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Bournemouth Hospital – Pathology Unit

Case Study

Project Overview

Calmec recently completed a full ventilation installation at the Royal Bournemouth General Hospital to provide heat recovery and cooling. The facility is part of the One Dorset Pathology network – a collaborative partnership between Dorset County Hospital and University Hospitals Dorset (UHD). 

The new state-of-the-art lab at University Hospitals Dorset’s Royal Bournemouth Hospital will support hospitals across the region to improve diagnostics for patients and help meet the growing demand for specialist treatment and care across the region.  

As with all of our projects, when designing this two-fold ventilation system we ensured that the installation and functioning complied with relevant regulations.  


Our proposed scope of work consisted of two main elements.  

The first was to supply and install galvanized ductwork which would provide the general work areas, offices and open-plan laboratories with heat recovery and comfort cooling.  

The second element was the supply and installation of UPV-c ductwork to produce corrosion-proof systems for the bespoke FF&E down-draft benches and the two purpose-built CAT3 Laboratories.  


The implementation of the ventilation system for the Pathology hub was conducted in multiple stages. 


The first stage was to install the galvanized ductwork in the offices and open-plan laboratories. Our team installed this to CIBSE DW144 low-pressure specification.  

Being an NHS project, we were requested to “solid fix” our ventilation equipment to the air diffusers. This required precision when terminating the primary fix ductwork ready for the secondary installation.    

Duct cleanliness is also of high importance within the NHS, as this ensures clean air throughout the space. When installing, cleaning and inspecting this system, our team followed TR19 specifications.  

The second stage of installing the bespoke designed ventilation system was to supply and fit the UPV-c ductwork. In doing this, the team worked in accordance with CIBSE guide DW154. The purpose of the UPV-c ductwork was to produce corrosion-proof systems.  

To ensure quality products were used, we worked with a specialist manufacturer to supply the socket and spigot UPV-c ductwork, which was then installed by our trained team.  

There were additional and more unusual aspects to the UPV-c systems as we needed to fire rate this UPV-c ductwork too. This was achieved by applying a multistage fire-retardant coating from Envirograf.   

The class 1 fire-retardant coating had to be applied in very specific conditions. As a result, we transformed one of our workshop spaces into a temperature-controlled spray booth to apply and cure the product.  

As a late addition to the project, we were requested to install cast iron gas shut-off dampers into the system. This required the manufacture of 304-grade stainless steel flanges to secure the dampers into the extract systems. Usually, UPV-c flanges would be used in this instance, but due to their size (400 and 355 diameter), flanges to the correct PDC were unavailable.   

Along with a purpose-built framework to hold the 75kg dampers, the flanges allow for easier installation whilst overcoming possible future maintenance issues.     


Throughout this project, the use of fire dampers were in accordance with the fire strategy, which illustrates that every time ductwork passed through a fire compartment, a damper must be installed as per DW144. 

With all dampers installed, the ventilation system comes with the classification of BS13501-3 and complies with BS EN1366-2.   

As we were required to pass ductwork from floor to floor and through to the plant room on the 2nd floor, the system not only passed through firewalls. In order to do this, we had to utilise different structure make-ups, which meant a varied array of fire and smoke types. This culminated in a range of dampers being used, each needing their own method of installation.   


Every project completed undergoes rigorous testing before we sign off the installation.  

For this project, pressure testing was a pivotal part of our testing process.  

For this, 10% of the general duct systems were tested and witnessed to DW144 low-pressure regulations. Plus, a 500pa test was carried out, with an allowed leakage rate of 1.53 l/s per Sqm of surface area.   

The ductwork system successfully passed without issue.  

A 500Pa test was then carried out on all of the UPVc ductwork; from each “point of use” to their respective fan location was tested (negative test), then from the fan location to the exhaust point (positive test).   

All systems passed with ease, so we spot-tested the systems to a 1000Pa test with a leakage rate of 0.80 l/s per Sqm. Again, we had no issues passing the test and deemed the installation a success.   


The outcome of this project is a state-of-the-art ventilation system that matches the quality and standards of the pathology unit in this prestigious hospital and rivals worldwide expectations. 

As the installation was a success, meeting all required regulations to the highest of standards, it has the potential to become a base model for replica systems needed within hospital and laboratory sites across the UK.  

With over 35 years of experience in providing HVAC solutions in a range of industries, we are proud to offer quality bespoke solutions that truly meet your ventilation and air conditioning needs.  

Contact our specialist team today by calling 01202 070 280 or completing our online contact form 

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