Willerby gets busy to save the UK’s bumblebees


Offsite modular solutions manufacturer, Willerby Innovations, is ready to create a buzz with its new WillerBee Campaign, designed to champion the humble bumblebee.

The UK’s native bumblebee population is rapidly declining as a result of changing agricultural practices and a lack of wildflowers to feed on, something which has worrying implications for our wider countryside ecosystem.

In order to redress the balance, Willerby, which has recently become a corporate member of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, has created its own year-long campaign to raise awareness and support the conservation of the bumblebee. Armed with more than 20,000 packets of special bee-friendly wild flower seeds to rebuild the bumblebee’s disappearing habitat, Willerby is enlisting the help of schoolchildren as well as its staff, suppliers, customers and members of the Willerby Owners’ Club to ensure they reach every corner of the UK this year.

The team have already handed out thousands of packets of the special bee-friendly seeds to members of the public at three major trade shows in Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham since the start of the year, getting the project off to a flying start.

Willerby has teamed up with a network of primary schools in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire, where it is based, to encourage children to create their own bee-friendly gardens at school. The company is also working closely with HM Prison Hull, where prisoners learning joinery skills as part of their rehabilitation process are creating 100 handcrafted wooden bee-houses for Willerby to distribute to local schools and hospitals later this year.

Bernard Murphy, managing director at Willerby said: “The bumblebee has always held a special place in our hearts here at Willerby as one of our founders, Walter Allen, was originally a beehive maker. So we felt it was only right, knowing the danger our bumblebees are facing, that we do our bit to raise awareness and hopefully reverse this worrying trend.

“We’re excited to get this campaign off the ground and we’ve got plenty of activities planned throughout the year so watch out for more updates. Don’t forget, there’s still time for you to get involved and help us create a buzz this year!”

For more information about Willerby Innovations please visit www.willerbyinnovations.com. More information about Willerby can be found at www.willerby.com


Portakabin Group joins Southern Modular Framework

Off-site construction specialist, the Portakabin Group, has been appointed to the Southern Modular Building Framework – a new framework which has been launched to facilitate the procurement of modular buildings for public sector projects across London, the South East and South West.

Operated by Hampshire County Council, this new initiative aims to minimise procurement time and generate cost savings by reducing costly and resource-intensive competitive tendering. It offers public sector clients a full turnkey service for modular projects, from design to handover, including building manufacture, installation, fitting out, testing and commissioning.

The appointment of Portakabin to the framework is for projects in excess of £100,000 through to multi-million pound schemes, requiring a design life of more than 60 years.

The accreditation follows a rigorous and independent assessment of Yorkon off-site solutions and services from the Portakabin Group, as well as performance for on time and on budget delivery, customer service, quality management procedures, and regulatory compliance.

Commenting on the new framework, Mark Thomas, Framework Manager at Hampshire County Council, said, “Our aim is to promote and encourage collaborative working to improve the design, procurement and construction of public sector projects across the South East. Our experience has shown that choosing a modular approach can offer significant benefits over site-based building methods – better quality, rapid delivery, and cost certainty – by moving the construction process into a carefully-controlled factory environment.”

“Over 200 public sector bodies across the region now have access to the framework and can have confidence in the contractors’ performance following our robust selection process. And we are delighted that Portakabin has been selected to join the framework.”

Applications for permanent modular buildings that can be procured through the framework include education facilities, healthcare schemes, offices, and community buildings. Organisations making use of the scheme could include local authorities, universities, fire and rescue services, charities, healthcare providers, schools and academies, colleges and doctor’s surgeries.

Portakabin is a market-leading supplier of off-site building solutions across the public sector.  Among its recent contracts are:

  • The successful completion of the £9 million first phase of a £44 million school campus for the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, which will be the UK’s largest free school campus. The handover of a new special educational needs school has doubled its capacity in time for the start of the new academic year
  • A £2 million, four-storey scheme for office support staff at the University Hospital Southampton, built in less than five months on a highly constrained site
  • A state-of-the-art laboratory scheme at the University of Cumbria – the second project delivered by Portakabin at the Fusehill Campus in Carlisle.

