Impact of modern methods of construction on healthcare infrastructure

The NHS is currently in the middle of an unprecedented building boom. The substantial investment programme estimated at over £11billon involves the regeneration of several existing hospitals and the construction of 100 new ones by 2010 (NHS, 1994). Behind this background, it has been recognised in the vision of the NHS that any effort to improve the quality of healthcare buildings needs to take due consideration of the construction methods to be adopted. At the same time, other factors, such as the involvement of the private sector in healthcare provision through various Public Private Finance (PFI) Schemes; the Latham (1994) and Egan (1998) reports; skills shortages; and the general call for fast tracked solutions in the construction industry have further fuelled the needs for more innovative construction techniques in healthcare sector. This paper provides an overview of MMC with particular emphasis on offsite and modular techniques and their healthcare infrastructure applications. Relevant literature has been reviewed and past projects explored to ascertain the main benefits to be achieved by adopting off-site and modular construction techniques within the context of healthcare infrastructure.