Blue Thorn were appointed on BRI following on from the successful completion of South Bristol Community Hospital for the Crown House Wales and South-West regional office. This project involved coordination of all of the new MEPH services in both the refurbishment areas and the new Wards and Haematology buildings and supply of all of the installation and pre-fabrication drawing and model deliverables.

The project was a mixture of challenging refurbishment work in both the CSP and Queen’s buildings and two new buildings sited within the existing site boundary.

The new ward block forms the cornerstone to the redevelopment masterplan for the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI). The new building replaces outdated facilities, allows a clinical rationalisation of the estate and creates a new beating heart at the centre of the hospital.

The BRI is on a steeply sloping, constricted, city centre site and includes buildings of various ages and styles. Located centrally within the hospital complex, a key objective of the scheme was to rationalise the internal circulation of the whole hospital by providing a central reference point, reconcile level changes and assist in orientation


We were tasked in collaboration with both the site-based project engineering team and the Dartford Pre-Fabrication Strategy Team to coordinate the services to deliver a very high percentage of off-site manufactured assemblies to minimise site activities and maximise programme efficiencies. This was achieved with the DfMA count for the Project as 167 x Multi-Service Horizontal/Corridor Modules, 8 x complicated Multi-Service Risers, 6 x large Plant/Pump/HEX/Header Skids, 29 x AHU ‘housed’ Control Valve Assemblies and in excess of 500 loose spool interlink sections.

The refurbishment areas of the project also presented very challenging scenarios including the siting of new Theatre areas within an existing operational departmental hospital unit inside the CSP building. This required extensive site survey and identification of existing services requiring retention and the no-longer isolated/redundant services requiring removal necessary to facilitate routing of new large diameter Steam and Condensate Systems to the new WARD block building located behind.


Blue Thorn successfully completed the project over a duration of 32 months commencing in December 2011 with refurbishment enabling works and finally delivering the last As-Built drawing deliverables for the new Haematology and Oncology unit in the Autumn of 2014.

The completed new WARD block was recognised as an award-winning project in the 2015 World Architectural News Awards for the Project Architect CODA.