New nuclear medicine facility for the Belgian University Hospital of Leuven

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The Belgian company Tractebel (part of the French energy company Engie), together with its partner Modulo Architects, has won a new contract from the Leuven University Hospital and KU Leuven for the construction of an annex to the hospital which will include a nuclear medicine production and research center. The facility will house equipment for the production of medical radioisotopes and radiopharmaceutical compounds for diagnosis and treatment. The eight-story building will include cyclotron and irradiation vaults, a radiopharmacy, experimental imaging labs, offices, and meeting and technical rooms. Tractebel said the new building, located on the university’s Gasthuisberg Hospital campus, will be innovative, high-tech and sustainable. Its eye-catching design will blend seamlessly into the campus and its surroundings.

“Together with Modulo, our engineers will provide engineering assistance in the tendering process to identify contractors and oversee the construction works for the project which will span over three years,” Tractebel said. “The project will require several skills including civil engineering, electricity, heating, ventilation and fire prevention. Specific skills are required for the nuclear areas of the building, particularly in terms of air conditioning (HVAC) and radiation protection. Our role is also to integrate energy saving aspects and the future dismantling of controlled areas into the original design.

Since the building will house nuclear medicine equipment, it must meet the strict standards of the Belgian nuclear authority AFCN. The infrastructure will be classified as an IIA building, which requires high levels of radio safety and security. In addition, radiopharmacy must not only comply with radiation protection regulations, but also with pharmaceutical manufacturing standards and adapt to the production of new radioisotopes in the future.


Image: Design of the new Leuven University Hospital annex (courtesy of Modulo Architects)

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