With close to 47,000 admissions, more than 1,800 staff members and 1,200 accredited visiting specialists, Epworth Richmond Hospital is Victoria’s largest private hospital. Renowned for excellence in diagnosis, treatment, care and rehabilitation, Epworth is an innovator in Australia’s health system.

Most recently, the hospital has embarked on a major redevelopment project to meet future demands for acute surgical and medical care. With an entire redesign in mind, they have called upon a multi-award winning, privately-owned commercial construction company to lead the first phase of construction.

Who is this company? Kane Constructions.

“Our success is recognized in the way we achieve, as much as what we achieve,” is the company’s motto, and it is one that is lived up to by every employee.

During a recent interview, Project Manager Hugh Lockie discussed the scope of the project, challenges and successes that have come about during construction, and what it means to be involved.

A history with Epworth

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Kane began working with Epworth on numerous smaller projects back in 2012—from refurbishments to oxygen tank enclosures. Epworth Richmond Hospital, however, is currently the largest single stage project Kane has undertaken. 

“This is a significant  project for us,” said Lockie. “This is currently the largest project Kane have ever undertaken. It is a healthcare project, which is one of the company’s strengths.”

The Epworth Richmond redevelopment has been designed to respond to patient, doctor and staff expectations and to meet the needs of the 21st century—setting a new standard in health facilities and patient care. The project is worth $120 million and services will be built within a new 16 story building with five basement levels.

One of the reasons Kane was chosen for the project is because of their managerial capabilities for complex projects, believes Lockie. This has enabled Kane to continue redevelopments with little impact on hospital operations.

“Kane recently undertook some complex works in the middle eight operating theaters that maintained functionality during the entire process,” said Lockie.

Challenges and successes

With a project this large, there are bound to be complications—especially when it is right next to an existing operating hospital.

“It involves getting acquainted with the [existing] hospital to make sure interfaces run smoothly,” explained Lockie. “The hospital is a sensitive environment and we have to carefully manage our construction.”

Kane have been able to turn this challenge into a success by building a close working relationship with Epworth Richmond personnel.

“One of the successes of construction is effectively engaging all stakeholders,” he said. “From Epworth to Kane, to the design team and our contractors—through a collaborative approach we are overcoming the challenges of the project.”

With construction for Pod 4 still on schedule to be completed by 2016, key features from this phase include 119 acute inpatient rooms, six operating theaters, a 26-bed intensive care unit, a 34-cubicle emergency department, consulting suites and additional car parking.

“Kane have many excellent people with a great knowledge and understanding of construction and healthcare projects in particular,” said Lockie. “These are the kind of projects Kane want to do and see ourselves doing more of in the future.”

A distinguished hospital upon completion

Building upon Epworth Richmond’s role as a centre of excellence and a specialist facility, Kane Constructions is looking to bring a higher level of quality with their design.

“What is going to set this hospital apart is the quality of finish and the quality of medical facilities,” said Lockie. “It is going to provide Melbourne another great healthcare facility.

Completing construction to a high standard is definitely one of Lockie’s goals for the project, along with completing it on time and fulfilling every need Epworth has.

“We would like to complete the project in such a way that it develops further relationships with our client, and also all the consultants, trade contractors and everyone that has been involved in the process,” said Lockie.

Looking ahead

Kane commenced operations in Melbourne in 1973 and has since become renowned in the area. In fact, financial year 2014 saw turnover reach $470 million.

“We continue to do what we know best,” states their website, “and successfully deliver quality projects for our clients.”

With the Epworth Richmond Hospital redevelopment project under their belt, Kane intends to grow in all areas with a maintained focus in their key industries—healthcare being one of them. 

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