Innovative construction delivers Fulbourn Hospital’s sustainable Resource Centre

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A new Resource Centre has been opened at Fulbourn Hospital to provide the local community with a modern and sustainable healthcare hub tailored to the needs of patients and staff members.  

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust’s (CPFT) new £5.8m building features a gym, offices, social and recreational spaces as well as physio and occupational therapy areas. At the end of March, a new branch of The Edge Café also opened at the centre. 

The CPFT’s pharmacy service has been the first to move in and they will soon be joined by music, art, and drama therapists alongside members of the Heart and Soul chaplaincy team. The new Resource Centre will co-locate over 25 people from existing departments and it has been carefully designed to meet the needs of its users, including for patients who require intensive mental health support. 

The opening follows a year-long building programme by Morgan Sindall Construction’s Cambridgeshire business with project managers Northmore, to create a two-storey, 1,200 square metre facility on the site of the hospital’s previous Resource Centre.  

Repurposing existing buildings was a key part of the construction process in order to achieve the CPFT’s sustainability targets. Morgan Sindall utilised its Intelligent Solutions approach to adopt an innovative modular construction method which saw 25 existing modules from the former Papworth Hospital transported to the site and renovated into a modern healthcare facility. 

Recycling the modular units meant the existing steel structure could be used, cutting the build time significantly and avoiding the need for new materials to be manufactured, transported and installed. This method also diverted a significant amount of waste from landfill and cut greenhouse gas emissions. In total, the CPFT decarbonised its hospital estate by 144 tonnes of carbon during this project.  

This offsite technique minimised disruption to Fulbourn Hospital and its users, whilst also achieving time-saving benefits. Ensuring the modules arrived as completely weather tight and empty shells meant they were ready for interior renovations within just four days of delivery. 

Morgan Sindall’s experience in delivering a variety of modular and healthcare projects in the Cambridgeshire area meant that it had the technical and sector-specific knowledge required for this development. The Morgan Sindall team also worked alongside specialist modular consultants and its highly specialised supply chain to ensure the new centre met CPFT’s sustainable and operational requirements. 

Jamie Shearman, Area Director for Morgan Sindall Construction in Cambridgeshire, said: “It’s great to see the Resource Centre’s doors open, as we know that it’s going to deliver a long list of benefits for the local community. The centre will not only act as a gateway to the hospital, but it also provides a much-needed activities and leisure hub, which is crucial for patients and carers. 

“Thanks to our collaborative relationship with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, we’ve utilised a number of innovative and creative solutions which made this a highly sustainable project. Our experience working on similar healthcare and mental health facilities allowed us to leverage insights and knowledge that led to savings on productivity and carbon while streamlining the design and decision-making processes.” 

“Re-using the existing modular buildings is a great example of our Intelligent Solutions ethos, as it required an alternative approach to the project’s delivery and a lot of creative thinking to generate as much value for the hospital as possible. While challenging, this resulted in a high-end space which is going to be invaluable for so many patients while simultaneously aligning with CPFT’s vital green goals.” 

Alison Manton, Associate Director of Estates, said: “The new Resource Centre is a fantastic addition to our Fulbourn site. The buildings have been re-purposed and transformed into a place which I believe staff, service-users and visitors will really enjoy.” 

Other carbon reducing aspects of the development include the use of HVO fuel, which saw the construction team use approximately 2,000 litres of fuel which emit 97% less carbon than traditional diesel. Electric car-charging was also freely available onsite for the hospital’s staff.  

The use of a light-weight screed during the project provided a number of construction and environmental benefits. The chosen screed is less weight-intensive on the building structure and dries more quickly, making it highly suitable for a modular build. It also uses less cement due to its lower volume.  

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