Modular buildings can be rapidly installed in enclosed courtyards, on the roofs of existing buildings and on steel platforms to help public and private sector clients increase capacity and optimise their use of space.

For further information about Yorkon off-site solutions from the Portakabin Group, call 0845 2000 123, email info@yorkon.co.uk or visit www.yorkon.co.uk.


First phase of £44 million school campus is handed over

A new special needs school for London

The Portakabin Group has handed over the first phase of a £44 million school campus for the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, which will be the UK’s largest free school campus.

Constructed using a Yorkon off-site solution, the new special educational needs (SEN) school for Riverside Bridge has doubled its capacity in time for the start of the 2016/17 academic year, providing much needed additional places at an earlier stage

The SEN scheme is part of the 23,000sqm Riverside Campus – an innovative new three-school campus which will accommodate 2,645 children aged from 0 to 19.  Designed by Surface to Air Architects, it will be operated by the multi-academy trust, Partnership Learning, and will integrate provision for nursery, primary, special needs, secondary, and sixth form pupils. The second and final phase will be handed over by Portakabin in late Spring 2017.

According to Anna Hope, Head of School at Riverside Bridge, “The new building already feels very familiar to our children and part of the design was to facilitate the transition as some special needs children are very sensitive to change. The wide corridors, larger classrooms and overall design have created a really calm environment for the children. They love the floor-to-ceiling windows which overlook the outside play area and allow lots of light into the building for a very welcoming feel.”

“We participated in weekly meetings with the construction team which were invaluable and allowed us input into the design. This attention to detail has helped to make this an outstanding building. This is still a live construction site but we are kept fully up-to-speed with how the wider project is progressing so we can maintain safety and reassure parents. The Portakabin team are so mindful of the children’s wellbeing. They worked around the clock to complete the floor above us as far as possible to avoid noise which could upset the children once we had moved in. And site deliveries have been restricted to avoid the times when our children arrive and leave the school.”

“Portakabin has really understood how to work with special educational needs children and has been absolutely brilliant. All the small details have made the whole construction experience fantastic for us.”

Jane Hargreaves, Strategic Director of Education at London Borough of Barking and Dagenham said, “Portakabin has been easy to work with, and the scheme has been on target to the advantage of our special needs students”.

The new purpose-designed facility has doubled the capacity of Riverside Bridge School to 64 children and will have space to further expand it to 160 places. Portakabin phased the construction programme to allow the SEN school to open on its new site ahead of the other buildings at Riverside Campus. On completion of the overall development, the SEN school will work very closely with the primary and secondary schools, creating an inclusive educational environment.

The use of a Yorkon off-site solution from the Portakabin Group for the curriculum areas of the campus has significantly reduced the programme time for faster completion. This has helped to address the demand for school places in the area as a result of new housing. Off-site construction allowed the structure to be manufactured in York at the same time as the major ground works were progressed on site and created a high quality, watertight structure for fitting out much earlier in the build programme.

Features of the new SEN school include:

  • Wider corridors to help children who have mobility or balance issues, giving them a sense of independence which improves their confidence
  • A large amount of storage space in the classrooms with lockable cupboards to allow as much clear space as possible and maintain a safe learning environment
  • Hard-wearing solid ceilings as items can be thrown into the air which would damage tiled ceilings
  • Hygienic, easy-to-clean flooring which is ideal for messy play and painting
  • A sensory room with specialist lighting
  • Hygiene rooms located on each floor and equipped with a hoist to assist children in wheelchairs
  • A specially-designed SEN playground with timber trail ways. The children also have access to a mini outdoor amphitheatre and raised plant beds
  • An external canopy for each classroom to provide a sheltered outdoor space for learning and play.

