Premier Modular recruits as order books show no sign of slowing across public and private sector work
Thirty more staff have been recruited at East Yorkshire-based Premier Modular as it remains open and at capacity through the coronavirus pandemic.
The Brandesburton company, now employing just under 250 people, is one of the UK’s leading offsite and interim building specialists, working in public and private sector spheres.
At the outset of Covid-19 it was involved in hospital ward capacity expansion.
Eugenio de Sa, managing director, said: “We have been able to meet our obligations to all our customers thanks to the resilience and flexibility of our teams across the business who have risen to the challenge and embraced the new ways of working.
“Our priority remains to keep our colleagues safe, particularly on site and in the factory – and to continue to serve our customers.
“We were already in a positive position to weather this storm. Our financial performance is one of the strongest in the offsite sector, having grown the Premier business year-on-year for both permanent bespoke offsite solutions and interim buildings for hire.
“Whilst the economic outlook remains very uncertain, we continue to receive a healthy level of enquiries across multiple sectors for permanent buildings – such as schools, residential and MoD, and particularly in education, construction and Covid-19 related healthcare for hire projects. Our project pipeline for both businesses is positive and encouraging.”
Premier has installed a new £2.2 million school building in Nottingham during the lockdown and the project is currently ahead of programme. Work on a £9 million MoD scheme in Lincolnshire is nearing completion and a new Immigration Hall at East Midlands Airport has just been handed over. This has doubled the size of the existing facility and will significantly enhance the arrivals experience for passengers.
In the past two months, Premier’s Hire Division has manufactured and delivered an average of 60 modules for interim buildings per week. The hire team has reacted rapidly to customer needs. Where sites had to close, the deliveries were re-scheduled and buildings stored to ensure a quick response when those sites re-open. Some projects have been accelerated to allow the programme implications of social distancing to be mitigated.
A number of buildings already on hire have either been reconfigured or expanded to help clients accommodate the new social distancing measures by the company, founded in 1956 and part of the South African-headquartered Waco International group.
One particularly complex project has seen a new, purpose-designed modular PET-CT scanning facility for Alliance Medical at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
The new facility was fully fitted out in the factory, on the former RAF Catfoss site, and craned into position complete with the scanner, doors, windows, partitions, glazed screens, and all mechanical and electrical services to reduce work on site to just four weeks.
Dan Allison, divisional director, said: “The heaviest module containing the scanner weighed 22 tonnes and required a 350-tonne crane for its safe installation.
“This was a complex project which involved engineering the building structure and floor system to meet the loadings of the scanner and the stringent specification for acoustic and floor response factors, whilst maximising work offsite at Premier’s factory.
“This approach significantly reduced the overall build programme.”
Installation was completed on a Sunday to minimise disruption to the hospital. Access to the site was on a blue light ambulance route and close to the air ambulance helipad, meaning careful logistical planning and close monitoring with emergency services throughout the installation phase.
Gary Walters, property workstream lead at client Alliance Medical, said, “In our view, the most important benefit of a modular solution is the reduced programme compared to site-based construction. We can deliver these much-needed diagnostic services to patients sooner. Premier helped us to achieve this and provided value for money as well as the capabilities and expertise we required. The staff operating the new facility are very happy with it and it is helping us to offer an enhanced patient experience and pathway for the local cancer network community in Norfolk.”
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