Royal Surrey Hospital ward construction

Royal Surrey Hospital ward construction June-July 2020

Royal Surrey Hospital ward construction June-July 2020

This is part two of the story of the construction of the new Isolation Ward at the Royal Surrey – please read part one here for the full story! I continued to document the build through June and July on behalf of the construction company, Elite Systems GB.

During June 2020, as modules continued to arrive, insulation was placed in between them, and the final work was done on the site’s drainage system:

Royal Surrey Hospital ward construction June-July 2020 workers lay insulation

Fitting out the internals of the new ward

Meanwhile, fitting out work continued inside the modules that had already been installed on site. One great advantage of a modular building system like Elite’s is that multiple trades can work on the building simultaneously. Also a lot of the internal walls, pipework and ducting had already been installed in the modules at Elite’s factory prior to arrival on site.

Royal Surrey Hospital ward construction June-July 2020 view along partly completed corridor worker brazes joints in copper piping for Royal Surrey Hospital ward construction

Installing modules by crane

The last few modules had been trucked down the M1 from Elite’s factory in Yorkshire and were craned into place at the beginning of June:

mobile crane positions building module at Royal Surrey Hospital ward construction June 2020

(I had special permission from the Hospital to fly a drone to get these aerial pictures).

Through the rest of June, work continued on fitting out the interior of the new isolation ward. As you can see, this involved a mass of piping, plumbing and electrical cables, to bring necessary services to all parts of the building. There is even a dedicated supply of oxygen running through to each ward, in case it’s needed by patients. The whole building is fitted out with Ethernet cabling as well, for the many computers and other electronic devices used in a modern hospital.

Outside, other workers laid pathways and finished off the landscaping of the site.



By the 3rd of July the interior was substantially complete, and ready for final checks and inspection before handover to the hospital.

brnad new completed disabled toilet facilities at Royal Surrey Hospital Isolation Ward July 2020 a brand new corridor at Royal Surrey Hospital Isolation Ward July 2020 racks of ethernet routers at Royal Surrey Hospital Isolation Ward July 2020 heating plant at Royal Surrey Hospital Isolation Ward July 2020 empty ward at Royal Surrey Hospital Isolation Ward July 2020 kitchen facilities at Royal Surrey Hospital Isolation Ward July 2020 Elite Systems and Royal Surrey Hospital Estates team members pictured in the new Isolation Ward exterior view of completed Royal Surrey Hospital Isolation Ward July 2020

Official Opening of the new Ward by the Mayor of Guildford

And finally, on July 20th,I photographed the official opening of the new ward by the Mayor of Guildford, Cllr. Richard Billington, with hospital staff and administrators in attendance as well as Guildford MP Angela Richardson:

A new ward built in three months

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this project is how quickly it all came together – from beginning to clear the site to being ready for patients in a little over three months. A “bricks and mortar” new hospital building would normally take at least two years to be built. But Elite System’s innovative building system, plus the fast-tracking of the planning process by Guildford Borough Council, allowed a super-fast response to the needs of dealing with the Covid pandemic, and may well have saved many lives…

If you have a similar construction project that you’d like documented for social media, your website, print use, and for your portfolio – please contact me for more information – I’m happy to help!

New Royal Surrey Hospital ward construction project (June-July)

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