The Portakabin Group is the main contractor for the Riverside Campus project. The contract was procured and awarded by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham via the Council’s Local Education Partnership, Thames Partnership for Learning. It is funded by the Department for Education.

The scheme is the seventh school building contract awarded to Portakabin by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and follows on from two earlier phases at a school near to the Riverside Campus.

For further information about Yorkon off-site building solutions from the Portakabin Group, call 0845 2000 123, email info@yorkon.co.uk or visit www.yorkon.co.uk.


Springfield Mobile at Newham Sixth Form College

London is the highest performing area for education in England – with rising numbers going to university, even among disadvantaged families and in this context Eurostat acknowledged that “inner London east” including Haringey, Islington, Hackney, Newham, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets had the second highest concentration of graduates in Europe.

The role of the Newham Sixth Form College or NewVIc (VI as in 6 for Sixth Form) as it is known locally cannot be underestimated in this success.  It sends more disadvantaged students to university than any other sixth-form provider in England. NewVIc is also ranked by the Sutton Trust as being in the top 5% of high performing sixth forms in England, in progressing students from disadvantaged backgrounds to university including Oxbridge and the Russell Group institutions. What makes this performance all the more impressive is that the college’s students aren’t cherry picked high achievers.

The roots of its success lie far deeper than the region’s recent regeneration following the London Olympics in 2012 and go back to its foundation as a sixth form college in 1992. However its’ reputation, ever increasing numbers of students and a continually expanding range of courses have all placed pressure on the one resource London is short of – space.

Key issues faced by NewVIc

  • Ongoing campus redevelopment is a long term project and immediate solutions to improve facilities were needed
  • Providing significant increase in classroom teaching facilities
  • Cater for increasing numbers of students
  • Greater diversity of courses including 40 A-levels and over 20 vocational courses
  • Limited budgetary resources and pressure for financial accountability

David Snazel who is responsible for the NewVIc site takes up the story, “Our immediate need was to add at least eight extra classrooms.  Modular portable buildings were the obvious way forward for us given the speed of installation and we began talking to a number of the usual candidates.  We included Springfield in our list of possible suppliers on a recommendation and after we’d drawn up a shortlist to tender for our business, it was clear they offered far better value.  However it became clear when we visited the factory that price was not the main differentiator for Springfield against the competition.  We liked the people we met and what we saw. It was clear there was no compromise on quality and they absolutely took on board the fact that it had to be a turnkey project where they prepared the site and foundations, delivered utilities such as water and electricity and data communications cabling to completing a complex and finished building ready for teaching from day one.”

What Springfield did

The final project saw Springfield build, deliver and commission a steel framed modular two storey building consisting of a total of twelve classrooms with two separate toilet blocks that met all accessibility requirements such as providing access ramps.  Two classrooms were supplied with hard floors for IT, the remainder being carpeted.  Cedar cladding was chosen to give the building presence throughout its planned lifetime of at least ten years, although with appropriate planning permission David Snazel believes the facility could see many more years of use.

Interestingly in the educational sector the build was accomplished during term time which was testament to Springfield’s ability to effectively manage the site in terms of risk assessments, plans and safety procedures.  Also the extra space has allowed NewVIc’s business department to move its office and enjoy natural light and window views.

Summary and key benefits

Springfield delivered the £750 000 project for NewVIc on time and within budget enabling the college to gain more significantly classroom space than competitive tenders allowed. The two storey modular building provided twelve classrooms and toilet facilities finished in plastisol coated steel with cedar cladding giving a durable aesthetic finish.

Major project completed during term time with no disruption to the educational syllabus.

Classrooms built to exceed building regulations and deliver an energy efficient learning environment fully compliant with current safety regulations.

“We remain highly impressed with the overall project from its inception through to completion and that’s testament to Springfield’s professionalism and expertise,” David Snazel, NewVIc.



