Building a sustainable hospital

The Bendigo Advertiser is continuing to publish a series of profiles on people helping to build the new Bendigo Hospital.

JAMES Wewer is working to make the new Bendigo Hospital project environmentally friendly.

Mr Wewer is Lend Lease's sustainability manager for Victoria and South Australia and has been working on the project since 2012 during the early design phase.

"There were two phases where I was working on the bid and competing to win the project and then there's the construction phase," he said.

"The bid was all about understanding the client's requirements around sustainability for a hospital that's patient recovery and wellness through good material selection, good daylight, provision of spaces outside where patients can go and relax.

"There was also a focus on energy efficiency and having renewable energy on site."

With the project moving forward, Mr Wewer's role has evolved.

"Now the project is in the construction phase, my role is to assist the site team in meeting the objectives of the designs and specifications, as well as supporting their endeavors to minimise our environmental impact, and support community partnerships, during the construction phase," he said.

"Initiatives in March include crushing the brick from some of the demolished buildings to sand, that is then re-used under the ground slab, and using cut from the site to assist with back-filling the local disused mines."

Mr Wewer is originally from the United Kingdom but has made Melbourne his home.

"Although I’m based in Melbourne, I visit the project site in Bendigo on the train," he said.

"Bendigo has some great architecture from the Gold rush era, as well as contemporary buildings such as the Bendigo Bank building."

Mr Wewer's resume boasts work on hospitals, office buildings, universities, schools and airports.

"It’s fantastic to work on such a significant project for Bendigo and Victoria," he said.

"It really will be a building to be proud of and will make a difference to the lives of many people."

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