importantly, the Northern Beaches Hospital will provide a tangible improvement in the quality of life for the people of Northern Sydney and the wider community. 

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