A massive concrete pour is under way at Christchurch Hospital's new acute services building site, with 300 truckloads of concrete expected to have been pumped by about 9am.
The pour started at 1am, with 1200 cubic metres of concrete laid to a depth of 1 metre.
Canterbury DHB chief executive David Meates said the pour would deliver a huge amount of concrete during the eight hours of continuous pumping.
"All is tracking well for the first pour, which is enough to fill 7500 standard bathtubs - quite remarkable when you think of it that way."
It will then take another day and a half to smooth and level the concrete.
Another seven concrete pours are planned, with each one done over a weekend to minimise disruption to the hospital.
Mr Meates says one of the later pours will make the record books as the largest continuous concrete pour by a single contractor ever undertaken in the South Island.
"In total, some 15,710 cubic metres - or just over six Olympic swimming pools worth of concrete - will form the foundations of the new building, together with more than 2300 tonnes of reinforcing steel."
Mr Meates said it would be exciting to see the building start to take shape once the foundation works are complete.
When complete, the Acute Services Building will have base-isolation seismic protection, built to IL4 standard (Importance Level 4, which is 180 percent of the building code), additional operating theatres, about 400 beds - including purpose-designed spaces for children.
It will also have an expanded intensive care unit, a state-of-the-art radiology department, an emergency department and a rooftop helipad.
Fletchers Construction won the tender for the foundation and workers have been busy onsite since June, laying damp-proof geomembranes, tying reinforcing steel and constructing the building's lift-shaft pits.
Acute Services Building - fast facts
- Area of all floors: 62,000 square metres
- 15,710 cubic metres of concrete laid over eight pours
- 2300 tonnes of reinforcing steel in the foundations
LI] Footprint: 10,450 square metres