Modular ward at George Eliot delivered in just 14 weeks
When George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton required a new 30-bed ward for orthopaedic elective and general elective patients as part of the George Eliot Hospital Trust’s five-year estate strategy, Wernick Buildings was appointed.
The company had demonstrated that it could provide an economically viable, single-storey solution, and was formally appointed principal contractor.
By engaging with a modular provider before producing a design, the hospital was able to take full advantage of modular construction’s benefits – which included maximising the amount of fit-out undertaken in the factory to reduce time on site. This also facilitated closer collaboration to address the building’s specialist requirements, for example using the hospital’s preferred contractor to provide medical gases. Manufacturing the building in a factory environment enabled it to be constructed while the foundations were being prepared, ‘drastically reducing programme length’, with manufacture also unaffected by site conditions such as the weather.
The 33 modules were produced at Wernick’s Port Talbot factory, transported to site by lorry, craned into position, and then bolted together. With the coronavirus outbreak imposing additional clinical urgency, Wernick’s team implemented longer hours and worked weekends, condensing the original 20-week programme to just 14 weeks. It worked with its sub-contractors and the hospital to devise working methods that would allow its team to continue working on site, including strict social distancing measures.
The completed single-storey building, delivered on budget, comprises 1000 m2 of gross internal floor space, with the fit-out having included bedhead trunking incorporating medical gases, nurse call systems, access control and CCTV, fire escape ramps, and nurse stations. Externally, the building is finished to match existing buildings on site.