Clinical services block repairs start

Noise control, winter weather, and not spending too much on an old building are among challenges in the patch-up of Dunedin Hospital's leaking clinical services building.

The Southern District Health Board approved a $1.75 million job last Thursday to repair the seven-storey building.

Facilities and site development manager Warren Taylor said it was crucial not to spend too much on a building facing the end of its useful life.

The block, commissioned in 1967, was not configured for modern health services and was unlikely to be part of a new hospital, Mr Taylor said.

A rebuilt hospital is likely to be about seven years away.

Some parts of the job were started before last Thursday's official approval at the full board meeting in Dunedin.

Construction team leader Andy Syme said much of the drilling would take place on Saturdays to reduce the effects of noise on surgery and other services.

There were possible privacy issues concerning the scaffolding, which would be worked through with health services.

Yesterday, Accurate Cutting worker Callum Fissenden was cutting a chase for seal work in chilly conditions on the leaking sixth floor parapet.

Working in the winter months was one of the challenges of the job.

The board did not have the ''luxury'' of waiting until the warmer months.

Mr Syme said that despite the shorter days in winter, Dunedin's weather was often more settled in winter than in summer.

The team had to work ''slightly outside of the square'' to fit the hospital's needs, Mr Syme said.

An example was the roofing membrane to be placed on the sixth floor parapet, which would be fixed manually, rather than using solvents that could enter air vents.

The parapet was directly above sterile surgical stores, and a corridor outside the surgical operating theatre.

eileen.goodwin@odt.co.nz

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