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Case Study - Hull And East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Organisation : Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Application : Healthcare

Location : Hull

Requirement :

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust needed a new state-of-the-art outpatients and medical training facility at Hull Royal Infirmary for up to 90,000 patients each year, as part of a £7m investment to help meet the increased demand for its services and replacing some out-dated buildings. 

Key requirements for the project were to incorporate the structure of an existing two-storey modular ward block into the new scheme; to minimise disruption to the adjacent hospital building, and to deliver the facility in the shortest possible time frame to the benefit of patient care.


Solution :

was appointed design and build contractor by the Trust and developed a bespoke design solution for the project, taking responsibility for:

  • Design, including bespoke structural design and space planning
  • Planning submission and approvals
  • Refurbishment and relocation of the existing modular building
  • Ground works, including foundations
  • Off-site manufacture
  • M&E design and installation
  • Fitting out
  • Final commissioning

The innovative and highly flexible approach from Portakabin combined 50 specially manufactured steel-framed modules with 50 units from the modular building that had become surplus to the Trust's requirementsPortakabin recycled and fully refurbished this structure, which included stripping out each module and installing new windows, upgrading the floor and re-lining internal walls.

This approach to recycling and re-using an existing modular structure for a completely new, purpose-designed facility made the project both highly sustainable and cost effective - and demonstrates the flexibility of modular construction when a building is no longer required.

Minimising Disruption to Patient Care

The Portakabin solution successfully reduced the programme time which in turn minimised disruption to patient services - a key issue for the Trust because of the close proximity of the scheme to the main hospital.

Despite working through exceptional winter conditions, Portakabin delivered the complex 3000sqm facility to a challenging programme, handing it over after just seven months on site.

The three-storey building has 200 rooms and accommodates the ophthalmology department on the ground floor with dermatology services on the first floor, allowing the Trust to consolidate services on one site as well as to increase capacity.

On the upper floor, a Clinical Skills Centre provides high quality training facilities for doctors with facilities including a simulated ward, control room, neo natal and critical care units, and a theatre suite.

Some areas of the building, such as the operating theatres, feature the Portakabin high performance pre-installed concrete floor system which is designed to accommodate highly sensitive medical equipment.

A Sustainable Building Solution
In addition to its partially recycled structure, the scheme has a number of other sustainable features, including:

  • A central atrium, which runs the full length of the building, maximising natural light and ventilation and reducing the reliance on artificial lighting whilst creating a high quality and welcoming patient environment
  • Heating and hot water for the ground and first floor provided by an existing steam system
  • Windows to all perimeter rooms to allow natural ventilation
  • Movement and daylight sensors to control the high frequency lighting
  • Air source heating and cooling pumps for the first floor
  • Partial heat recovery ventilation
  • Internal solar shading to every window to reduce heat gain
  • Hard wood from sustainable, certified sources
  • A Building Management System (BMS) to monitor and control the building's M&E services, such as ventilation, lighting, power, and fire and security systems, for optimum energy efficiency
  • The modular approach that ensured fewer vehicle movements to site and less material waste to further improve the building's carbon footprint.

A Patient Environment of the Highest Standards
The striking, contemporary exterior aesthetics for the building comprise stone-coloured horizontal aluminium cladding panels to the ground and first floors, with vertical blue multi-panels providing a contrast at high level.

The end façade of the stair tower features square-cut blocks with recessed detailing to complement adjacent buildings on the hospital site.  Full height curtain walling encloses the stair core, creating a light and welcoming reception at each floor level. 

This complex facility has a number of automated heating systems which are linked to the central BMS system:

  • Underfloor heating to the ground floor of the central ‘street' which provides a high degree of comfort and facilitates space planning
  • Air conditioning to heat and cool the training centre
  • The hospital's existing steam system provides heating and hot water for the ground and first floors of the new facility. This uses radiant panels in the ceiling.

The building was also designed in line with NHS guidelines, including Health Technical Memoranda (HTMs) and Health Building Notes (HBNs).

A Complete Turnkey Service for a Challenging Project
This project proved to be one of the most complex design and build schemes that Portakabin has undertaken in terms of logistics, design, scale and programme. It also involved a very constrained hospital site, which required the construction of pile foundations and the removal of asbestos.

It demonstrates the capabilities of the Portakabin team, delivering a project of this scale - from initial concept and planning to ground works, off-site manufacture, M&E design and installation, and final commissioning - to a challenging programme whilst meeting the client's project-specific requirements.

The Trust's Perspective
Duncan Taylor, Head of Estates, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust:

"Speed was the principal reason for using modular construction for this project, which enabled us to reduce the programme time by around six months.  The Portakabin solution also allowed us to re-use the structure of an existing modular ward building, minimising both cost and waste sent to landfill.

"The result is a really excellent scheme with facilities we are very proud of. Feedback from staff and patients has been extremely positive since the building opened."

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