Portakabin buildings for easyJet’s flagship modular hangar facility

Portakabin, the UK’s leading modular building specialist, has provided multiple buildings for a new flagship aircraft maintenance hangar at Gatwick Airport for Europe’s leading airline, easyJet.

Portakabin worked in partnership with easyJet and alongside Rubb Buildings who designed and installed the 5,490m² twin span hangar, which has a modular steel frame fitted with 8,700m² of insulated PVC membrane. The facility can accommodate up to two aircraft for light-base overnight maintenance.

Around 1,000m² of accommodation were provided by Portakabin for 30 on-site staff to facilitate the maintenance of easyJet’s fleet of aircraft, which is carried out overnight, seven days a week.

Six Portakabin buildings were installed inside the hangar structure for two maintenance control stations, an additional office area, a locker room, toilets, showers and changing facilities, and a workshop. A larger modular building is located externally, immediately adjacent to the hangar, for the storage of parts and tooling on the ground floor with offices, a canteen and a meeting room above. It features large picture windows overlooking the airfield and a vinyl wrap with easyJet and Lufthansa corporate branding.

Both the hangar and the Portakabin buildings were designed and constructed to give easyJet a fast, flexible and cost-effective solution for at least five years. All the buildings can then easily be dismantled and re-purposed if required. This approach will allow easyJet to respond to potential future developments and uses for the site at Gatwick Airport.

Commenting on the project, Tim Coles, Project Manager at easyJet said, “Our experience with Portakabin has been excellent. This latest project at Gatwick Airport was managed really well, which is critical when working on an airport with very limited timescales.”

“The Portakabin team was professional and highly organised. We are very impressed with their buildings, which have created an excellent base for our maintenance team. The approach of using Portakabin buildings also gives us the flexibility to relocate the facilities, as and when required.”

Portakabin reduced work on site to around four weeks and installed the buildings in a challenging working environment on a highly secure and constrained site. The team collaborated with multiple contractors and the whole maintenance facility had to be erected and ready for use as quickly as possible.

The Portakabin buildings will be on hire for at least five years and were supplied complete with staircases, air conditioning, fire alarm system, emergency lighting, and entrance canopy.

Portakabin has undertaken more than 10 interim modular building projects for easyJet including at its head office in Luton, at Gatwick Airport and Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

For further information about modular buildings for commercial applications, visit www.portakabin.co.uk, email information@portakabin.co.uk or call 0845 401 0010.


School building delivered after just 18 weeks on site to help meet the rising demand for primary places in Leeds

The Portakabin Group has expanded a PFI primary school in Leeds to provide more than 200 additional places, helping to meet the increasing demand for primary education in the city. The scheme at Asquith Primary School was delivered after just 18 weeks on site using a Yorkon off-site solution – reducing the programme by at least five months to the benefit of the school.

The project was part of an ongoing, city-wide schools expansion programme. The rise in birth rates, the numbers of people moving to Leeds, and the level of new housing have significantly increased the pressure on education provision. It has been estimated that around 4,000 additional primary school places will be needed in the city.

Government figures have projected that by 2023 there will be a total of 8,022,000 pupils in England’s schools – an increase of 880,000 pupils.

The Yorkon off-site solution helped Asquith Primary School to move to two forms of entry and increase capacity with a Key Stage Two extension.

Opened in 2002, the existing school was built under the Private Finance Initiative and is managed for Leeds City Council by Carillion.

Commenting on the project, Zoe Laidlaw, Senior Operations Manager for North and West Yorkshire and Humberside at facilities managers, Carillion said, “Because this project was a PFI scheme, there was a very complex and challenging procurement process. The Portakabin team did everything possible to understand the issues and to push the project through to contract. Their engagement and performance was really exceptional from the earliest stage.”

“The building has a great design – a very open, spacious feel and excellent areas for outdoor learning. Use of a Yorkon off-site solution significantly reduced time on site by at least five months which was very important when working on a live school project. Children’s education must come first so the least disruption possible is a major advantage.”

