When the Prime Minister visits a construction site to talk about the latest strategy to increase and improve infrastructure in the country, it is a clear sign of success. The MTX Hereford County Hospital project delivers three state-of-the-art hospital wards, with 72 beds, in just 11 months. This modular construction site visited by Boris Johnson is being showcased to build better, greener, and faster.
Historically, modular construction has been seen as the inferior option to brick-and-mortar construction. Yet, MTX can deliver up to 50% quicker with a product constructed to the highest quality assurance and with better environmental credentials. Boris Johnson’s August 2020 visit to this modular building site is evidence that it could be the answer to the government’s Project Speed.
Let’s explore how modular construction can build better, greener and faster than brick-and-mortar techniques.
A better way to build
Despite historical prejudice, the build quality of modular units is high. Each unit is an engineered solution that goes through careful quality assurance processes in a factory setting. Each part of the unit is constructed indoors and by permanent tradespeople. Unlike brick-and-mortar sites that rely on subcontractors, the factory build modular units with a regular team of trades on hand. Consequently, managing the quality of work is so much easier for a modular constructor.
Not only are the techniques and skills employed strong, but the approach is also better for the client. There is much less construction traffic coming and going from the site, and fewer operatives are working onsite. It makes for a much less disruptive experience for the client, who is usually trying to manage a hospital or school on the site at the same time.
A greener way to build
In a time of significant concern over the environment, it is also important that construction become more sustainable. When a site is cleared of brick-and-mortar construction, the debris ends up in the landfill. If replaced by another traditional structure, there will be more waste as supplies are generally over-ordered to prevent the trades on site from running out.
It couldn’t be more different with a modular construction project. Anything constructed in this way can also be deconstructed easily and the parts recycled. Supplies in the factory are always available and for different projects, massively limiting waste. Estimates suggest that modular construction prevents up to 60% of waste from going to landfills.
A quicker way to build
For an initiative called project speed, it is not surprising that the government are interested in a method that is 50% quicker. When building modular hospital wards, such as the ones in Hereford, the substructure is completed simultaneously as the superstructure. Once the groundworks are complete, the units are ready for delivery. With prefabricated finishes and MEP, once delivered to the site, there is little delay before the completed project is handed over to the client.
Even though it defies expectations, MTX has proven that building better, greener, and faster is best achieved with modular construction techniques.