Wernick delivers new ward block for George Eliot Hospital

Published: 18-Feb-2021

Building delivered on budget and ahead of schedule despite lockdown restrictions

A new 30-bed modular ward has been built at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.

The facility will house orthopaedic elective and general elective patients and was delivered as part of the trust’s five-year estates strategy.

Wernick Buildings was appointed under a pre-contract services agreement to design the building through to RIBA Stage 3.

And, after demonstrating it could provide an economically-viable, single-storey solution, the company was formally appointed as principal contractor.

By engaging with a modular provider before producing a design, the hospital was able to work with Wernick to take full advantage of the benefits of modular construction, which included maximising the amount of fitout that could take place in the factory to reduce time on site.

It also facilitated closer collaboration on the specialist requirements of the building, for example using the hospital’s preferred contractors to provide medical gasses.

Manufacturing the building in a factory environment gave the project several advantages.

Firstly, the building could be constructed while the foundations were being prepared, drastically reducing programme length.

Manufacture was also not affected by site conditions like the weather, making the programme even more reliable.

The building comprises of 33 modules, including a unit to link the new wards to an existing building on site.

All modules which were manufactured in Wernick’s factory in Port Talbot then transported to the site by lorry before being craned into position and bolted together.

While the initial programme was 20 weeks, the outbreak of the Coronavirus made the hospital’s requirement more urgent.

And, by implementing longer hours and working weekends, Wernick was able to condense the programme to just 14 weeks.

Determined to deliver the project on time, Wernick worked with their subcontractors and the hospital to devise working methods that would allow them to continue work on site, including strict social distancing measures.

These new working methods were communicated through daily briefings and site signage.

The completed building, delivered on time and on budget, consists of 1000sq m of gross internal floorspace.

The fitout includes bedhead trunking incorporating medical gasses, nurse call systems, access control and CCTV, fire escape ramps, and nurses’ stations.

Externally, the building is finished to match existing buildings on site.

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