New Children's Hospital Helipad, St. James's Campus

Dublin, Ireland

The New Children’s Hospital, which will bring together three existing children’s hospitals. 

The new building within the St. James’s Hospital Campus in Dublin 8, is a distinctive oval-shaped building on 12 acres that features therapeutic rooftop gardens, more than 6,000 rooms, and 4 acres of outdoor gardens. Located off the South Circular Road, across Rialto Bridge and next to the Rialto LUAS train station, the large sustainable building and sprawling grounds offer an accessible and peaceful environment for the patients and their families.


  • The Challenge

    Ireland is a country known for its windy climate. Careful consideration is needed when including a helipad within this type of environment, particularly when there is a fundamental need for it. RWDI was approached early in the design process to ensure that the hospital building adjacent would not have a negative impact on the helipad, and that the location provided as high a chance for operability as possible. The importance of understanding the wind characteristics above the helipad before it was built was integral to ensuring it is operational for as much of the time as possible, and represented a feasible design.

  • Our Approach

    By analyzing wind tests and meteorological data, we can examine the complex wind environment around a helipad in detail, to reduce risk and improve operability.

    We used a “cobra probe” multi-directional pressure sensor to take measurements in a wind tunnel to determine the mean and fluctuating wind speeds in dozens of locations and from 12 wind directions. Based on the results of these measurements, we established the wind environment in which the helicopters will be expected to operate near the helipad.

  • The Outcome

    Our extensive investigation determined that the meticulous planning of the architects of the project had resulted in a safe and operable location for the helipad site.