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Modular Buildings framework launch reflects growth in demand from healthcare

NHS and other public sector organisations across the UK could save an average of five per cent when purchasing modular buildings, by using a unique framework that has been developed by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS).

The recently-launched Modular Buildings framework is the only national agreement of its kind and is free to access for the public sector.

It is one of over 100 NHS SBS framework agreements that enable NHS organisations, as well as other public sector bodies, to buy goods and services in a way that saves them time and money, whilst ensuring they are fully compliant with complex UK and EU procurement legislation.

The Modular Buildings framework is part of a growing Estates and Facilities portfolio, which includes Construction Consultancy Services, Estates Services, Facilities Management and Waste Management Services.

Modular construction is a process by which a building is constructed off-site, under controlled plant conditions, using the same materials and designing to the same codes and standards as conventionally built facilities, but in about half the time.

This latest framework was developed due to the increasing number of enquiries from NHS Trusts looking for an offsite construction procurement route. It provides an OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) compliant route for the procurement of all types of buildings, including operating theatres, outpatient clinics, hospital wards and catering facilities.

Suppliers to the framework were awarded following a fair and open competition, which was based on a mixture of quality and price criteria. Stringent checks on financial status, quality standards, health and safety policies and environmental credentials were also carried out.

The expertise in the offsite construction market means that any new or temporary building project now has the potential to be built offsite. With only specialist offsite construction suppliers being awarded to the framework, there is the opportunity for early collaboration and no need for the further sub-contracting of work.

NHS organisations can choose to perform a further competition under the agreement to drive further savings, or simply direct award to a preferred supplier, which further speeds up the procurement process.

Offsite construction is typically 50 per cent faster than onsite construction and, as a result of a controlled factory setting, projects are nearly always on time and budget. Buildings are often of a higher quality and - with less wastage and onsite movement - their environmental footprint is reduced dramatically. A full list of awarded suppliers to the Modular Buildings framework is available here.