State-of-the-art Endoscopy Unit at King’s Lynn hospital combined advanced offsite construction and collaborative working
The £12.5m endoscopy unit built by modern methods of construction specialist MTX at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust (QEH) is being recognised as an outstanding example of combining offsite design and advanced construction techniques with collaborative working.
The project employed multi-level BIM tools and Construction Playbook methodologies to deliver a high quality facility to time and budget, achieving 72% pre-manufactured value, 49% increased patient throughput and an excellent satisfaction score from the QEH.
Offsite technology was a major element in delivery of the final project which opened in September 2022 – delivering cost-predictability, economy, accuracy, speed of installation, and reduced energy consumption and building running costs.
Construction of the new unit also incorporated ground-breaking carbon and energy efficiency reduction plans contributing to the Trust’s net zero policy targets, with the collaborative early contractor involvement (ECI) relationship and the use of digital technology and simulations resulting in savings for the whole life of the facility.
The new endoscopy unit uses digital design innovation and technology to improve the patient care and experience. Bespoke interactive endoscopy information screens, smart touch screens in nurse bay areas, smart room sensors capturing information such as light and temperature levels that impact patient experience, and a ‘live rooms’ signage and booking system are among the innovations.
The Trust identified the need for a new two-storey, 2,600sq. m. development to modernise obsolete facilities and enable endoscope procedures to take place in one facility to meet acute clinical demand.
On behalf of QEH, exi Group contracted MTX to develop the new endoscopy unit using a BIM and ECI approach through the NHS SBS Modular Building Framework quality selection – embedding the Trust’s carbon-led net-zero goals. Initially MTX was appointed on a pre-construction service agreement to work closely with the Trust’s clinical and technical teams to develop the design from conception.
The project delivered against its goals achieving an accelerated return on investment by 14 months, 41% less CO2 compared to a traditional construction solution, an MMC platform approach that achieved 72% PMV, 26% reduction in carbon emissions for the concrete floors when compared to previous installations at the Trust, zero defects and zero accidents.
Offsite technology was a major element in the delivery of the final project – offering cost-predictability, economy, accuracy, speed of installation, and reduced energy consumption and building running costs.
Units digitally designed and optimised in the factory reduced risk whilst delivering advanced pre-assembled factory standards and high levels of quality assurance. Cost predictability was a key factor in pre-construction with Revit modelling allowing accurate RIBA stage 4 costing, and clash detection design workshops reducing on-site conflict.
Cost saving achieved included a 15% MMC saving vs traditional building, a 65% reduction in on-site labour and utilisation of local SME resources for assembly and completion, under MTX management.
Initiatives to increase the speed of delivery included weekend working, extended factory hours that achieved the manufacture of ten modules per day during winter, the use of recycled Legato blocks to accelerate groundworks and save carbon, and direct
radio communication between the construction team and the A&E Dept that optimised crane usage to mitigate delays without disrupting blue-light movements.
QEH Trust Project Manager Tracey Scoot, from exi Group, explains: “This was the Trust’s first true collaborative early contractor involvement (ECI) project. The approach to offsite construction was followed on this project due to extremely restricted timescales within both the Trust and healthcare arena. Modular construction allowed for a higher quality build due to the standardisation of offsite methods and provided cost certainty through efficiencies in both design, resource, and labour required on site.
“The project showcases the benefits that collaborating with specialist supply chain can bring to such a scheme, using Modern Methods of Construction in the offsite construction and modular delivery.”