Harnessing a standard ‘kit of parts’ approach pays off

Patrick Morrison, Healthcare Sector director for NG Bailey’s Engineering Division, discusses the engineering and services business’s use of Modern Methods of Construction and a standard ‘kit of parts’ approach to healthcare schemes – which enables it to deliver projects ‘in a significantly safer, better, greener, and more efficient way’ than using traditional construction methods. He draws for ‘evidence’ particularly on recent such work for the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

In May last year the Government announced that five more hospitals would be built in England, in addition to the 40 new projects announced in 2019 as part of its New Hospital Programme (NHP), making it the largest hospital building programme in a generation. This ambitious proposal requires innovative thinking and a strategic approach when it comes to how we design and build new hospitals. While cost and time efficiencies are high on the agenda for the NHP, so is the journey to reaching Net Zero Carbon, particularly for the NHS, which has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2040.1

At least 14 buildings in the NHP will be built using standardised components and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), with the aim of completing the projects 25% faster.2 However, despite MMC having been positioned as the key to transforming construction, it is still relatively underutilised. The Government's commitment to using MMC within the NHP therefore has the potential to shape the future of not only the entire healthcare system, but the construction industry too.

At NG Bailey we have been championing MMC for decades, making it a key part of our approach for projects across the business. Our application of this approach, and our specialised offsite manufacturing facility in Bradford, the largest of its kind in the UK, allows us to deliver projects in a significantly safer, better, greener, and more efficient way than if we used traditional construction methods. It's an approach we have used many times in healthcare settings, particularly in our 20-year partnership with Integrated Health Projects (IHP), the joint venture between VINCI Building and Sir Robert McAlpine, where we have gained a reputation for delivering high-quality engineering solutions for complex healthcare facilities. This is largely due to our 'offsite first' approach, which not only maximises efficiency by delivering fully assembled components to site, but also enables the hospitals we work on to remain fully operational throughout the build.

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