0333 577 0883


Tag Archive: modular

  1. Construction Insights: MMC in Education, 2024.

    Comments Off on Construction Insights: MMC in Education, 2024.

    At Thurston, we’re dedicated to providing educational institutions with cutting-edge, sustainable, and cost-effective solutions. As we look to 2024, our latest blog to explores the key benefits of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) for Education:

    Thurston, Huddersfield New College, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, July, 2023


    Enhanced safety measures are implemented during factory assembly, creating a secure environment for your employees and students.


    We prioritise eco-friendly materials and practices, reducing waste and minimising environmental impact—a win for both future generations and your institution’s reputation.


    Our modular approach typically reduces construction time, allowing schools and universities to accommodate growing student populations quickly.


    Streamlined processes and reduced on-site work mean cost savings, freeing up resources for other essential educational needs.


    Modular buildings can be easily expanded or reconfigured to adapt to changing educational requirements, ensuring longevity and value.

    Minimal Disruption:

    Our off-site construction minimises disruption to ongoing campus activities, allowing educational programs to continue without interruption.


    Precision engineering in a controlled factory environment ensures consistently high-quality structures, meeting the stringent safety standards of the Education sector.

    If you’re interested in exploring how modular construction can benefit your educational project, please reach out. Let’s create inspiring spaces for the leaders of tomorrow.

    Follow for more updates  – https://www.linkedin.com/company/thurston-building-systems-limited/

    Or contact us directly – https://thurstongroup.co.uk/contact-us/

  2. Apprenticeship Reform: Where are we now?

    Comments Off on Apprenticeship Reform: Where are we now?

    In 2015 the Department for Education set out its vision for English Apprenticeships following a review into the system, to increase the quality and quantity of apprenticeships through a transformational programme of change. Whilst apprenticeships were successful, the 2012 Richard Review of Apprenticeships found a number of challenges that we needed to address if we wanted to improve their quality and quantity. 

    It found that the quality of apprenticeship training needed to be improved and relevant to meet the needs of the employer. Employer investment and sustainable funding for apprenticeships must be secured and the accessibility of these apprenticeships also needs to be improved, supporting the vulnerable. Ultimately we needed more apprenticeships overall to meet the skills gap. 

    The Apprenticeship Reform Programme had four main objectives; to meet the skills needs of the employers, to create progression for apprentices, to widen participation and social mobility in apprenticeships and to create more quality apprenticeships.  

    According to the latest 2021 report on the programme as it comes to an end, three million apprenticeships had been entered into in England between 2015 and 2020. This latest report highlights how successful the Programme has been and outlines plans for 2021 and beyond. 

    On quality, their achievement rate for apprenticeship standards has gone up by 12%. But there is a lot more to do. To meet this objective, there is new employer and provider guidance and more self-assessment tools. There’s also a new national online Apprenticeship Workforce Development programme for training providers. The government is also implementing a new accountability approach to ensure high-quality assurance for all those registered to deliver training. 

    Last March the programme faced its biggest challenge yet with the Covid-19 pandemic. Apprenticeship numbers dropped due to the impact of national lockdowns, with staff on furlough, falls in vacancies and some employment failure. In response to this, the government introduced flexibilities and adaptations to enable apprenticeships to continue and all learners to start and complete their apprenticeship. Support was also provided to businesses, offering £1,500 in grants for every apprentice they hire, rising to £2000 if the new apprentice was under the age of 25. This was further increased to £3000. 

    We’ve always looked to employ apprentices within the business but due to our significant growth, we’re now looking to grow and employ even more. There’s a national skills shortage with more people retiring than entering the industry. So apprentices can help meet this need and improve local skills, helping more young people into the industry. We also help by working with local colleges to provide support, placements and apprenticeships to their students. 

    The Apprenticeship Reform Programme has been completed now but the focus now is on raising quality and extending accessibility of apprenticeships to employers in all sectors. The future of the programme remains responsive to the needs of the employers and apprentices through the new objectives. The government will now concentrate on embedding the reforms it has made and providing the market with sufficient stability to adjust to the new models of apprenticeships funding, delivery, and quality assurance. 

    The future programme will continue with a focus on four key benefits; to support employers of all sizes to benefit from high-quality apprenticeships that are relevant and responsive, drive up the quality of apprenticeships, support progression into sustainable employment and ensure apprenticeships are accessible to individuals at all stages of their career. This will hopefully help the country recover more quickly from the pandemic and help provide a solution to the skills shortage. 

  3. Radical rail reforms launched by the government

    Comments Off on Radical rail reforms launched by the government

    The Railway sector is on track for the biggest shake-up to its model since the 90s after Whitehall recognised the need for a complete overhaul. After years of anticipation, challenges and delays, it pledges to ‘fix the system’ and deliver a better service for passengers across the country. The government’s white paper presents a brand new vision for the country’s rail network.

