MTX, working together with ProCure 21 Principal Supply Chain Partner Laing O’Rourke, completed a £5.6 million four-storey orthopaedic and surgical facility for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust.
The impressive new facility, which opened to its first patients on 2 February 2009 after an extremely tight on-site schedule of just 27 weeks, was successfully completed on time and in budget resulting in a building which offers a quality of build and finish as close to that of traditional build as is possible using modular construction techniques.
Sited adjacent to a new hi-tech Cardiology and Surgical Unit (CSU) handed over to the Stockport NHS Foundation Trust in early 2007, the new 2,300 m2, four-story orthopaedic and surgical facility is the largest modular health facility built by MTX to date. MTX were awarded the contract to build the new modular facility in May 2008 and commenced the initial groundworks to prepare the site – formerly a 32-space car park – in July before beginning piling using a vibration-free piling system.
The new building’s ground floor houses a 16-bed ward comprising three four-bed bays and four single en-suite bedrooms, while the first floor incorporates two fully equipped orthopaedic operating theatres for day surgery, complete with ultra-clean laminar flow canopies, a four-bed recovery ward and ancillary areas including store rooms, anaesthesia areas and scrub rooms plus staff rest rooms. On the second floor is a further 22-bed day case ward and ancillary areas, all equipped to meet DDA requirements, while the third floor houses a dedicated plant room.
Off site construction
The 110 modules, largely constructed from steel frames including steel floors and roof structures, were constructed off-site by MTX supply chain partners Servaccomm, a specialist in modular and prefabricated building manufacture. The modules, which are on average 12 m long by 3.5 m wide and 3.2 m high, were fitted with pipework and electrical containment systems and internal partitions etc. Thanks to careful coordination with the Trust and despite extremely inclement weather, each pre-fabricated module was strategically delivered on site and carefully positioned over a two-week period late in September.
Working to a detailed brief from service engineers DSSR the remainder of the internal mechanical and electrical services were installed including the third floor plant room equipment such as dedicated air handling units, boilers, heat exchangers complete with IPS and UPS from Starkstrom.
Finish – external and internal
The new unit has been designed with an external appearance comprising brickwork at ground floor and an eye-catching render finish to the other three floors, capped with Kingspan insulated panels which very closely match that of the neighbouring CSU. Double-glazed throughout (the windows were pre-fitted off-site), the facility was designed to be light and airy, with maximum use of natural daylight and ventilation and expansive views.
The interior features attractive contrasting pastel colours on walls with the colour scheme varying from level to level, while extensive use of maple and beech on fittings such as the fascia of nurse stations lends further visual appeal.
To meet the floor response requirements set out under HTM 2045, cast in-situ concrete slabs were used in a metal floor deck in the theatre areas. This flooring system which complies with British Standard BS 6472 on resistance to vibration in buildings, is a hollow rib system back-filled with concrete with a microfibre mesh providing further reinforcement. This delivers a response factor of less than 1.
The flooring for the corridors and other public areas incorporates 150 x 100 box section steel beams topped with timber joists and a 25mm quality ply deck surmounted by a further 6mm ply layer on top of that. Above this is the actual flooring surface – an Ardex self-levelling screed with polyfloor vinyl finish. This flooring has a vibration response factor of 3.
The use of this type of construction technique delivers improved Health & Safety, increased customisation and, thanks to the off-site element of modular construction, far less disruption to the hospital environment which means reduced inconvenience and stress for patients, visitors and staff. Another noted benefit is that, where other forms of fast track construction techniques may equate to a compromise in quality, while being up to 40% faster to build, the latest generation MTX modular buildings are virtually indistinguishable in appearance from a more conventionally built structure. There is no doubt that off-site modular construction techniques, effective collaboration between the parties involved and the fast-tracking benefits of the Procure 21 framework all played a big part in delivering the impressive new facility in the rapid completion time-frames required.
“It was impressive to witness just how quickly and effortlessly this building went up… I take my hat off to all those involved in the construction of the building. We trialled a new innovative method of construction and the ease and speed with which it was erected was impressive. This modular construction method will certainly be considered when increasing capacity in the future.” Dr Chris Burke, Chief Executive of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust.
“We are delighted with the new unit and with the excellent collaboration between all parties on a scheme completed within budget, within an extremely tight, but critical, timeframe” Alan Wilde – Key Projects Manager, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
“There is no doubt that many architects have been somewhat dismissive about modular buildings in the past, tending to view them almost exclusively as temporary facilities built down to a cost to serve a short-term need…. I think perceptions are changing, and this project has been a real eye-opener, both in terms of the standard of design we have been able to incorporate, and in the end result.” Narciso Simioni – Architect Taylor-Young Limited