A Shift in Delivery

19th October, 2021

The £1.6billion NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) Modular Buildings Framework will provide a massive boost to the healthcare built environment.

The Modular Buildings Framework provides a ‘compliant route to access modern methods of construction (MMC)’. This framework agreement includes the purchase, hire or lease of modular solutions including offsite building solutions, modular hospital buildings, patient offload departments (PODs) and education solutions. The framework for modular buildings provides bespoke solutions from office space to student accommodation, and from care homes to homeless shelters. This framework is open to the NHS, local authorities, schools, academies, sixth form colleges, universities, the MOJ, MOD, and other public sector organisations.

The efficiency gains from modular and offsite manufactured solutions support the delivery of the government's construction and industry strategy targets, which include time and cost savings as well as whole-life cost benefits and in use savings. This modular building framework in turn provides a fully UK compliant route for NHS and public sector organisations to procure all types of modular building solutions. The framework agreement has been awarded following a fair and open competition across the offsite construction and modular buildings market. 

Merit – one of the key providers and offsite construction specialist for technically complex, zero-carbon emission buildings has secured a number of significant framework appointments in the first half of the year, including winning a place on the £1.6billion NHS SBS Framework. NHS Trusts, and a range of other NHS and public sector organisations, are now able to contract Merit Health, the company’s dedicated healthcare and life sciences division, to design and build a wide range of buildings and facilities. Merit’s unique approach centres on a range of standardised Pre-Assembled Modules that can be integrated into tailored client designs, with an emphasis on build speed and low cost, without compromising on quality.

Tony Wells, Managing Director at modular provider Merit, said: “We passionately believe that the right approach to hospital building can help support the NHS’ net zero carbon commitment. Our innovative zero carbon facility designs are already improving energy efficiency and eliminating fossil fuels, which brings significant operating savings as well as helping tackle climate change. All projects called off through these frameworks will be offsite manufactured using our range of patent pending and trademarked offsite manufactured products, here in the North East of England, at our newly-expanded 270,000sq ft factory in Cramlington.”

Speaking about joining the framework, ModuleCo Healthcare Managing Director, Alan Wilson, added: “It’s been a tough year for the NHS, but now more than ever it needs our support. Through this framework, the NHS will have easy access to our cost-effective and reliable construction methods with the reassurance that facilities will always be of the highest standard. We are delighted to have been included in the latest SBS modular buildings framework. It’s fantastic to be officially and nationally recognised as providing high-quality modular solutions and we look forward to continuing to work alongside NHS Trusts to provide quality modular solutions.”

The NHS SBS modular construction framework acknowledges the benefits provided by modular building approaches, including the significant improvement these bring in terms of efficiency. In addition to cost advantages, modular construction also comes with considerably faster delivery times, and minimal on-site disruption. Modular buildings are also a more sustainable option, supporting the NHS to achieve its net zero targets.

The specification has been developed through consultation with the market and offsite experts and will run 5 July 2021 until 4 July 2023.

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