    Key takeaways from the white paper included the creation of a new body, Great British Railways (GBR). This is set to absorb existing organisations like Network Rail and bring the entire system together, similar to the Transport for London model in the capital. Bringing everything under one umbrella is ambitious but welcome, various elements such as timetables and fares are vastly different wherever you are in the country and this will help improve the system and provide consistency for passengers. 

    Speaking of fares, they’re set to be ‘simplified’ and designed for ‘for the passenger’. Prices are constantly rising and private franchises have failed for a number of years in delivering efficiency. New plans will see fares being set centrally and getting rid of thousands of existing, and somewhat complex pricing combinations. However, the problem is that there’s no guarantee this change will be cheaper. 

    Coinciding with a change in the way people work following the pandemic, one of the biggest changes will be flexible tickets for those who are moving to hybrid working. This will be a welcome change for those making the switch to this new way of working. 

    Breaking away from rail franchising, the government outlined that the new system will be run by GBR who will then pay each operator to run their services. So passengers won’t see any name changes but they will hopefully see an improvement in service. Bonuses will be given to companies who fulfil certain criteria such as punctuality and cleanliness. 

    Finally, aligning to the UK’s climate targets, the government plans to decarbonise the rail network over the next 30 years. A bigger, more detailed ‘environmental plan’ will be published in 2022 highlighting how it plans to set out this change. These changes will be welcome news to commuters across the country, who have been dealing with delays, price increases and overcrowding for years. Hopefully with a more central body holding companies to account, services will improve significantly. 

    We’re able to provide a vast range of services for this sector, from modular and portable staff buildings through to equipment stores.

    Want to see our past case studies? Head over to our case studies page.

  4. Rail reforms from the government “need more detail”

    Comments Off on Rail reforms from the government “need more detail”

    After the government launched its ‘once-in-a-generation’ plan to reform the UK’s railways, a parliamentary watchdog has reported that the overhaul lacks detail and urgency. It has also questioned whether the government has the capacity to deliver the rail reforms. 

    The railway sector was set for the biggest shake-up to its model since the 90s after the government pledged to ‘fix the system’ and ‘deliver a better service for passengers’ in their white paper. It presented a brand new vision for the country’s rail network, but can it deliver?

    Key takeaways included; the creation of a new body, Great British Railways (GBR), simplified fares and flexible tickets, a break away from rail franchising and a decarbonised rail network. The Institute for Government, a leading think tank working to make Government more effective and efficient, has provided analysis of the white paper. It has highlighted that the rail reforms risk being undermined by lack of detail and urgency. As well as a lack of plan to bring people back after the pandemic. 

    The public accounts committee has also said that while they see the Department for Transport are aware of the issues surrounding the country’s rail network, it is worried that they don’t have the capacity to deliver and don’t understand just how much work is needed to improve the service. The GBR is set to oversee both train and track infrastructure and pay private companies to run the services on strict contracts. 

    However the parliamentary report says that while the white paper is a great first step, its implementation carries a lot of risk and has the potential to overpromise and under deliver. The department has stated that their proposals will ensure “greater value for money” and “a better deal for passengers” but the committee has called for not just an improvement to current rail services, but a more aligned service with other modes of public transport. 

    If it is serious in its plan to decarbonise the railway, we need to reduce those using cars and join the rail network up with local buses, trams and underground services. Without a better link up, there’s a risk of people using cars to get to the railway which could jeopardise the government’s net zero targets. 

    While it’s a welcome plan and a good first step, those around the government, holding them to account, want to see a lot more detail around implementation and timelines to try and get a sense of how it’s going to work. They want to see strategic long-term plans and targets for how this new ‘umbrella’ system will work and also how it will be held to account if it doesn’t go as planned for passengers. They also want a detailed plan and timeline for how the government plans to transition from the current model and clarify the scope of the GBR’s independence. This will ultimately help maintain both public and political confidence in the GBR during the transition and for the long term.

    Need a refresher on what the reforms are? Head over to our last blog. Rail reforms from the government “need more detail” | Thurston Group

  5. Coalition calls for tougher carbon controls on new buildings

    Comments Off on Coalition calls for tougher carbon controls on new buildings

    A coalition has written to Jeremy Pocklington, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government calling for tougher carbon controls. They’re warning that the proposed Future Buildings Standard (FBS) contains “significant shortcomings”. Also highlighting that the Government needs to be far more ambitious in the regulation of energy consumption in new buildings if it wants to meet carbon reduction targets

    RIBA president also said the proposed standards don’t go far enough to reduce the built environment’s carbon footprint. A letter, including 21 signatures from the likes of RIBA, Architects Climate Action Network, Greenpeace, CIOB and the UK Green Building Council, highlights significant concerns around the proposed energy and ventilation standards for non-domestic buildings and existing homes in England.

