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Media Release – Fears over Couva Children’s Hospital stability put to rest.

Fears put to rest after Seismic/Geotechnical; Structural Engineers and Design Experts for the Couva Children’s Hospital meet with Honourable Ministers; UWI Seismic Centre Team and Industry Colleagues.

August 19, 2013.

Fears regarding the stability of the proposed Couva Children’s Hospital were put to rest in the wake of last Friday’s meeting at the Ministry of Housing, Land and Marine Affairs Port of Spain Offices when Seismic/Geotechnical; Structural Engineers and Design Experts for the Hospital, met with Honourable Ministers Dr. Roodal Moonilal MP, Minister of Housing, Land and Marine Affairs and line Minister for UDeCOTT and Dr. Fuad Khan MP, Minister of Health; Permanent Secretaries, UDeCOTT Chairman Ms. Jearlean John; senior UDeCOTT Personnel and members of the UWI Seismic Centre.

Acting Head of the UWI Seismic Research Centre Dr. Joan Latchman and her colleagues, along with National Building Code Committee Chairman Shyankaran Lalla and Geologist Dr. Krishna Persad attended the meeting.

The UWI Seismic Team was very pleased to see that full due diligence was adhered to before design and construction of the Couva Children’s Hospital even commenced and welcomed continued collaboration on designs going forward with the UWI Seismic Team, in addition to the sharing of information and expertise as assured by Minister Moonilal. The Housing Minister also stressed that there would be collaboration between Ministries and the National Building Code Committee.

The UWI Seismic Team noted that a comprehensive Geotechnical Investigation was conducted by a highly respected and independent company and their report resulted from Reconnaissance Surveys; Detailed Topographic Surveys; Fifteen (15) Boreholes; Nine (9) Test Pits, a Rigorous Laboratory Testing Programme; Desktop Studies among other tenets.

Furthermore, the Architect for the facility, the world renowned HKS, (which for the past 74 years has remained a top-five US Architectural firm), used the Seismic Design Parameters as set out in the Geotechnical Report inclusive of surface displacement and liquefaction. HKS applied best practice in accordance to the international recognized code ASCE 7; International Building Code, with the use of UWI Seismic Research Unit Hazard Maps.

HKS Facts:

  • The American Institute of Architects has repeatedly adopted HKS’s forms and procedures as standards for practice
  • HKS has executed commissions for structures valued in excess of US$75 billion
  • More than US$13.7 billion in work, in construction dollars, is currently underway
  • HKS has completed projects located in 1,263 cities throughout 80 countries
  • Over 70 percent of its work is repeat work representing user satisfaction
  • The firm has completed/underway more than 82 million square feet of sustainable space

HKS Rankings/Awards

  • Ranked by Modern Healthcare (the global authority for healthcare ranking) as number one, in terms of volume of healthcare architecture, for 15 consecutive years
  • Received 441 awards for projects including 22 Modern Healthcare awards, a first in the industry, and six ASHE/VISTA healthcare awards, another industry first
  • Ranked by BD World Architecture as the world’s number two firm in sports design
  • Ranked by Hotel Business Top Architects and Designers as the number three firm in hospitality design
  • Named the Texas Society of Architects’ (TSA) architecture “Firm of the Year”
  • Selected “One of the Top 25 Medium Companies to Work for in America,” according to the Great Place to Work Institute – producers of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”
  • Received the American Subcontractors Association’s “Outstanding Architect Award” for 10 consecutive years and 15 times since its inception
  • In the event of a major earthquake the Couva Children’s Hospital design will allow for continuity of operations, care of patients and receipt of casualties and those in need of health care.

    The hospital will provide important health care for all patients admitted, included healthcare for immediate neighbours at the Pt. Lisas industrial Estate, Residents of Couva, Pointe-a-Pierre and environs, Petrotrin Workers or even Athletes taking part in sporting events at the nearby Ato Boldon Sports Complex.

    Over the next two years twenty six hectares of land will be dramatically transformed by the construction of the 230-bed Hospital, which will also provide training in nursing, pharmacology and optometry.

    It will include a specialized modern Children’s Hospital, a Burns Care Unit and Helipad.

    This complex will extend medical services to meet the needs of children and adults. It will also be the springboard for an exciting new economic thrust to create a health care tourism sector in Trinidad and Tobago; a development strategy, advanced and inspired by the Honourable Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC; MP and Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

    It is envisaged that in later phases, the complex will include a hotel, a shopping centre, recreational area and residential accommodation.

    This full capability Hospital and Training Facility, has been thoughtfully designed, would be world class, with state-of-the-art, high-end medical equipment.

    The Ministry of Health’s personnel fully participated in the design of the facility, tabling pertinent end-user needs.

    A minimum of 40 per cent local content will be used during construction of the hospital – consisting of local labour; equipment; materials and other domestic resources.

    Citizens of Trinidad and Tobago will also benefit from a significant transfer of technological knowledge during the construction phases of this project – an unparalleled opportunity to witness and fully benefit from cutting edge design and construction technologies, which will be employed in this project.

    The facility is located along this country’s major North-South transportation axis.


    Contact: Roxanne Stapleton-Whyms

    Media, Events and Community Outreach Manager

    Mobile: 868-703-3266

    Office: 868-627-0083 Ext 1251

    Fax: 868-624-0801

    E-mail: roxannes@udecott.com

    38-40 Sackville Street

    Port of Spain

    Trinidad, W.I.