Efficiencies Happen in Practice When They Are Designed-In
Cost and timing efficiencies in healthcare building programmes are more likely to be achieved if they are designed-in from the outset. This should probably be the mantra for the wave of healthcare building programmes that will be delivered over the next few years.
While it might sound straightforward and obvious, achieving the objective calls for a different way of working and a different approach to partnership. Selecting the most efficient delivery method should be integral to the design process and not a decision to be left for a later phase of procurement.
Value for money over the building lifecycle, improving sustainability, and a need for rapid delivery all point towards greater use of offsite manufacturing. Engaging people with expertise in these areas early in the process is the most effective way to ensure that the full benefits are realised.
Expanding Community Healthcare
Much of the added healthcare capacity will be provided through community-based settings. Expanding community healthcare will help to build flexibility and resilience. But it also comes with challenges such as hard to access sites and space constraints.
Can we afford dozens or maybe hundreds of one-off projects delivered using traditional methods characterised by low productivity and high risks over timing, cost and quality? Offsite methods bring greater predictability. They also allow for the design of standardised elements that can be mass produced and fitted into buildings with a range of configurations to suit specific needs.
Flexibility and Certainty
By bringing the choice of delivery method to the front of the process it’s possible to save cost and time while securing greater certainty over quality and building performance. And, rather than reducing flexibility, Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) offer greater opportunities to deliver imaginative designs that meet healthcare needs in a space and cost-efficient manner.
This flexibility will be essential if the objective is to expand GP surgeries and community health centres to deliver a wider range of services – and to do so with welcoming facilities for patients and excellent infection control measures built-in.
Osborne works collaboratively with forward-looking estates teams. A clear asset strategy and development programme can help meet challenges by delivering higher performing facilities in more appealing environments, with greater cost and management predictability.