    The letter states there are several areas that are critical to achieving the UK’s net zero goals. And with the right decisions, can demonstrate global leadership and create a “world-leading built environment sector”. 

    The coalition, comprising architects, built environment and climate groups, has said if the Government wants to achieve this they need to start regulating total energy consumption, and not introduce primary energy, and set actual energy performance targets for buildings. The consultation states that new buildings should be “zero carbon ready” but to address the climate emergency, we need to be building net zero carbon buildings. We also need to assess building performance better to close the performance gap, introduce and regulate embodied carbon targets for buildings and set a clear National Retrofit Strategy. 

    RIBA President, Alan Jones, said, “The built environment is responsible for approximately 40% of the UK’s total carbon output. Put simply, the proposed Future Buildings Standard does not go far enough to reduce this impact. To reach net zero carbon emissions, demonstrate global leadership and create a world-leading built environment sector England needs more ambitious regulations. The Future Buildings Standard provides an opportunity to make critical and essential changes: to regulate total energy consumption and set critical targets for actual energy performance and embodied carbon. I urge policymakers to realise its potential.”

    We’re committed to reducing our carbon footprint and ensuring that we’re building a better future. We do this by observing the ten circular economy principles to help achieve true net zero buildings and adopting a fabric first approach. Offsite construction is more sustainable than traditional methods. We work hard to minimise waste and make sure we’re building sustainable modular and portable buildings. Though more organisations could do better to combat climate change and ensure that our planet has a better future.  

    You can read the full letter here.

  6. Modular construction in the Education sector

    Comments Off on Modular construction in the Education sector

    In the education sector, not every project or client is the same. These institutions, schools especially, are generally overcrowded and underfunded. Expansion is the first step to solving overcrowding issues, which in turn helps students improve their performance. But with tight budgets, traditional expansions don’t come cheap or quickly. From universities to primary schools, each building has a specific set of needs and requirements. How can modular construction in the education sector solve these issues? 

    Matthew Goff, Managing Director at Thurston Group, explains how modular construction benefits the education sector. 

    The main benefit I think is the fact that our modular buildings are built offsite with 90% of the build completed before it’s delivered and installed. Most institutions don’t need the disruption caused by traditional methods. With modular, you don’t have builders in and out of site. You have less traffic, less noise and less disruption. This means that you don’t necessarily need to wait until half-term to get your project underway. We can get around to it offsite and then plan the delivery for when there won’t be any students or children on site. Although if you wanted to, you could invite them to watch the installation, safely, from a distance and make it a learning experience. 

    The next benefit is reduced maintenance. We undertake a strict quality control process throughout the entire project to ensure that no product or building leaves the site until it has been checked thoroughly. From the design stage, we monitor and improve quality through the RIBA Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA), providing guidance to the design team in simplifying the product structure. 

    This reduces costs, improves efficiency and quantifies improvements. Not only does this help reduce waste and improve sustainability, it also improves the quality of the build. Nothing leaves the factory unless it’s been signed off and approved, meaning durable, lifetime buildings. This also means that over its lifetime, there’s less chance of any problems because of the way that it has been built. 

    Another benefit is flexibility. Modular and portable buildings can be modified and adaptable in order to meet the needs of the client. Modules can be added or taken away at any stage of the buildings’ lifetime to meet demand. This helps the education system significantly as no one can plan for how many students they’ll be getting in the future so with an ability to expand or reduce at any point, this is quite an attractive feature for education suppliers. 

    Not only are they flexible in size, they’re also flexible in design. Unless a client wants a brand new building, most education suppliers will need a building that is new but also matches the design of the current building. We’re able to provide bespoke buildings at the request of the client and have a range of options meaning that we will always be able to match the new building to the existing one.

    This was a key factor for Aberystwyth University when they needed a new accommodation facility to meet demand. Working for Campus Living, we installed a brand new, bespoke triple storey modular student accommodation facility for the university. Designed and manufactured to the clients’ individual requirements, the facility comprised 60 fully furnished modern bedrooms to accommodate the increase in students. With tight deadlines and a live environment, modern methods of construction were the preferred choice to ensure disruption for students was kept to a minimum. The university also needed the accommodation quickly and traditional methods just couldn’t have been delivered in time. 

    We’ve also recently written about how offsite and modular construction benefits special education needs in Education specifically, too. Each module can be adapted to meet all needs and make sure every student has the best learning experience. Find out more here.

