A great team effort for NHS Nightingale Bristol

07 May 2020

Ridge is proud to have been part of the team who have helped to convert the Exhibition and Conference Centre at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol)’s Frenchay campus into a 300-bed temporary hospital to provide hundreds of extra beds if local services need them.

Ridge provided mechanical and electrical design, and on site assistance to Integral (M&E contractor) and Kier (build contractor) to provide complete renovation of the exhibition centre for NHS England. The scheme included conversion of exhibition space, including demolition of 900m2 data centre space, construction of 300 intensive care bays, which included medical gases, oxygen, vacuum, lighting, ventilation modifications, emergency power UPS and generator provision. Separate services supplied to ancillary areas, staff welfare village and mobile CT scanners.

The initial NHS briefing took place on the 27th March, with sign off from the NHS to proceed on 2nd of April and completion of the project on the 20th April. The project has involved a tremendous team effort from all parties, working in an unprecedented collaborative and proactive manner, including sharing of information to complete ahead of schedule and to an excellent standard.

Some fabulous messages we’ve received from those involved…

You have all done an amazing job but what stands out to me more than anything else is your professionalism. In my opinion what you have achieved is nothing short of a miracle.  It’s been an absolute pleasure to deal with you on this project. It’s a small world and I hope our paths will cross again.


Ant Burn, Strategic Estates Lead, Estates Delivery Team, NHS England and NHS Improvement – Commercial Directorate

I am simply blown away with the hospital that you have all built for us and our patients. I really did have tears in my eyes when I started to walk around the facility this morning – it is a first class intensive care unit.

3 weeks ago I walked into that building with Ant Burn and we started to throw together some ideas for a field hospital. Your teams have actually done you all proud and built not just a field hospital but the UK’s newest and one of the smartest ICU’s. Please can you pass on our thanks. The doctors and nurses are fizzing with excitement to get into the building this afternoon and starting the next phase of preparedness.

Many times we have said that we sincerely hope the unit never needs to be used although I don’t think we are any rush to dismantle it and I’m certain that it will serve an important role over the coming months.

Good luck in your next projects – perhaps in calmer times to come we can all be working together again on an amazing project.


Tim Whittlestone, Chief Medical Officer at Bristol Nightingale Hospital

From the build contractor (Kier) to the project team:

I wanted to thank you for playing such a big part in the success of the project. You were both there at 8 am on 27th March when we first walked in the front door and have been with us on every step of the journey.

Your team have been a real pleasure to work with. We all realised that the project was always going to be hugely demanding, but what I hadn’t anticipated was how enjoyable it would be as well. Every member of your team approached the project with the right attitude, thanks to your leadership.

Please pass on my huge thanks to Jack, Simon, Richard and the rest of you team, we couldn’t have done it without them.


I would also like to congratulate you on selecting Ridge, Steve and Chris understood the challenges of the design from the outset and provided practical, workable solutions very quickly indeed. A brilliant choice for M&E designer.


I don’t know what part the Bristol Nightingale Hospital will play in the UK’s fight against Coronavirus. I do however know that, thanks to you and your team, the project was delivered as quickly as possible and to a very high standard indeed.


David Snell, Operations Director at Kier (email to Integral)

Watch the construction captured by the Kier Team: https://vimeo.com/411989095/f19ae13434