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royal liverpool

The recent work on the major redevelopment of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital has showcased SIG Distribution’s vast product portfolio and specialist knowledge.

The recent work on the major redevelopment of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital has showcased SIG Distribution’s vast product portfolio and specialist knowledge.

The Royal Liverpool University Hospital was once regarded as an eyesore, but the 1970s building has been given a £335m makeover with a groundbreaking design, which combines nature and natural light to give patients a more pleasant experience. The new hospital is designed by NBBJ and HKS for the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust. When completed it will have 646 en-suite single rooms, 18 operating theatres, 23 wards and one of the largest A&Es in the North West.

This redevelopment is an ambitious one as it encompasses an entirely new structure which will be built next to the existing hospital. Once the new structure is complete, the existing hospital will be demolished. The existing car park has been moved underground to create room for landscaped grounds around the hospital, including green areas, a public square and a bio-campus. The new bio-campus and research facilities are designed to attract life-science companies to the city, as well as world-leading clinicians, researchers and entrepreneurs.

The hope is that the redevelopment will bring new jobs and investment into the area, in addition to benefiting hospital patients and staff. The concept is to bring nature and natural light to the hospital and immediate surroundings to create a calmer space for patients to recover in and for staff to work in. The grounds of the hospital will feature landscaped green areas, tree lined paths and water features.

The finished structure will certainly make an impact on the Liverpool skyline as it will rise to 12 storeys and feature a 217sqm stained glass window above the West Derby Street and Prescot Street entrance.

SIG Distribution are working on the project from the ground up, providing expertise and materials for the groundworks, waterproofing, concrete frame and brickwork required.

Groundworks and concrete frame construction

Gary Cowell, Internal Sales Co-ordinator at SIG Distribution Manchester, supported contractors Heyrod Construction on the groundworks and concrete frame side of the project. A number of ex-stock materials were specified for this project, which had to be delivered 2-3 times a week at strict early morning drop offs.

One of the key products specified was Hy-Rib, which provides permanent formwork for concrete. Gary explains how the product works, “Hy-Rib is an expanded metal sheet product, specifically developed for use as permanent formwork to concrete. The open mesh design, in combination with the Hy-Rib tangs, means dense concrete nodules and indents can form on the surface of the Hy-Rib. This forms an enhanced mechanical key for the second phase pour.”

SIG supplied a range of other materials to this project, including corrugated beamform for the formwork and Ancon MBT couplers. Although sub-contractors Murraywood were appointed the groundwork contract, Heyrod purchased the materials on their behalf, which meant the concrete frame and groundwork packages were merged.

SIG Distribution Manchester Branch Manager, Ian McCallum, worked closely with the team at SIG Distribution Manchester and made regular visits to the site to asses progress and provide product advice.

Ian said, “It was important for me to get involved on-site and be available to discuss potential products. As a company, we’ve always provided a reliable and consistent service to the contractors when we’ve worked with them on other projects so this, combined with our wide range of products, meant that we were the natural choice to work on the development.”


SIG DIstribution Manchester Area Sales Executive, Craig Clow, headed up the £70,000 waterproofing specification for the project. The team at the branch played an active role with Craig making regular site visits, alongside suppliers and SIG CAs’ Waterproofing Business Development Manager Nick Smith, to provide technical support.

SIG Distribution supplied 6000L Toughseal, a solvent free polymer modified two-pack epoxy waterproof coating. This product was chosen as it is a paint-on material, which makes it much easier to apply than sheet tanking and offers a gas proof membrane, as well as waterproofing capabilities.

Craig explains, “As the products supplied on this package were mainly ex-stock, this meant we could offer an ‘on demand’ service and deliver the products as and when required. We made deliveries once a week and these had to be on site by 7.30am due to limited space.”

“One of the things that really benefited the contractors was the site-wide solutions we offer at SIG Distribution. For example, the concrete frame contractor on this project is Heyrod Construction, who we worked closely with on the concrete frame side of the project, and who subcontracted waterproofing specialists Substructure Protection Services to supply the specialist waterproofing applicator Proofex Hydromat to the development. As we were involved in the whole project, we could provide expert advice and a comprehensive product offering.”


Lyndsay Tonge, SIG Distribution Brand Manager, worked with sub-contractors Cara Brickwork to supply brickwork accessories to the project. The brickwork package included materials from Ancon such as masonry support, tramlines, ties and channels; Visqueen DPCs and accessories, plus masonry support products from Halfen.

Lyndsay comments, “We’ve worked with Cara in the past so they know we offer a reliable service. The main consideration on this project was the intermittent deliveries as the delivery times were very strict, however in some cases the customer collected the materials due to site restrictions.”

The complete solution service from SIG Distribution

SIG’s extensive product offering has meant the contractors involved in this project can liaise with one company for a complete range of materials, backed up with expert advice and on hand support.

The new hospital is due to open in summer 2017 and will contain 646 beds across 23 wards and the new bio-campus will create around 5,000 new jobs – boosting health and investment in Liverpool.