  7. Thurston Group picks up its first RoSPA award

    Comments Off on Thurston Group picks up its first RoSPA award

    We’re extremely delighted to announce that we’ve picked up our first internationally recognised award; the Silver RoSPA Award, in recognition of our commitment to health and safety practices across our organisation. 

    After going for the award for the first time, we’re delighted to have achieved the Silver Award. The Silver RoSPA Award, organised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), recognises Thurston’s and our employees’ achievements in health and safety. All of our teams focus on a “Work Safe, Home Safe” initiative, safeguarding themselves, their colleagues, our clients, customers and the communities in which we operate.

    The annual Health and Safety Awards are categorised by different levels of achievement: Merit, Bronze, Silver and Gold, as well as long-term awards that recognise companies for achieving Gold Awards for multiple consecutive years. Organisations receiving a RoSPA Award are recognised as being world leaders in health and safety practices. Every year, nearly 2000 entrants vie to achieve the highest possible accolade in what is the UK’s longest-running health and safety industry awards.

    Matthew Goff, our Managing Director, said, “We’re extremely proud to have received this distinguished award from the RoSPA. These annual awards are among the foremost international accolades that you can receive in the Health and Safety sector. It’s particularly gratifying to have received this recognition for Thurston Group’s long-term track record of excellence in this area, especially given the recent challenges of the pandemic. Safety is our number one value, with all our teams focusing on our “Work Safe, Home Safe” initiative, safeguarding themselves, their colleagues, our clients, customers and the communities in which we operate. These awards are a true recognition of our culture.”

    Gary Ware, our Group Production Director, said, “This RoSPA award once again supports our group’s ongoing strategic plan and commitment to be the partner of choice, and in light of the current pandemic, the investment into our people, the estates and our buildings has us well placed to continue growing as a business. A special mention to our SHEQT Officer, Janet Sanders for the award support, and well done to all involved across all three of our operational sites, along with our construction sites throughout the UK . Keep up the good work!” 

    Want to know more about our organisation? Head over to Our Company.

  8. £3 billion in funding for our NHS

    Comments Off on £3 billion in funding for our NHS

    A £3 billion hospital building programme was launched by the Health Secretary back in 2019. This new scheme proposed around 40 new hospitals built across England over the next ten years. This new investment also came in addition to the £33.9 billion increase in cash funding for the day-to-day running of the NHS being delivered by the government over the next five years. But what did it mean for the sector? And how did the pandemic impact the programme?

    I’m sure when this programme was announced the government didn’t account for a worldwide pandemic. Projects all over a variety of sectors had to slow down or stop all together. However, after over 15 months of ups and downs, things do seem to be picking up across the country. As we start to come out of the pandemic, this will be a big project for the government to get back to as part of their build back better pledges.  

    Six of the hospitals were already given the go-ahead, and a further twenty one new build projects, including thirty four new hospitals, were due to receive seed funding to kick start their schemes. 

    Some of the hospitals receiving funding include North Manchester General Hospital, Royal Preston Hospital, Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge and Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. 

    The NHS has needed more investment for years and it’s great that we’re finally seeing a focus on investment. For years we’ve seen a short-term approach to NHS buildings and infrastructure, with repairs taking too long and hospitals not being able to treat patients because they’re underfunded and don’t have the capacity to deal with everyone coming in. 

    These plans were welcomed by a sector that hasn’t seen a lot of investment, though there was some confusion from the Trusts around how the funding would be divided up and where it was going. The government will hope that this more strategic approach helps improve the health infrastructure and facilities for the NHS over the long-term. Ultimately helping to provide more resources for staff, increase capacity for patients and help deliver better facilities and world-leading care for patients. 

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “The dedication and tireless efforts of our nurses, doctors and all healthcare workers have kept the NHS open throughout this pandemic. But no matter what this virus throws at us, we are determined to build back better and deliver the biggest hospital building programme in a generation. From Morpeth to Milton Keynes, we are building 40 new hospitals across England to level up our NHS so more people have top-class healthcare services in their local area.”

    You can find out how we can provide solutions for the NHS, here.

  9. How can MMC help meet sustainability targets?

    Comments Off on How can MMC help meet sustainability targets?

    The delivery of net-zero buildings doesn’t necessarily come under offsite and modern methods of construction (MMC) but it is one of the major benefits. The construction industry currently accounts for around 40% of the UK’s total carbon emissions. This is a figure that needs to change. The only way this is going to change is if companies start being more innovative and moving towards MMC. So, how can MMC help meet sustainability targets?

    It’s important to explain that there are two parts to net-zero – embodied and operational carbon. They are vastly different and influenced by different parts of the construction process but applying both will still help towards any sustainability targets. 

    Embodied Carbon

    Put simply, embodied carbon is the carbon emissions associated with the materials and construction process throughout the entire lifecycle of a building or structure. This is an area often overlooked as companies try to put more focus into making a building net-zero when operational. 

