New Wellington Regional Children’s Hospital

Capital & Coast District Health Board


McKee Fehl are extremely proud to have played a pivotal role in the landmark development of the new Wellington Regional Children’s Hospital.

Working in an early contractor involvement (ECI) capacity and as the build partners for the project, we have spent the past several years working closely with Capital & Coast District Health Board, industry consultants and healthcare specialists to build a world-class facility that provides integrated health services for tamariki, rangatahi and whānau of central New Zealand.

This project was made possible by a generous $50m donation from 2017 Wellingtonian of the Year: Mark Dunajtschik. The building itself is being named the Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood Building in recognition of this donation.

The services that will operate from the building have been named Te Wao Nui ‘The Great Forest’ to reflect the ecosystem of integrated health services , and in in recognition of the cultural significance and life-giving properties that Māori associate with the forest region.

Project Journey

A complex project of this scale does not come without its challenges. The project has overcome working in unknown ground conditions with a variety of hazards, and the management of a design that allowed for potential ground liquefaction, in the event of a major seismic event.

Our inhouse project team worked with the engineers and designers to produce innovative solutions to ensure project success.

After months of discussions and planning, the whole team celebrated,  when the official construction date was formalised at a Mauri stone laying on the 7th November 2018.

Spanning a total of 7,954m2, the hospital is broken down into three floors, a services annexe, a plant room, with a brand new 41 metre Link bridge to the main hospital.

We are proud to have created state of the art Facilities, designed to provide comfort and calm;

  • 50 beds, in private rooms with ensuites and pull-out beds for families
  • 21 Clinical rooms
  • A vibrant outdoor play area
  • A sculptural ‘Tree of Life’ staircase

An immense amount of manpower, and materials were used to create this amazing new space;

Starting with the piles, structural steel and concrete floors, we used:

  • 8256m total length of timber piles, ranging from 2.6m to 15.4m in depth
  • 36m x 64m x 0.7m base slab
  • 45 Triple Pendulum Base Isolators each weighing 4.2T, providing exceptional seismic resilience and built to withstand a one-in-2500-year event.

These are specifically designed and manufactured in San Francisco, USA. They are designed to allow two directional ground movement of 1500mm horizontally. 

  • 3 types of standardised steel beams, and 45 concrete filled full height columns these are 500mm x 500mm with 25mm thick steel plate.
  • Over 180-man hours was required for the steel fabrication of each 7.1 tonne column
  • The building primary structure uses over 854 tonnes of combined structural steel.

What about the Façade?

  • The custom façade was printed with over 2.5 million symbols (fantails, korus, ferns, penguins, footballs ) featuring aluminium and glass fins for solar shading and colour
  • We then used a warm roof system with a single ply, PVC, heat welded membrane on PIR insulation board

The Services

  • Dedicated services plantroom and services annexe 
  • 3,815m of HDPE Wastewater Piping 
  • 8 tonnes of copper piping 
  • 12,094m of copper plumbing piping 
  • 7,913m of copper mechanical piping 

The Link Bridge is 41 metres long, joining to the main hospital to create a safe and seamless transition between buildings.

We used;

  • Reinforced concrete bore piles 
  • Steel truss 
  • Façade frames recycled from BNZ harbour Keys building 
  • 1500mm movement at WCH, 600 at Regional Hospital 
  • CLT Timber flooring 

Wall Partitions took a total of:

  • 32,000m of steel stud
  • 7,000 Sheets of Plasterboard
  • 250,000 Gib Screws

As a Wellington based construction company our team are proud to be delivering a project that will benefit families in our community for many years to come.

What next?

Following a ceremonial handover of the building on the 31st of March 2022 to the Capital & Coast District Health Board, our team are now working on additional aspects for the project, including enhancements to the air-handling, and a purpose built fit-out reflecting the latest in clinical practice.