“Portakabin also involved the children in the construction process, which was a fantastic way for them to learn and everyone was blown away by seeing their new school building being assembled in the factory.”

Gillian Austerfield, Head Teacher at Asquith Primary School, said, “We would highly recommend the Portakabin Group and the Yorkon solution to others in the education sector and particularly for challenging PFI projects such as this. This was a fantastic contractor to work with. The whole process has been extremely quick, smooth and easy from start to finish.”

“We love the design of the building. The rooms are light and airy and the break-out space provides an excellent learning area. The large windows have created a bright and stimulating environment for children. We can’t praise the Portakabin Group enough.”

Much of the two-storey building was fitted out off site at the Group’s production centre in York to minimise any disruption to teaching and to radically reduce the programme time. It was delivered to site with all M&E services, toilets, doors and partitions already pre-installed.

The self-contained building provides eight purpose-designed classrooms, an IT hub, library and resource area, and break-out spaces to both the first and second floors. Externally, the facility is finished in white and grey with green rendered panels to add interest to the façades, white render and brickwork to the lower levels, and a double height glazed entrance. Large picture windows allow lots of natural light into the classrooms, creating a positive learning environment.

The location for the new facility was very constrained and a temporary road had to be constructed to make way for the crane and installation of the building modules. The cranage phase was carried out over a weekend to ensure no interruption to the running of the school.

For further information about Yorkon off-site solutions from the Portakabin Group for primary and secondary education projects, call 0845 2000 123, email info@yorkon.co.uk or see www.yorkon.co.uk.


Phenomenal four-day response from Portakabin provides classrooms for 480 children

When the Royal High School of Edinburgh had to be closed for urgent remedial building works, Portakabin, the UK’s leading modular building specialist, responded with 16 classrooms to enable 480 children to resume their studies – and in just four days from the initial enquiry.

The local Portakabin Hire Centre team in Edinburgh provided the exceptionally fast response – sourcing 16 buildings for high quality classrooms, transporting each building to the school, and putting in place external power connections to generators, emergency lighting, fire alarms and extinguishers, and access steps and ramps.

The Portakabin building solution allowed the school to re-open and most importantly, with all children at Royal High School on their original site. This avoided the need for any displacement which would have been very disruptive to the running of the school and the children’s education.

Andrew Kerr, Chief Executive of the City of Edinburgh Council said, “I am delighted that Portakabin was able to meet our requirements at such short notice, particularly given the scale of the project – getting 16 buildings ready for the pupils in just four days is no mean feat!”

“It was great to see such collaboration, commitment and focus on the urgency of the project to ensure the school could re-open so quickly. We have received only positive feedback from the school about the quality of the classrooms and could not have asked for a better service.”

Pauline Walker, Head Teacher at the Royal High School said, “We cannot believe what was achieved in the timescale. The experience has completely changed our perception of interim modular buildings. The quality of the classrooms far exceeded our expectations and the teaching facilities are completely different to the temporary accommodation we had to endure as children.”

“The site team could not have done more to get our school up and running again. Portakabin was on site within half an hour of the initial call and their performance was exceptional. We also have the impression that their team really enjoys a challenge!”

She added, “Being able to have all the children in one location has made a huge difference to the running of the school. This is a really good solution which has delivered robust, comfortable and secure classrooms. We would definitely recommend the approach to other schools in a similar situation.”

Portakabin has delivered a further project for the City of Edinburgh Council while remediation works and quality checks are completed at Gracemount High School. Eight buildings were installed over a weekend to provide welfare and classroom facilities for 260 children.

In the event of any urgent situation, such as fire, power failure, flooding or the discovery of asbestos, Portakabin can assist with:

  • The rapid delivery of buildings to an organisation’s site from its national hire fleet. This allows core operations to be up and running again very quickly.
  • A bespoke, longer-term accommodation solution developed to an organisation’s exact specifications if the original building has been so severely damaged that it will be out of use for a number of months.
  • Contingency planning – the preparation of up-to-date disaster recovery plans, which can cut an emergency response programme by up to two weeks.