    Adopting a MMC approach can significantly reduce the embodied carbon of a building or structure. Manufacturing processes produce much less carbon as the build is completed 90% offsite and with less labour required to build. Most of the people working on the building live relatively close to the factory so are more likely to car share, walk, cycle or use public transport to get to work. 

    There’s also much less traffic when compared to traditional methods. There aren’t trucks and lorries in and out of site or numbers of workers in and out. Once the build is complete, it’s delivered to site quickly and with much less traffic. 

    Our waste is also recyclable and all of our waste is diverted from landfill. Any wood is collected, shredded and then used for fuel at a local power station, plasterboard offcuts are sent to a plasterboard recycling specialist to be recycled back into usable plasterboard and any cardboard is also pulped for paper manufacture. Polythene waste is washed and processed into pellets, which can then be turned into a variety of products. Thurston’s also ensures that waste is minimal, using only what they need per job but any steel is able to be recycled and sent back to the supplier for reuse. 

    General waste that can’t be recycled is used for Refuse Derived Fuel, which means it’s sent off and incinerated to generate electricity. Soon Futur First will provide Thurston Group with food waste bins so the waste can be taken to an anaerobic digestion facility, where the gases are extracted to generate electricity and any remaining food is used on agricultural land.

    Operational Net-Zero Carbon

    This is when the net amount of carbon emissions associated with the building’s operational energy, on an annual basis, is equal to or less than zero. Operational energy consists of the annual amount of energy required for heating, cooling and lighting. 

    This part of the net-zero element is influenced in the design stages of construction. MMC and offsite construction has the best chance of getting this right from the start. A controlled manufacturing process is able to deliver to a higher quality and is able to deliver more certainty of achieving the required performance levels with low U values, good insulation and minimal air leakage. This manufacturing process also produces greater levels of air tightness and improved building performance. All instrumental in ensuring buildings meet operational net-zero requirements. 

    If the government is serious about meeting its sustainability targets then more pressure needs to be on the industry to innovate and move to more sustainable methods of construction. Looking at some of the ways in which MMC helps achieve net-zero can really help a business reshape its processes and ensure that going forward, we’re all working together to reduce the industry’s carbon emissions. 

    How do we help achieve our own sustainability targets?

  10. Planning permission and building regulations: A breakdown

    Comments Off on Planning permission and building regulations: A breakdown

    Planning permission and building regulations can be a minefield. Even more so when you factor in modular construction and portable buildings. But what is it and do you need it if you’re planning on going modular?

    Planning permission in the UK is a regulation that can help guide the way towns, cities and villages are developed. There are five main factors when considering what planning permissions you’ll need and they are the use of the land and buildings, the overall appearance of the buildings, landscaping, highway access and probably the most important; any environmental impact. 

    Will I need planning permission for my modular or portable building?

    Now all modular and portable buildings require planning permission but if you’re coming to us for your building, we can do all the hard work for you. Whatever sector you’re part of and whatever building you require, whether that be a classroom, a container, a hospital extension, a gatehouse or a new home, we offer a full turnkey service.

    Requirements state that, regardless of size, any structure in place for over 28 days, must have planning permission. If you’re ever unsure – it’s probably best to get it anyway. Or you can contact your local planning authority to establish whether you’ll need planning permission for your building or not. 

    Do your buildings comply with building regulations and do they need to?

    In short, yes. All buildings must meet all current Building Regulations, including Part L2. If you’ve come to us to provide a building solution, then your mind will be at ease knowing that all of our buildings, modular or portable, are in line with all current regulations. Everything from fire safety, electrical safety and resistance to sound to sanitation and building access are all covered. 

    It can be really confusing, especially if you’ve always dealt with traditional methods of construction. Whatever you need, we’re able to provide bespoke solutions and do all the hard work so you don’t have to. Let us know your requirements and we can design and manufacture a high quality, sustainable, cost-effective solution to match.

  11. Making SEN classrooms fit for the future

    Comments Off on Making SEN classrooms fit for the future

    Not all projects are the same, so a ‘one size fits all’ approach just doesn’t cut it. Special Educational Needs (SEN) classrooms require even more planning and design considerations in particular. It’s important to take into account all needs without detracting from everyday experience. We’re able to support schools in helping those with additional needs by providing a safe environment, but how?

    With plenty of years of experience under our belt, we work with the Department for Education to ensure all of our buildings meet all quality requirements and space standards. Some projects, like SEN classrooms, will require a specialist approach. This is where we come in. We’re able to provide a bespoke, tailored service to make sure we cater to every individual customer and brief.

