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Last Updated: August 3, 2022

Published in the December 2014 FREMCO FIBER NEWS NEWSLETTER

Two million meters of fiber cable ensures communication paths at the New University Hospital in Aarhus.

Fremco Fiber optic network in giant scale Fiber Optic Center

About 400,000 square meter under roof will house ”The New University Hospital in Aarhus” when it is planned to be finished in 2019.

It is easy to set course for Denmark’s currently largest construction site. The contours of numerous construction cranes in northern Aarhus shows the way.  From the highway, draw the hospital ”The New University Hospital in Aarhus” bigger and bigger on the horizontal line around Aarhus.  It is more complicated to find your way to the ”heart” of the highly secured construction site on the 125-acre area.

Central Denmark Region DKK billion expensive project is combining four existing departments of Aarhus University Hospital into one “super” hospital. This is done by building 250,000 new square meter and rebuild around 50,000 of the existing 160,000 square meter hospital buildings in Aarhus.

The project will be finished in 2019, when the last renovated buildings are renovated. Today there are more than 3,000 employees. When the hospital is fully operational, there will be 9,000 employees to receive the estimated 32,000 daily patients - or in the region of 1 million patients a year.

A visit to the huge construction site was made to give a little insight into how daily communication is ensured in this giant complex when it is put into operation. Roughly two million meters of fibers and an appropriate amount of backbone cable, are going to be connected to only two redundant cross fields. They provide continuous connection to the approximately 11,000 local switches.

Because there are, only two cross-fields is unique in itself. The overall installation has been implemented in the construction from the start and that is why it can be kept very simple.  The simplicity should be compared to a high double-digit number of cross-fields if a similar network should be established in an existing building of the same size. When only two cross-fields are needed, a huge saving of physical space, cooling, power and debugging.  IT security is obviously a major factor in a super hospital. It will also be increased by this unique solution.

The Contractor

MB Networks A/S won the contract in building the giant network physically. The hospital is built in 11-13 stages and there are tenders on all the major stages of the main contract. This means that several construction companies are in the construction site at the same time.  When winter is knocking, the weather puts a stop for some jobs, but from Spring onward, there are about 1,200 workers to operate simultaneously.

They build together for between three and five million DKK a day - every day.  MB Networks A/S in the interests of consistency of the overall network was selected as main contractor for the entire network.  This means that the MB Networks must cooperate and coordinate with many different companies.  Deadlines and planning are a huge task to keep track of.

Project leader Søren Korsgaard Kjeldahl is full time employed to do the job of planning. Søren Korsgaard Kjeldahl explains ”We have calculated unit prices on everything . What is the cost for example for one meter of fiber network.  This means that each subcontractor can calculate what it costs to have us working at any given part of the building. We receive demands and requests from the hospitals Advisor Group which we must implement as a consistent solution throughout the construction of the hospital. We are therefore forces to follow everyone’s schedules very carefully or we faces fines that can exceed more than DKK 10.000 per day if we are delaying other subcontractors.”

It can happen that we are not allowed to do things in the order we want.

“It can give some challenges, but we kept our time schedules so far,” continues Søren Korsgaard Kjeldahl with a smile, and adding ”we are building a mid-size town in a few years”.

Special Demands 

Also building the hospital offers other requirements than normally encountered in the industry.  Example: will gas - connectors be used everywhere not to spread bacterial growths.

They will need flame-retardant tubes, which have given challenges to suppliers like Emtelle.  Because the existing part of the hospital is in use, noise requirements have been a demand from the hospital board and are very strict.  For example has Fremco delivered special quiet compressors and hydraulic pumps.

Fortunately, MicroFlow Touch from Fremco is perhaps the market’s quietest fiber blowing machine, which also had a significant influence on the choice of this particular model.

Fremco Fiber optic network in giant scale Fiber Optic Center3

This model shows the fully developed hospital when it is finalized in 2019.


Flexible Network Structure

“Because the network structure is build up inducts, a 4- fiber can easily be upgraded to a 12 -fiber if an area needs to have more “juice” while everything else is in operation, ”says chief fitter Jesper Bolding.

Jesper Bolding continues: ”the fiber network must bear all communication. It can be anything from patient monitoring to when the blinds must go up or everything from thermal management to patient communication in and out of the hospital.  We build the communication highway, but we do not decide what kind of information is going to run on it. It is the hospital itself, but only your imagination is your limit,” concludes Jesper Bolding.

The fiber network at the hospital is along with several other solutions a pilot project. The other regions in Denmark monitor with interest the project. Especially in the regions of Northern Jutland and the island of Funen who are going to start up similar projects of the so-called super hospitals.

Several media have recently been criticizing the pilot project, especially from doctors that believes the new super hospital constructed with not enough beds to patients. The correct number of beds we should not make us wise on.

We hand it over with confident to the region and the doctors to agree on, but on the one area we know they do not run into capacity problems.

It is on the fiber network. Compared to traditional copper cables contains this network a massive capacity.

Patients, families, physicians and nurses can go ahead working with no delay from cyberspace.

Fremco Fiber optic network in giant scale Fiber Optic Center 2Chief fitter Jesper Bolding is guiding the technician who is blowing a few hundred meters fiber into the already vastness of Emtelle multi ducts found at the hospital.

For the task, one Fremco MicroFlow Touch that really comes to the test with a total of two million meters fiber .

Fremco Fiber optic network in giant scale Fiber Optic Center4



On each floor there is a cross point that collects and divides each fiber to finally end up in one of the only two crossfields.




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