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Non-compliant glazing to Hopkins hospital must be replaced

The glazing in the roof of Hopkins Architects’ multi award-winning Evelina Children’s Hospital in Southwark, south London, will have to be replaced.

According to Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust, the glass used in the building’s four-storey atrium has been found to be ‘not compliant with the contract specification’ and will have to come out.

Worryingly, it has also emerged that the trust had been aware of the potential problems with the glazing in the ‘conservatory’ roof from as early as May 2007. Yet the glazing units, which have defective rubber seals, are not expected to be replaced until next year.

This is the latest difficulty to hit the building, which was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize in 2006 and hailed as a low-energy hospital ‘exemplar’, and follows problems with overheating. Two years ago the trust admitted it needed to install ‘additional chilling capacity for the ventilation system’ to combat ‘temperature control issues’.

In addition, a scaffolding tower has been parked inside the atrium for the last six weeks to tend to another, unrelated issue – this time with a damaged glazing unit.

Although the cost of the replacement is not yet known, it is understood contractor MJ Gleeson is haggling with insurers and suppliers over who will foot the bill.

A spokesman for the trust said: ‘MJ Gleeson is still working with its contractors and the suppliers of the glazing to determine the most appropriate solution.

‘[MJ Gleeson] has assured the trust that there is no risk to the safety of people using the building and that the problem will not affect the performance of the glazing.’

Hopkins was unavailable for comment.

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