    Firstly, understanding the day-to-day demands of a SEN classroom is a must. Your design needs to ensure that all pupils, no matter what challenges they face, can get what they need; an engaging, stimulating, accessible and accommodating learning space.

    It’s important to think about children’s SEN from the very start. We’ll work with our clients to build a design that meets their exact needs. All children deserve the same range of facilities and the same start in life. We’ll remove any barriers making sure that any practical issues that could arise will be addressed early on, so that the finished building is fit for purpose and fit for the future.

    Accessibility is the most important factor. We’ll design a flexible, multi-use inclusive space where children are able to navigate the room whether they use walking aids or wheelchairs and more. You also need to factor in the need to provide functional storage space for any equipment. We address this by ensuring all space standards are met and incorporate features such as, in-built clever storage solutions along with lifts and ramps for wheelchairs users and pushchairs.

    We always want to build confidence. We do this by including features and facilities that everyone can use without assistance, no matter what age or learning level. This can be anything from low level storage, toilets and handrails to appropriate door and cupboard handles.

    Health, safety and wellbeing are important. The design, accessibility and placement of hygiene facilities are something we take into account when embarking on a project like this. You need to create a space in which pupils can move around freely, independently and safely, where appropriate. Taking into account sensory elements and quiet zones for those who need it – are they needed? If so, we’ll maximise the space and build it into the initial design.

    After around 15 months of being kept inside due to the pandemic, we’ve really learned the value of outdoor space and how to maximise the use of it. This is especially important within schools, academies and classrooms. Sliding or bi-fold doors allow greater adaptation and help bring the outside in, while the use of canopies can help protect our children from that great British weather.

    Understanding the users’ point of view, utilising and maximising space, and a multi-sensory environment all contribute toward ensuring the building will be fit for purpose. But it also needs to be adaptable and able to be fit for the future. Meaning a SEN classroom may need to adapt throughout its lifetime to fit students’ individual needs and Modular construction provides this exact solution.

    It’s absolutely essential to get the design right at the very start of the project. So early engagement is key to the overall success of a scheme. Making sure you’re working with the client to find out their exact requirements and ensuring you’re working with them along the way, so that they’re aware of where you’re up to at each key stage. This is how we’ve built such a great reputation with those we’ve worked with on past projects.

    Want to know more about projects we’ve worked on? Head over to our case studies page.



  12. Modular buildings to meet the needs of the healthcare sector?

    Comments Off on Modular buildings to meet the needs of the healthcare sector?

    In a market where shortages exist, building standards are extremely high. Sustainability, comfort and infection control are all important but budgets are tight. Modular construction needs to be a part of the solution. The offsite industry can build for any sector, for any client, and boasts three main advantages; flexibility, quality and speed. From increasing the space in emergency departments and same day emergency care to improving the facilities and bringing them up to date. The healthcare sector can benefit greatly, but how?

    Matthew Goff, Managing Director at Thurston Group, explains.

    At Thurston Group we manufacture modular and portable buildings through modern methods of construction. With modular construction most manufacturers are able to build to customers’ exact requirements. The healthcare sector needs flexibility as not every project is the same. Some clients will need multiple buildings making up a large hospital complex, while others may need an extension of their current facilities. We can work with clients on designs that integrate with their current building or entirely new designs for brand new buildings.

    Utilising the use of BIM and a controlled offsite manufacturing process, modular buildings are built to a much higher standard than traditional methods. Buildings are monitored throughout the build through a strict quality control process to provide durable, lifetime buildings. Nothing leaves our factory unless it’s signed off and approved.

    Modular construction times are up to 50% quicker than traditional methods too. In a matter of weeks, we delivered a flat-pack style ward for Tameside General Hospital, increasing the hospital’s critical care capacity during the covid-19 pandemic. Due to the speed in which the numbers of seriously-ill people were growing, hospitals around the country were filling up fast and needed relief. Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust needed a brand new intensive care unit (ICU) quickly to cope with the numbers of people needing treatment and with a seven-week timeframe, only modular could deliver.

    We were given the brief in March 2020 by Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust. This project was critical to the hospital’s ability to support the region with ventilated bedspace.

    The first phase, a 10-bed ward facility was delivered within an incredible seven weeks. Followed by a A&E reception extension along with a linkway corridor to be operational within a short timeframe and with minimum disruption to the day to day running of the hospital. As much as 90% of our buildings are manufactured offsite in a controlled environment, reducing construction traffic and noise in a sensitive health environment. Meaning that healthcare facilities and hospitals can maintain their care standards, whilst expanding facilities to coordinate an emergency response.

    The new respiratory ward that formed phase one of the project, included a brand new nurses station, staff room, accessible showers and toilets as well as the extra ten ventilated bed bays. It also included laundry and utility rooms as well as a one way entry/exit floor plan with sliding doors leading to the existing building. The new ICU ward had a capacity for ten beds and was built offsite and craned in ready to house seriously-ill covid-19 patients.

