To provide cancer patients with specialised radiation treatment options, the Danish Parliament approved the Danish National Particle Centre, which will house Denmark’s first proton particle therapy capabilities. One of the tender winners for the design and construction side of the project is engineering consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV. The firm will be charged with developing the housing for the proton beam equipment, as well as plan the energy efficiency and safety features of the building.
In 2011 the Danish Parliament agreed to establish the Danish National Particle Centre, the first centre delivering particle therapy centre in Denmark. A panel of experts decided that the centre would be located at the Aarhus University Hospital, and in 2014 tenure bids started for the establishment of the Danish Centre for Particle Therapy.
The new centre will provide proton particle therapy, most often used to treat cancers. The therapy uses a highly focused high energy beam of protons to damage predominantly cancerous cells. Because the beam is narrow, it has a low level of scattering and can be controlled for penetration depth. As a result, damage to other human tissue is lower than with conventional radiation treatment – thus reducing short and long term side effects of radiation treatment. The centre is planning to see their first patient in 2019 and will have a capacity of at least 1,000 patients per year.
Royal HaskoningDHV has been selected to be part of a team of organisations that are charged with the design and construction of the national centre. The new centre will be housed in a specialised 9,000 m2 building, which will include a proton accelerator, treatment rooms, research space, and facilities for patients, caregivers and clinical staff. The consulting firm will provide design and construction services to house the delicate proton equipment. The contract value for Royal HaskoningDHV is €2.4 million, with the start of construction planned for 2016.
The firm will be designing the building to meet the stringent energy efficiency standards set out by Danish law, and with safety also a critical concern – the design of the proton housing will have walls and ceilings three meters thick. Toon Braam, Project Director at Royal HaskoningDHV, explains: “We worked closely with the equipment supplier to minimise risks. Careful planning is required to avoid damage to the proton accelerator during construction and we have ensured the building provides the required protection against radiation.”
“The construction of the Danish Centre for Particle Therapy is a unique, high-profile project and represents an important milestone for cancer treatment in the country,” adds Steffen Boye, Manager at Hoffmann A/S who is leading the construction team. “Royal HaskoningDHV brings considerable experience and expertise in the design and construction of hospital buildings, and contributed to the successful selection of our team on the basis of quality, experience and price.”