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Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust's new £3.6 million resource centre

Intelligent Solutions: An emphasis on re-purposing to meet NHS sustainability targets at Fulbourn Hospital

Intelligent Solutions: An emphasis on re-purposing to meet NHS sustainability targets at Fulbourn Hospital

Highlights: How we have utilised our Intelligent Solutions approach to achieve results for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust:

  • We are combining the circular economy with a unique approach to modular construction which has enabled our customer to decarbonise their hospital estate by 144 tonnes
  • Our team worked with specialist modular consultants and our innovative supply chain at an early stage to problem solve a unique project
  • We have engaged with over 50 stakeholders throughout the project, to ensure, upon handover, they hit the ground running in this important mental health facility

Over in Fulbourn our team are supporting Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust to meet their sustainability targets utilising an innovative approach to modular construction. The Trust’s Action 50 Green Plan sees them aiming to halve their carbon emissions by 2032 (from a 2019 baseline) and achieve net-zero by 2045.

As part of the project our team will take 25 existing modules already owned by the Trust and transform them into a modern, 1,200m2 mental health facility for patients, service-users, carers and staff at the Hospital.

We spoke to Alex Pett, site manager, who has been working for Morgan Sindall Construction for five years and joined the business via our Graduate Scheme, about the project and how they used our Intelligent Solutions approach to achieve results for our customer.

One of the benefits for us as a team was that we’d just finished the George Mackenzie House project, less than a mile from here and we’re working with the same team at the Trust,” Alex said.

We’re working within the same live site as before, so we’re very familiar with the location, its proximity to Cambridge Airport and the permits and requirements associated.”

“Like the Resource Centre, George Mackenzie House was also a mental health facility, so we’ve been able to take a lot of learning and experience and apply it here, leading to savings on productivity, carbon and design and decision making,”

Fulbourn Hospital building showing the cladding being applied to the front of the building
The building is compiled from 25 repurposed modular units, already owned by the trust to create a new mental health unit for the trust

Giving a new lease of life to an older modular structure

The modules were previously used at Papworth Hospital and the Trust had them stored in Alconbury for safe keeping, as they were very keen for them to be used as part of a future project on the estate.

This opportunity came with the Resource Centre Project and in March 2022, the modules were transported to site and work began to renovate them.

“This approach is unique and it’s a great way to re-use existing resources as part of the Circular Economy. It’s already produced savings in carbon as we’ve not had to commission brand-new modules or emit carbon by using alternative methods such as a steel frame construction.”

“There were also productivity savings gained on site, as the modules arrived as an empty shell and completely weather-tight. It meant the team could get started on the interior renovations on day four of the modules being on site.”

“We brought specialist support to the project too by working with consultant, Avie, a specialist modular structural engineer, who were able to advise the best approach when it came to renovating the modules. As well as Algeco, who are already a strategic supply chain partner and have worked with us on past modular projects. As well as Northmores for their project management experience. Their collective expertise alongside our team has helped us to be as efficient as possible when re-purposing the old modules.”

Guy Robertson, associate director, from Northmores said: “We are proud to have been involved with this project to re-located and re-purpose an existing modular building creating a new multi-use facility which will provide valuable social, recreational and therapy space for mental health service users, including music room, gym, art and drama space, plus a café. The re-use of the existing modular building has required an alternative approach to its delivery, which has been challenging, but has produced a great space and prevented valuable materials ending up as landfill”.

The Morgan Sindall Construction team has calculated that they saved approximately 144 tonnes of carbon using this approach, and they shared their work as part of the Morgan Sindall Construction 10 Tonne Challenge.

The 10 Tonne Challenge is an initiative by Morgan Sindall Construction to encourage our teams to share best practice, new products and processes to decarbonise our communities. In 2022 the challenges to date have produced a carbon saving of 6,510 tonnes and the initiative is actively contributing to the businesses target of being Net Zero by 2030.

Other carbon reducing activities that are taking place on site include the use of HVO fuel, the team will use approximately 2,000 litres of fuel during the course of the project which will emit 97% less carbon than traditional diesel. They also have electric car-charging on site, which is freely available for staff at the hospital to use.

They’re also challenging the status quo, with the use of a light-weight screed. Not only is it better suited to a modular build as it’s less weight-intensive on the building structure and it dries more quickly, but there is also less cement used due to its lower volume. It’s a simple swap that also reduces carbon.

Engaging community and stakeholders to ensure smooth transition

For a small project, the team, who are all local to the site, have already contributed 23.5 hours to the community in social value, and at the end of the project will calculate their contribution via LM3 (Local Multiplier 3) - A methodology Morgan Sindall Construction has been using for several years to determine how their work generates measurable social value for the community.

Some of the work has included:

  • Creating a Memorial Garden at the hospital in memory of a senior member of the Trust who sadly passed away. This smaller project was managed by apprentice site manager, Sharla Swinbourne.
  • Supporting the local 5k Park Run to temporarily update their route, which crosses through the project. The team also hosted a BBQ for the runners!
  • Apprentice site manager, Hollie Setchell, who is undertaking a design rotation at the project with experienced design manager, Mel Forster, has been taking part in Morgan Sindall’s Virtual Work Experience Programme (VWEX). An initiative which began in the East region in 2020 and has been rolled out nationally. So far, the business has created work experience for 1,719 pupils
  • A sleepout at Cambridge Rugby Club, organised by LandAid, Dierdre Farmery, which raised £560 for YMCA and Romsey Mill.

Engaging with the hospital team has also been an intrinsic part of the project’s success, and the ability to get first-hand information of what stakeholders and their end-users need, has meant that where changes are needed, they can be completed efficiently.

The new Resource Centre will co-locate teams from existing departments such as physiotherapy, art and music therapy and the pharmacy team. Over 25 people will be working in the building, each with their own unique requirements, which are heightened since the building will be used by patients who require intensive mental health support.

The team have welcomed hospital employees to site throughout the construction process so they can share the plans and drawings in the context of the building itself.

Alex concludes: “It’s been so beneficial having the hospitals’ teams join us on site as part of our Soft Landings process. It means we’ve been able to learn more about their roles and requirements working in mental health and we’ve been able to make changes such as changing the location of sockets or shelving as we’ve learned more about specialist equipment that the team use.”

“There are over 25 people moving into their new workplace in February and these visits mean that we can mitigate any risks and ensure that people feel happy and comfortable in their new workplace.”

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust's new £3.6 million resource centre
Design of the new facility for Cambridgeshire and and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

About our Intelligent Solutions approach

Our approach brings together digital and platform design capabilities with modern construction methods and innovative carbon reduction tools to create unique, sustainable, and inspiring places for our customers. Find out how we can utilise this on your project here.