    Phase two, saw the delivery of an A&E reception extension to aid the hospital’s social distancing capacity. The modular units were installed in a tight courtyard with less than 25mm tolerances next to the existing building, providing numerous challenges from a design and installation perspective, which were all able to be overcome, with clear communication channels throughout.

    Phase three combined all these new modular buildings together with the existing hospital building.

    Anything that can be assembled offsite, like staff rooms, toilets and shower areas, was completed at the factory, inside each of the module’s for delivery. The module’s were then loaded and delivered to the hospital on the back of multiple lorries, where a 200-tonne crane then lifted these into place and joined them together like one big giant jigsaw.

    Despite being installed adjacent to the main A&E entrance for the hospital, the project was completed without disrupting the hospital’s ability to care for the region. We’ve managed to deliver successfully, despite operating during a global pandemic everything from vaccination centres to support the vaccine rollout, to these hospital extensions and numerous testing centres across the country.

    Modular can definitely meet the needs of the Healthcare sector, we’ve been delivering to the sector for over 40 years. Our portable and modular buildings meet all NHS guidelines, including HTM and HBN requirements, and with over 50 years of experience, you can save both time and money coming to us, now even more since we’ve secured various positions on the NHS SBS – MB2 Framework.

    Our team really understood the value of speed when mobilising at very short notice to deliver an emergency ICU ward, various testing centres and vaccination centres to support the UK’s fight against covid-19. Everyone at Thurston Group wants to thank the people of the NHS, who are doing so much for our people and country. They are the true frontline heroes with our teams doing their best to support them.

  13. Thurston Group lands a place on £1.6bn NHS framework

    Comments Off on Thurston Group lands a place on £1.6bn NHS framework

    We’re pleased to announce that we’ve successfully landed a place on the £1.6 billion NHS Shared Business Services Framework. We’ve secured our position across four core lots for “Building Purchase” covering Healthcare, Education, Residential and Bespoke Buildings up to the value of £25m+ per scheme. 

    Set to run from July 18th for an initial two years, the NHS framework has an expected spend of £180m per annum for the lots secured. Securing a place on the four framework lots through a competitive tendering process will further support our ever-growing Projects division, whilst underpinning our overall growth strategy set out by our Shareholders and Executive Leadership Team. 

    The purpose of the framework aims to complement the speed of modular and offsite construction by providing an equally quick, easy and compliant procurement route for a range of NHS and public sector clients across the Education, Healthcare and Residential sectors. The framework contracts cover health and corporate services including IT, Legal, Estates & Facilities and Business Services. 

    From consultancy and design to finance and build, we offer turnkey building solutions for every sector. With three factories across Yorkshire, we have the capacity to deliver over 5000 units per year.

    Our Managing Director, Matthew Goff, was delighted after landing a place on the framework. He said, “A huge well done to the Business Development team for securing our place on the NHS Shared Business Services framework. This is a fantastic achievement by the team and accelerates our position ‘to be the provider of choice’.”

    To find out more about the NHS framework, you can head over to their website. Want to know more about our projects? Find out case studies here.

  14. ‘Defining the Need’ – the plan to accelerate standardisation in the construction sector

    Comments Off on ‘Defining the Need’ – the plan to accelerate standardisation in the construction sector

    The movement to bring standardised, repeatable platform systems found in the manufacturing sector to construction continues to grow. But has been held back by a lack of clarity and consistency in the processes and standards which allow platform solutions to work across multiple sectors, stakeholders, projects and building types. As well as a lack of confidence in a forward pipeline for these solutions. ‘Defining the Need’ is report outlining plans to accelerate standardisation in the construction sector. 

    The government’s Construction Playbook outlines 14 key policies and guidance for how public works projects and programmes are assessed, procured and delivered. This has helped to accelerate the growth for standardised, repeatable platform systems. At the same time, the Construction Innovation Hub looks to develop the processes and standards that support platform solutions and will develop a concept building using platform components to highlight how it works. The Hub aims to provide organisations with the processes and standards they need to make the necessary changes to their structure to implement a platform system and show them how to use it.

    Last year, the Hub’s Platform team partnered with several government departments including education, housing, health and social care, justice and defence, to create a cross-departmental data set of future requirements against a £50 billion five-year new build pipeline using these new processes and standards. 

    Initial data analysis served as evidence in support of the policies outlined in the Playbook, and signals the government’s move towards procuring more construction projects based on three main focuses. Focuses include platforms consisting of standardised interlinking components and assembly, driving improvements in setting clear and outcome-based specifications and enabling innovation by using modern methods of construction (MMC) through aggregated and standardised demand. 

