Why is the health sector turning to modular construction for cheaper and safer expansion?

  • 29 Mar 2019

Modular construction is a popular and effective solution for cash-strapped NHS organisations across the country. By providing fast, affordable, and safe structures at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods, modular construction companies are allowing councils, hospitals and clinics to expand and serve more patients.

By overcoming the barriers typically associated with new medical buildings (tight spaces, ageing infrastructure, tight budgets, bureaucracy, etc) modular construction services from companies like MTX Contracts result in cheaper and safer expansion across the health sector.

Dozens of factors affect local health authorities as they attempt to build new clinical environments

All across the UK, hospitals, doctor’s surgeries and medical centres are clamouring for extra space to serve patients. There is a desperate need for sterile and functional clinical environments.

Most of the medical buildings in the country were built at a time when adaptability and future expansion were not a major consideration. As a result, modernisation is a major challenge in all aspects of the healthcare sector and beyond.

In addition to the need for more space, there is an increasing demand for medical buildings to be built in awkward spaces, on top of existing buildings, or in other challenging locations.

The healthcare sector is also dealing with a whole host of other issues around construction, including accessibility, compliance with regulatory standards, and the synthesis of modern state-of-the-art facilities with structures from the last century (and even those built in the 19th century).

Trying to manage all of these concerns with ever tightening budgets and relentlessly extensive planning procedures is a massive challenge for local health authorities.

All of the above factors have to be addressed and mitigated before any badly needed building work can begin.

Buildings need to be completed on shorter time scales than ever

With all of these demands, construction firms need to complete projects in shorter time periods than ever before. With health authorities in need of vital buildings yesterday, they want things to be completed as soon as possible.

More and more, the existing structures are decades or centuries old, and new additions have to be squeezed into nooks and crannies. Courtyards, inaccessible corridors, and old gardens – construction firms are increasingly asked ‘can you put the new building here?”

The NHS and private health companies alike are turning to modular construction in order to overcome their space and budget constraints.

New clinics, additional wings, and all kinds of other much-needed medical facilities can be completed using modular construction, all at a lower cost than traditional building methods.

Best of all? Modular structures take a fraction of the time to plan, build, and open. This means that the time elapsed from the initial planning stages to functional use is halved or better.

Modular Construction Companies are working directly with the NHS

The NHS has now placed a number of firms on their modular building framework, allowing local authorities to work directly with suppliers. This removes the middle man and streamlines planning permissions, budget issues, and debates over construction methods.

Instead, NHS departments and surgeries can choose from predetermined all-inclusive packages set up by modular construction companies.

These packages include planning applications, building controls, off-site construction, and on-site installation. A process that used to take months (or even years) to even get started can now be completed in just a matter of days or weeks.

Everyone can get on with their work in less time, and valuable funds aren’t wasted on endless planning debates. Modular construction is cheaper and safer than traditional building methods.

Safety is paramount

The NHS implemented its modular building framework in January of 2017. This followed an extensive period of research that showed that off-site construction could save the organisation a lot of money, and that it could be up to 50% faster than traditional methods.

This results in a lot of extra time and money that can be used to improve care and services in other areas.

Safety and efficiency go hand in hand with modular construction. These new structures are easy to keep clean, made with state of the art materials, and meet the most rigorous safety standards. All of this results in a safer and more sterile medical environment.

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