DNRC - Military Rehabilitation Centre


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A £300m, purpose-built Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC), designed to enhance the provision of world-class medical services to injured military personnel, will open its doors to wounded soldiers, sailors and airmen by the end of this year.

This follows a special event held in June, in the presence of His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge, when The Duke of Westminster handed over the donor-funded facility to the Prime Minister.

The DNRC is located at the Stanford Hall Estate near Loughborough and is a bespoke successor to the existing military rehabilitation establishment at Headley Court in Surrey, from which all operations are being relocated. 

Bureau Veritas is providing full Building Control support to the team behind this specialist defence sector facility. The main contractor to the development is Interserve and project manager is Arup. Work started on site in 2015 and overall project completion is scheduled for the end of 2018.

Designed by Steffian Bradley Architects and John Simpson Architects, the DNRC is approximately four times the size of Headley Court with over 47,000m2 of floor space, of which approximately 41,000m2 is new-build accommodation. 

Operated by the MoD, it will improve and advance the cutting-edge treatments already available to injured members of the armed forces. Immediate access to on-site patient diagnosis and treatment plans will be provided alongside greater advances in medical research and better outdoor facilities to support the early stages of recovery. 

Bureau Veritas has worked closely with the project team to ensure the required construction standards have been maintained throughout the project’s demanding programme. In particular, the site inspection service has helped the contractor in achieving the scheduled handover of completed phases despite the challenging nature of the site which includes the Grade ll listed Stanford Hall itself.

Compliance was required not just with basic Building Regulations but also the Crown Fire Standards plus some of the guidance for Hospital fire safety, due to the clinical nature of the scheme. The application of this particular mix of standards is unusual and presented a number of challenges for members of the project team who were not familiar with all aspects of the various standards and how they might be applied together.

In addition, Bureau Veritas had to adopt a holistic approach to aspects of fire safety and accessibility to ensure the listed sections of the facility could function as intended while retaining their original features.

The DNRC is being funded through charitable donations and was the initiative of The 6th Duke of Westminster who died in 2016. He led the charity fundraising drive with a personal founding gift of £70m. More than £270m has already been raised via a major donor campaign and the public is still able to get involved (for further information see: www.thednrc.org.uk).

Following the opening of the military facility, future developments on the same site could see the creation of a complementary civilian (National) rehabilitation centre where the expertise used to treat the service personnel will directly benefit the wider public through integration and sharing of knowledge and facilities.

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