Rockpanel in record-breaking Lakeside Wing pandemic surge resource
May 2021

Rockpanel is pleased and proud to have played its part in the vital national push to create resources to meet surge capacity in the event of spikes in the COVID-19 pandemic.

In just 107 record-breaking days the Lakeside Wing of the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) was ready to receive patients, and now fully operational can accommodate up to 400 beds, offering a multi-disciplinary model of care with staff including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, pharmacists, healthcare support workers and nurses, all working in the contemporary three-storey facility.

Record-breaking modular construction

Darwin Group are the architect and main contractor behind the striking, U-shaped, modular structure made possible with a £33m investment from the Welsh Government. The project is believed to signify the fastest ever delivery of a large building (under 10,000sqm) for clinical or education use across the UK, and considering its ratio of size to speed, is Darwin Group’s most efficient delivery ever.

Darwin Group Managing Director, Charles Pierce, said, “I’d like to thank the fantastic team at the Health Board for their support on the project to date and commend University Hospital of Wales for the outstanding job it is doing during this unprecedented time. “The urgent nature of this project has allowed us to demonstrate what we do best and I firmly believe this is the fastest a building of this size and use class has ever been delivered in the UK, certainly for something of this significance.”

Sharp, clean lines in a tranquil setting

There is certainly nothing temporary about how the Lakeside Wing looks. And Rockpanel is responsible in part for the architectural quality and precision on show. The sharp, clean lines of the building sit handsomely around two sides of a tranquil lake, landscaped with lawn and mature planting. A base colour of Rockpanel in anthracite colour is punctuated with pops of red, cream and orange in varying rectangular shapes to accentuate corners, columns and other features as well as breaking up the larger expanses to add visual interest and underline the clarity of the structure’s design.

Central Roofing South Wales Ltd. were responsible for the installation. The firm’s Contracts Director James Williams said, “The project ran 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the main aim of causing no disruption to patients or clinical operations elsewhere on the busy hospital site. The project was completed on time and on budget with Rockpanel ensuring timely supply and delivery. The client is very pleased with the completed project and we are proud to have been involved in the creation of such an important resource.

Great looking, low maintenance, durability

All Rockpanel external facades made from a core of basalt rock – stone wool – a naturally occurring consequence of volcanic activity which is non-combustible. The inert nature of stone wool ensures dimensional stability. They are exceedingly durable and impervious to weather, temperature and UV light, looking as good as the day they were installed throughout their long life, while needing little or no maintenance.

Rockpanel’s John Porter, “Our external facades were the perfect choice for a project like this, where time was of the essence and the finished project had to look great. The 8mm panels used are very light and simple to cut on-site, saving time and money. We have worked with Darwin previously. I believe they specify Rockpanel not only for the quality and variety of surfaces finishes we offer, but because they are so easy and quick to work with.”