The £13.5 million contract – the largest in Portakabin Hire’s 52-year history – is for the provision of a complex 4,200sqm, two-storey building. The scheme will be completed in less than four months to increase capacity at the hospital, to the benefit of patient care.
124 steel-framed modules have now been craned into position in a complex operation which involved a 350-tonne crane on a highly restricted site immediately adjacent to fully occupied wards and close to a busy road. The cranage phase took just 18 days and involved working through three weekends to deliver the building in the shortest possible time.
During the cranage process, Portakabin managed and maintained access for 200 students to the adjacent Keele University Medical School and co-ordinated operations with West Midlands Air Ambulance for inbound emergency patients.
The units up to 14m long and weighing up to 9 tonnes were installed complete with wall finishes, internal partitioning, M&E services and flooring already in place, further reducing work and disruption on this busy hospital site. The modules are built to permanent standards, comply with all current Building Regulations and have a design life of 60 years.
Due for completion in spring 2015, the building will provide 56 new in-patient beds, two large state-of-the-art, clean air theatres for all orthopaedic procedures, recovery room, ‘dirty’ and ‘clean’ utilities, single rooms with en-suite bathrooms, staff changing rooms, reception, kitchenette, offices, 33-person ‘crash team’ lift, and an integral plant room.
John Simpson, Director of Corporate Services at the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, said, “This type of construction allows us to benefit from a much shorter delivery programme so we can have the new facility up and running more quickly, meeting the increasing demand for services and enhancing patients’ experience.
“Whilst the building is constructed to permanent standards, its modular construction gives us greater flexibility as the facilities can be dismantled and removed if service needs change. The use of a modular solution is also helping us to radically reduce disruption to patient care on a fully operational and highly constrained hospital site, and we have much greater assurance of delivery on programme and on budget.”
Commenting on the cranage operation, Robert Snook, Director and General Manager of Portakabin Hire said, “We are pleased to report that the cranage phase went very smoothly, despite working in the winter months. This was a highly complex operation in terms of scale, logistics, difficult access for vehicles and the extremely close proximity of the new building to existing hospital facilities which remained in use throughout.”
The hiring of modular accommodation is a fast, flexible and cost-effective way for healthcare providers to expand ward and consulting facilities, particularly on constrained hospital sites.
Complete, fully-fitted buildings can be delivered in a fraction of the time of a site-based construction solution. Critically, buildings can be installed with minimal disruption to patient care and the solution is a much safer approach as fitting out can also be carried out off site.
Portakabin Hire provides accommodation for wards, recovery suites, dialysis units, diagnostics, out-patient departments and treatment centres. All the hospital facilities are constructed to the latest healthcare best practice design standards.