Portakabin receives two award commendations for Royal Stoke University project

Company says the project is helping to change perceptions of just what can be realised with modular construction

The building was constructed to permanent standards and will be in use for five years

Portakabin, the UK’s leading supplier of modular buildings, has received two award commendations for its delivery of a highly complex ward and theatre building at Royal Stoke University Hospital. The 4,200m2 facility was completed in less than four months to help meet the increasing demand for orthopaedic services.

In recognition of the success of the project, Portakabin has been highly commended in the Public Sector Project of the Year category at the Offsite Awards. The company was also highly commended for the Constructing Excellence West Midlands Project of the Year Award.

The highly serviced £13.5m building at Royal Stoke accommodates clean air theatres for orthopaedic procedures, a recovery room, ward bays and single ensuite rooms. The building was constructed to permanent standards and will be in use for five years, giving the Trust much greater flexibility as the facilities can be removed or adapted according to local needs. The structure was delivered as 124 modules, which were installed in a carefully planned operation complete with wall finishes, internal partitioning, mechanical and electrical services and flooring already in place. This approach further reduced work and disruption to patient care on this busy hospital site.

Facilities include:

  • 56 in-patient beds as single ensuite rooms and four-bed ward bays
  • Two large, state-of-the-art clean air theatres for all orthopaedic procedures
  • Theatre recovery room
  • Clean and dirty utilities
  • Reception
  • Staff changing room
  • Offices
  • Kitchenette
  • 33-person ‘crash team’ lift
  • Integral plant room

To minimise disruption, Portakabin maximised work off site wherever possible. The modular solution allowed the building structure to be installed complete with wall finishes, internal partitioning, mechanical and electrical services, and flooring already in place to further reduce the programme time.

The building installation involved detailed logistical planning and a 350-tonne crane on a highly restricted site close to a busy road. During the cranage phase, Portakabin managed and maintained access for 200 students to the adjacent Keele University Medical School and co-ordinated operations with West Midlands Air Ambulance for inbound emergency patients.

The building installation involved a 350-tonne crane on a highly restricted site close to a busy road

Modular construction is a fast and flexible way for healthcare providers to expand or relocate services, particularly on constrained sites. The hiring of buildings allows projects to be funded cost effectively from revenue rather than capital budget streams, giving NHS trusts the flexibility to meet changing local needs. More than 200 industry leaders gathered to celebrate off-site construction at the NEC in Birmingham. With more than 160 exemplary entries, these annual awards recognise pioneering and landmark projects, and manufacturing excellence.

'This tremendous accolade is a real credit to our whole team and to such an enlightened client. It is also hugely significant that an interim building solution can achieve such prestigious, national recognition,' said Robert Snook, Director and General Manager at Portakabin. 'We are delighted that the quality of the building and our service delivery at Royal Stoke has been recognised and that the project is helping to change perceptions of just what can be realised with modular construction.

'The success of this project allowed the Trust to have its new orthopaedics unit up and running much more quickly, to meet the increasing demand for services and to enhance patients’ experience with a high quality, purpose-designed healthcare facility,' he added. 'It was extremely challenging in terms of scale, logistics, access, and the very close proximity of existing wards which had to remain fully operational throughout.'

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