For further information about interim modular buildings for urgent applications, visit www.portakabin.co.uk, email information@portakabin.co.uk or call 0845 401 0010.


Portakabin emergency response team provides new school for 650 children

Portakabin, the UK’s leading modular building specialist, has provided 650 children with a 2,100sqm interim school after Newman Catholic School in Carlisle was devastated by floods.

The flood waters were 7ft deep in parts of the school, causing irreparable damage. Portakabin also provided interim classrooms for Newman School back in 2005 when the River Eden burst its banks and its buildings were first severely damaged by flooding.

Following the more recent floods, there was an immediate need for emergency teaching accommodation to allow the school to re-open in time for the start of the new spring term. Twelve single modular buildings were provided by Portakabin during the Christmas break. These classrooms were located on the site of a former primary school and supplied with furniture, data communications and alarm systems as a first response to get the school up and running again.

The buildings were then replaced with 24 general classrooms and highly fitted out specialist rooms including for ICT, design and technology, food technology and science, delivered in just 12 weeks. The interim school, which is designed and built to permanent standards, will be in use until a long-term solution is developed.

Portakabin provided Cumbria County Council with a full service for Newman School following the flood disaster – ground works for the buildings, all fitting out, air conditioning, fire and security alarm systems, access ramps and walkways, emergency lighting, furniture, service connections and data communications. The scheme also included the provision of sports changing rooms, shower and toilet facilities, and a sixth form common room.

The project had many challenges. The new school had to be sited on a water-logged playing field which required gas, electric and water services bringing in. The site was located in a constrained residential area so an access road had to be constructed for delivery of the buildings – and the site team had to work through very poor weather conditions.

Commenting on the project, John McAuley, Head Teacher at Newman Catholic School said, “We are really pleased with the performance of the Portakabin team and the first class facilities they have delivered. They were incredibly fast to respond to the situation and planning meetings were held within days of the disaster. Our priority was to ensure that our students could be taught in accommodation that was at least equivalent to what they had before. The reality is that the facilities provided by Portakabin are in many ways superior to our original classrooms.”

“The Portakabin design team was able to accommodate our specific requirements, such as larger science laboratories, and worked really hard to deliver exactly what we needed in a tremendously short timescale. Staff and students are all delighted.”

“The classrooms are bright, warm, airy and welcoming. Despite the terrible floods, our school now has considerably improved facilities. Portakabin has been brilliant and we would absolutely recommend the approach to other schools needing emergency accommodation or classrooms for shorter-term use. We have had a fantastic experience with such a responsive team of building professionals who have been there for us every step of the way.”

The work at Newman School follows the success of a number of other education projects for Cumbria County Council that Portakabin also delivered on time and on budget, including teaching accommodation for Stainburn School and Science College in Workington, Mayfield School, Belle Vue Primary School, and Inglewood Primary School.

In the event of any emergency situation, such as fire, power failure, flooding or the discovery of asbestos, Portakabin can assist with the provision of:

  • Single modular buildings that can be rapidly delivered to an organisation’s site, often within 24 hours, from its national hire fleet. This allows core operations to be working again very quickly.
  • A bespoke, longer-term accommodation solution developed to an organisation’s exact specifications if the original building has been so severely damaged that it will be out of use for a number of months.
  • An agreed set of fully furnished buildings – prepared and stored for delivery to site in a matter of hours in the event of a crisis situation, as part of a contingency plan.

For further information about interim modular buildings for emergency applications and contingency planning for disaster recovery, visit www.portakabin.co.uk, email information@portakabin.co.uk or call 0845 401 0010.


Portakabin Group completes building installation phase for £5.6m Primary School contract


Off-site construction specialist, the Portakabin Group, has craned the final modules into position on site at Pyrford Primary School near Woking for a new £5.6 million building to accommodate 480 children.

