Knauf’s GIB X-Block system was installed in Baralaba Hospital’s X-ray unit instead of traditional leadlined ply, which reduced the amount of material needed and eliminated the need for additional wet trades – cutting costs by 15%.
The project and product
The $11 million upgrade of Queensland’s isolated Baralaba Hospital was completed in 2011, replacing an ageing 77-year-old timber complex that had needed to be updated to meet fire safety regulations.
However, the X-ray linings specified in the hospital’s Medical Imaging Department presented a number of logistic and installation challenges for the contractors, Thompson Building Group.
“The initial specifications for the X-ray units were for lead-lined plywood, but we challenged this on two grounds: performance and cost,” says Garry Rosetta, Thompson Building Group Operations Manager.
“After demonstrating the material, contractor and subsequent cost savings from using the GIB X-Block system, the architect gave it the go ahead.”
The remoteness of Baralaba meant that using lead-lined ply – regardless of the costs of the initial material – would have increased transportation, supply and installation costs by at least 15%, Rosetta explains.
“If the head contractor had used lead-lined ply in the unit it would have increased costs significantly as we would have had to get another contractor out there to install it,” he says.
“But with X-Block, there was no need to engage another contractor. It was just a matter of putting the order in for the material and we could do it ourselves.”
Rosetta adds the additional need to “sheet” lead-lined ply with an impact resistant lining further strengthened the case for the GIB X-Block system, which has its own impact-resistant characteristics.
“If we had used lead-lined ply we still would have had to sheet an impact resistant sheet over the top,” he says. “So by using X-Block we streamlined not only the materials needed, but the amount of installation work needed.”