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Construction innovator Merit appointed to deliver £25m Solihull Hospital hub

Solihull Hospital

Construction innovator Merit appointed to deliver £25m Solihull Hospital hub

Construction & Build

The Cramlington company will build 81% of the new operating block at its base using its Flexi Pod V5.1 Healthcare platform.

Construction specialist Merit has sealed a deal to build a £25m operating theatre for a Birmingham health trust.

The off-site construction specialist based in Cramlington has been enlisted by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust Foundation to design and construct a new elective hub in Solihull.

The building will be a first-of-its kind for the NHS and for Merit, which will build 81% of the hub at its base in Northumberland before shipping it to the Midlands to be pieced together. The two-storey building will have six operating theatres, boosting capacity for elective procedures at Solihull Hospital and resulting in around 15,000 additional treatments each year.

Merit will use advanced 4D BIM modelling technology throughout the project, ensuring a faster, more sustainable and cost-effective project schedule. The company will build the majority of the hub offsite using its Flexi Pod V5.1 Healthcare platform, meaning it will be able to deliver the project in only 10 months from start on site.

That time frame includes concept design, planning and commissioning. Flexi Pod is Merit’s hybrid solution, in which it employs Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) for the shell and core, and a digitally manufactured fit-out carried out through its patented Pod and Pre-Assembled Module (PAM) strategy to significantly speeding up the process.

Merit’s commitment to driving measurable improvement for sustainability means that the facility has been designed to BREEAM Very Good rating.

The Northumberland business, specialises in the design and manufacture of high-quality facilities for the bioscience, pharmaceutical, healthcare, semiconductor, EV battery and aviation sectors, with its approach especially suited to meet the needs of healthcare facilities.

The £25m contract follows a number of high-profile project wins in the healthcare and bioscience sectors, including Moderna’s new clinical biomarker laboratories at its Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire, Berwick’s new £35m community hospital with the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the UK’s first purpose-built CAR-T cell manufacturing facility for Autolus Therapeutics.

Tony Wells, CEO 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 now have an array of high-profile, technically complex projects which we are delivering more quickly, more efficiently and crucially more sustainably.”

Written by: Coreena Ford at Chronicle and Journal business writer