Matilda Nepean Hospital

Matilda Nepean Hospital is a new private hospital located in Western Sydney adjacent to Nepean Public Hospital, that will deliver a fresh approach to sub-acute, longer stay hospital care. The 90-bed health care facility is a six-storey building including consultation rooms, gym, kitchen and hydrotherapy pool on Ground Floor, mental health inpatient units on Level 1 and Level 2, rehab inpatient units on Level 3 and Level 4 and two levels of basement carparking underneath.

As a premium health care provider, it is crucial that the hospitals design and fire safety strategy are delivered to high quality, so Holmes was called in to provide fire engineering services to improve occupant egress. We addressed this issue by producing a horizontal evacuation strategy as an alternative to conventional vertical evacuation to limit the spread of fire and smoke between zones, reduce the strain on staff undertaking the evacuation, and facilitate access to firefighters.

Other design aspects Holmes provided performance-based solutions for included:

  • External wall junction fire proofing
  • Sliding doors in patient care areas
  • Separation of rising and descending flights
  • Smoke detector coverage and sprinkler in the Main Switch Room

Holmes worked closely with the client and architect to help achieve the vision to build a world-class hospital that supports the health and wellbeing of Western Sydney’s residents.



Waipapa | Christchurch Hospital

The new Acute Services Building at the Christchurch Hospital is a vital piece of infrastructure for the city, and a project demanding some clever engineering in a tight programme. Holmes was brought in for structural and civil engineering on the strength of our extensive healthcare expertise and our ability to deliver a robust, resilient design appropriate for Christchurch’s extremely challenging seismic environment.

We applied the principles of Low Damage Design to underpin the continuity of this Importance Level 4 structure which is base isolated—providing the necessary post-disaster resilience for the region and local community. Particular care was taken to ensure the appropriate seismic detailing was consistently applied to the building services, fit-out and contents, to mitigate damage during earthquakes.

The redevelopment is being undertaken within the context of a busy working hospital campus—putting extra emphasis on designs that are easy to construct, creating minimum disruption. The steel moment frame structure was designed to be prefabricated in sections and bolted together on site. The requirement for site welding and work on site has been minimised, meaning the onsite programme is far more efficient. The steelwork has also been designed such that elements can be easily transported by road or ship. This has given the contractor flexibility in the location of fabrication, allowing the structural cost to be minimised—an important saving in a big ticket, high profile project.

We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to make such a strong contribution to a building so critical to Christchurch’s future.

Middlemore Hospital MHU

Holmes is provided fire engineering services for a new mental health facility at Middlemore Hospital. The building is comprised of sleeping wards as well as activity spaces, office and administration areas. As part of the design process, extensive communication was undertaken with the hospital to meet its needs, including accommodating for phased construction that allows for the facility’s continued operational use. Our design achieves the desired open architectural layout, deviating from more restrained institutional aesthetics.

Discrete exit signage has been incorporated to reduce stimulation to the residents in the building on a day-to-day basis, while functioning effectively in the event of a fire. Additionally, reduced fire resistance ratings to sleeping rooms have been incorporated; this assisted other aspects of the building design, including security and anti-ligature requirements while limiting the number of occupants exposed to a potential fire and meeting the requirements of the NZ Building Code.