NHS Shared Business Services – Modular Buildings Framework

All public sector organisations could achieve an average of 5% savings compared to purchasing solutions direct via a new Modular Buildings framework – the only national agreement of its type, launched by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS).

NHS SBS is a unique joint venture between the Department of Health and Sopra Steria founded in 2004. As the leading provider of business support services to the NHS in England, it works with over a third of provider trusts and 100% of commissioning bodies, as well as a range of other NHS organisations.

NHS SBS’ mission is to deliver £1 billion savings back to the NHS by 2020, having already delivered audited savings of over £400m. This has been achieved by providing Finance & Accounting, Procurement and Employment Services to hundreds of NHS organisations.

The NHS SBS strategic procurement team offers a large number of national framework agreements that are available to all public sector organisations rather than for use solely within the NHS. The new Modular Buildings framework adds to its growing Estates and Facilities portfolio which includes Construction Consultancy Services, Electrical Sundries, Estates Services, Facilities Management, Carbon Energy & Infrastructure and Waste Management Services to name but a few.

Modular construction is a process in 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. The efficiency gains from manufactured, modular solutions support the delivery of the government’s construction and industry strategy targets, which include time and cost savings as well as whole life cost benefits and in use savings.

The new NHS SBS Modular Building framework provides a compliant route for the procurement of all types of modular buildings, covering offsite building solutions for purchase, hire and lease with specific lots for healthcare, education, catering and bespoke solutions. Lots have been further divided to cover hire projects and purchases or leases under and above £1m. This ensures that only the right mix of specialist providers have been awarded under each Lot.

The framework has been awarded following a fair and open competition; with the specification developed through consultation with the market and experts in the field. Suppliers have been awarded based on a mixture of quality and price criteria and have all passed stringent checks on their financial status, quality standards, health and safety policies and environmental credentials. Sustainability questions were weighted significantly and adherence to the Social Value Act was a must for all awarded suppliers.

The idea for the framework itself came from the growing number of enquiries from NHS Trusts looking for an offsite construction procurement route. It was quickly established that the benefits of a framework could be extended to the wider public sector as a whole, especially in the sphere of education, catering and modular housing. The framework was therefore developed with the full public sector in mind and is free and open for all to use.

The scope of the framework itself is broad, covering any offsite solution including operating theatres, office space, student accommodation, schools, housing, catering facilities and bespoke units. The expertise in the offsite construction market means that any new or temporary building project has the potential to be built offsite. With only specialist offsite construction suppliers with full turnkey capabilities being awarded, there is the opportunity for early collaboration and no need for the further sub-contracting of work.

There are huge benefits to offsite construction, particularly within the NHS and education sector where there is often limited onsite space, urgent requirements and squeezed capital budgets. This framework aims to solve these issues through an easy to use procurement route with specialist suppliers who can all provide full turnkey solutions. Offsite construction is typically 50% faster than standard onsite construction and because approximately 80% of the building is produced in a controlled factory setting, projects are nearly always on time and on budget.

Another area of benefit of modular buildings is their environmentally friendly and green credentials, which makes them more sustainable than traditional construction methods. The manufacture approach used in modular building construction ensures that strict factory quality control systems are adhered to and this in turn leads to a more efficient construction process. By utilising sustainable materials and minimising material wastage, environmental and social responsibilities are accounted for without imposing onerous cost implications on the budget. For healthcare and education environments, modular construction scores highly, not only in combining lower embodied energy use and consumption but also cleaner sites and reduced waste.

There has already been substantial interest in the new framework from across the whole UK public sector including Northern Ireland. If you require any further information including details on how to access the agreement, please contact the NHS SBS contract enquires team at NSBS.contractenquiries@nhs.net or 0161 212 3940.

Awarded Suppliers:

  • Actavo Building Solutions
  • Ashby and Croft
  • Built Offsite
  • Caledonian Modular
  • Cotaplan (Modular Buildings)
  • Elite Systems GB
  • Elliott Group
  • Extraspace Solutions
  • Ideal Building Systems
  • McAvoy Group
  • ModuleCo Healthcare
  • ModuleCo
  • MTX Contracts
  • PKL Group
  • Portakabin
  • Premier Modular
  • R G Stones (Buildings)
  • REDS10
  • Servaccomm Redhall
  • Wernick Buildings
  • Western Building Systems