Merit appointed to deliver new elective operating hub at Solihull Hospital

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 2-Aug-2023

Hybrid operating theatre building will be delivered in just 10 months

Merit has been appointed by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust Foundation to design and deliver its new state-of-the-art elective operating theatre block.

Piling commencement and works to lay the foundations recently started on site and utilising advanced 4D BIM modelling technology and an innovative product-based approach means Merit’s specialist team can deliver both offsite and onsite works in parallel to ensure a faster, more-cost-effective project schedule with sustainability in mind. 

The £25m NHS project is a first of its kind for Merit and will include the provision of a two-storey building, encompassing six high-quality theatres – three ultra clean and three robotic – and supporting services to increase capacity for elective procedures at Solihull Hospital, resulting in an estimated additional 15,000 treatments each year. 

Leveraging technology

Merit’s team, inclusive of 90-plus virtual design and construction (VDC) specialists, will utilise its FLEXI POD V5.1 Healthcare platform upgrade to deliver the facility.

FLEXI POD is Merit’s hybrid solution, comprising aspects of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) for the shell and core and a digitally-manufactured offsite fit-out facilitated through a POD and Pre-Assembled Module (PAM) strategy.

Leveraging an offsite approach will allow for the hub’s completion by May 2024, with Merit delivering the project in only 10 months from start on site.

This includes concept design and planning and commissioning.

And Merit will manufacture 81% of the new elective hub offsite at its Cramlington-based manufacturing facility. 

Merit’s commitment to driving measurable improvement for sustainability means the facility has been designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating and is zero Scope 1 Carbon enabled.

A landmark contract

Tony Wells, chief executive of Merit, said: “At a time when waiting lists are at record highs, we are really proud to be supporting the NHS with this landmark contract which will allow a significant number of people access to the treatment they need.

“This is the first NHS theatre we will be delivering and is another milestone in our own progress and development which has seen Merit disrupt the traditional construction approach.

“We have re-invented our entire company around a proprietary integrated product platform so we can design and manufacture technically-complex facilities in our Cramlington-based factories to deliver repeatable successful project outcomes, from faster timescales to cost certainty and sustainability.”

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