The project is replacing an existing facility which is beyond repair. It is the first of six schools in the Surrey and Kent region being rebuilt under the Government’s Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) by the Portakabin Group in contracts worth in the region of £28 million.

Each scheme is being designed in line with stringent Department for Education teaching standards to create outstanding learning environments and will be delivered using Yorkon advanced off-site construction solutions.

The structure for the new Pyrford Primary School has been manufactured off site in York using the latest modular technology.  It was craned into position on site in Woking in just seven days during the school holidays.  A large 500-tonne crane was used to lift the steel building modules, weighing up to 20 tonnes, from an adjacent cricket field and over trees.

The use of off-site construction is halving the programme time for completion and occupation ready for the start of the 2016/17 academic year. The original school building will then be demolished.  The approach has avoided any interruption to teaching on this constrained rural site which is immediately adjacent to the existing school.

Kathryn Krynicki, Head Teacher at Pyrford Primary School said, “We were delighted and excited to return from the school holidays to see our new building already in place. This is another key milestone in the project and in the history of the school.  Our current facilities are beyond repair so we are really looking forward to having a brand new, purpose-designed school which will transform the learning environment for our children and our staff.”

Pupils and teachers will benefit from a completely new school, with high levels of natural light and increased access and space for outdoor play and learning.

Designed by architects Surface to Air, the two-storey school will have 16 bright classrooms with dual aspect natural light and a double-height multi-purpose hall.  Two teaching wings are organised around an internal central ‘street’ with atrium light wells. This feature at the heart of the school will provide good passive supervision, informal group learning space and break-out zones.

Externally the building is being finished in a materials palette of brickwork, neutral white render, and panelised metal in white, dark grey and subtle blues to complement the rural surroundings.

The Portakabin Group was announced as preferred bidder for six infant and primary school projects in Surrey and Kent.  The contracts for the Department for Education are worth in the region of £28 million and will be completed by winter 2017.

For further information about Yorkon off-site building solutions from the Portakabin Group for primary and secondary education, call 0845 2000 123, email info@yorkon.co.uk or visit www.yorkon.co.uk.


New video: Portakabin produces short film following construction of challenging building project at Royal Stoke Hospital

Portakabin, the UK’s leading supplier of modular buildings, has produced a short film about how a highly complex, 4,200sqm ward and theatre building was constructed at Royal Stoke University Hospital in less than four months to help meet the increasing demand for orthopaedic services.

The video, which can be viewed below, is a fly through the £13.5 million building showing the clean air theatres for all orthopaedic procedures, recovery room, ward bays and single ensuite rooms. It features interviews with a director of University of North Midlands NHS Trust and one of the ward managers providing a clinical perspective of the new building.

Commenting on the film, Robert Snook, Director and General Manager of Portakabin Hire Division, said, “We believe this project will really change perceptions about just what can be achieved with modular construction – in an extremely short timescale and on a highly constrained hospital site. The success of this project allowed the Trust to have its new orthopaedics unit up and running more quickly, to meet the increasing demand for services and enhance patients’ experience.”

“This was a very challenging project in terms of scale, logistics, difficult access for vehicles and the extremely close proximity of existing wards which had to remain operational throughout.”

“Constructed to permanent standards, the building will be in use for five years, giving the Trust much greater flexibility as the facilities can be removed or adapted if service needs change.”

The facility has been designed to provide excellent light, space, décor and infection control and was installed by Portakabin immediately adjacent to the main hospital, with minimal impact on service provision. The building 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 on this busy hospital site.

Modular construction is a fast and flexible way for healthcare providers to expand or relocate services, particularly on constrained sites. The hiring of buildings also allows projects to be funded cost effectively from revenue rather than capital budget streams, giving NHS trusts much greater flexibility to meet changing local needs.

You can view the video below or for further information about interim buildings for healthcare projects, visit  www.portakabin.co.uk, email information@portakabin.co.uk  or call 0845 401 0010.