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Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Award Winning Rooftop IRU

By May 13, 2021June 10th, 2022Healthcare, Project Portfolio
NNUH IRU external

An ingenious, modern rooftop solution for this space limited hospital site.

The Requirements

MTX were appointed as the principal contractor to provide Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with a new state of the art Interventional Radiology Unit (IRU); a department that provides an alternative to open surgery and uses radiological image guidance such as x-rays to provide diagnosis and treatment, offering a quicker recovery time for patients.

The Solution

Working closely with key department staff and stakeholders, it was identified that in order to conserve the limited ground space, a rooftop extension was the off site construction method of choice as it allowed us to deliver a brand-new facility without impacting the hospital grounds. The MTX solution utilised Modern Methods of Construction and enabled us to design and deliver a state-of-the-art facility serving patients in the South East of England.

In collaboration with Octagon Healthcare Ltd and Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital Trust, MTX designed a fi t for purpose 1,450m² single storey rooftop extension, delivered and installed in a busy live hospital environment, above the existing A&E and in extremely close proximity to the frequently used helipad.

The new facility comprises of 4 large treatment rooms with dedicated control and technical rooms, 2no 7 bay recovery wards including private side rooms, clean and dirty utilities, nurse bases, anaesthetic rooms, offices, staff break rooms, pre-assessment bays, prep rooms, scrubs, toilets and a welcoming reception with waiting area. To serve the new rooftop development, MTX also provided 2 new 3 storey lift cores incorporating a new fi re evacuation bed lift and a new 8-person passenger lift.

The new evacuation bed lift core was built in an existing landlocked courtyard, all ground works materials and plant had to be craned over the existing building as no other access was possible. The new passenger lift core and staircase was created at the outpatient’s end of the development and was enclosed with a new 3 storey curtain walling system which tied in seamlessly with the existing building.

Choosing an off-site rooftop extension for the prestigious IRU guaranteed delivery and ensured:

  • The hospital did not lose any current clinical space
  • The seamless delivery of 1,450m² of new accommodation
  • No downtime for patients during construction or following occupation
  • Less time on site meaning significantly reduced disruption, due to less people and vehicles
  • Exceptional quality – zero defects at completion means no disruption following handover
  • Cost efficiency
  • Enhanced health and safety.


NNUH IRU treatment room

Main Considerations

Due to the location of the site compound, strict control and management procedures were put in place for the 3 months the crane was on-site, to ensure safe crane operations during working hours for the site, alongside the 24/7 helipad traffic. Additionally, the main site compound was located on the A&E blue light route which had to be clear at all times.

The Trust were able to make use of their essential new facility in just over 12 months, even with the final stages of the project being completed under COVID-19 compliance conditions.  it has become one of the leading centres for Interventional Radiology in the NHS.

It has become one of the leading centres for Interventional Radiology in the NHS and won Best Modular/Mobile Healthcare Facility at Building Better Healthcare Awards 2021.

What they said

“MTX have brought professionalism and innovation to deliver a cutting-edge rooftop IRU to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. This ingenious design enabled the Trust to make use of 1,450m² of extra accommodation, whilst ensuring no further ground space was used. The construction of the new IRU has been delivered with high health & safety and quality build standards. The IRU staff have expressed their anticipation to operate in their new facility.”

Chris Axford MBE – Assistant SPC Manager c/o Octagon Healthcare Ltd