    At the end of last year, the Construction Innovation Hub launched a summary of their upcoming ‘Defining the Need’ report, due to be published this winter. This report takes these three main themes and defines the potential benefits of standardisation and harmonisation across construction projects. Construction generally suffers a variety of challenges including weather issues and delays, projects can take up a long time and can come at increased costs. Standardisation and repeatable platform systems can help innovate the industry and improve efficiency and productivity. 

    This short series will look at the summary report for ‘Defining the Need’ and the Platform Design Programme, including what it is and its key findings and insights. It’ll also look at how it will benefit the construction industry, its conclusions and a look ahead at what the future of the industry looks like. 

  15. How can MMC help the homelessness crisis?

    Comments Off on How can MMC help the homelessness crisis?

    We’ve been in a housing crisis for quite some time. With the effects of the pandemic not fully known yet, it’s likely to only get worse. According to the National Housing Federation, an estimated 8.4 million people in England are living in unaffordable, insecure or unsuitable homes. Of those, 400,000 people are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This number is only set to grow. But could modern methods of construction (MMC) be a solution?

    The homelessness crisis

    The Rough Sleeping Initiative, launched in 2018, is part of the Government’s strategy which aims to end rough sleeping by 2027. The initiative is targeted at local authorities across England with high numbers of people sleeping rough to tackle the issue and get people into suitable homes.  

    Under the Housing Act 1996, local housing authorities in England have a duty to secure accommodation for unintentionally homeless households in an emergency. While more permanent housing is secured, people may be placed in temporary accommodation. By June 2020, there were over 98,000 households in temporary accommodation. An increase of 14% from the previous year. Though the rise was driven by an increase in single adult households, and may be related to the Covid-19 ‘everyone in’ scheme. This figure has been rising since December 2011, and seems to be growing year on year.

    Housing charity, Shelter, has said that at least 1.2 million new homes are needed to tackle the housing crisis. CPRE has said that there’s enough brownfield land to accommodate up to 1.3 million new homes. But new housing developments typically take around three to five years to complete. In this time, the numbers of people who need housing will only grow.

    So what’s the solution?

    MMC has been posed as a solution for some time but the uptake is still slow. Modular buildings can be delivered up to 50% quicker than traditional builds. They’re also 90% completed offsite, which means they don’t have the challenges of poor weather and are built in a controlled factory environment. There’s also minimal disruption to neighbouring communities. 

    If you’d like to find out more about how we can provide a solution, get in touch. You can also have a look at some homes we’ve already built here.   

  16. Thurston Group attends MPBA webinar

    Comments Off on Thurston Group attends MPBA webinar

    We spent today virtually attending the Modular and Portable Building Association’s (MPBA) second live event of the year. Presenting from the Arden Hotel, the AGM webinar focused on the Marketing, Health and Safety, Learning and Development, and Technical updates. 

    The Marketing update from MPBA Marketing Chair, Dominic Beastly, showed how the Association has grown in online communities, and how this benefits members. It also showed how plans are progressing for 2021 to provide greater exposure and more opportunities for members.

    Andy King, the MPBA’s Technical Chair, provided a Technical update. This section explored how fire and energy are the two largest areas with regulation changes that will have a significant impact on the entire industry. 

    Learning Hub Director, Richard Hipkiss, gave a Learning and Development update. Highlighting the ongoing plans and changes to training courses and NVQ developments and progress with Apprenticeships. 

    Finally the Health and Safety update from Brian Sutherland, MPBA’s Health and Safety Chair provided the latest HSE information on covid-19 measures and various areas that may have an impact on the construction industry and what changes are due to take place moving forward.  

    Dean Hill, our Bid and Marketing Manager, attended the event. He said, “It’s been a while since attending, but today was a very insightful event which helped highlight some changes that we may need to take into account going forward with any modular and portable building projects. It was great to get an update from the MPBA on a variety of topics. I’m looking forward to the next one. Hopefully all together in person! Thanks again.”

  17. London boroughs fear a ‘summer wave’ of homelessness

    Comments Off on London boroughs fear a ‘summer wave’ of homelessness

    London boroughs fear a ‘summer wave’ of homelessness in the capital as a result of covid-19. Councils have pointed to a series of upcoming risks threatening to significantly increase the levels of homelessness not just in London but right across the country. 

    Unemployment fears after the furlough scheme ends and high rent arrears from those who have already lost their jobs, threatening to push people into homelessness. Recent research from the LSE suggests 400,000 Londoners are in significant rent arrears due to covid-19. This is only set to get worse throughout England. 

    The government’s temporary ban on evictions is also due to be lifted on 31 May. Following this, councils are anticipating a spike in renters in high arrears facing eviction and having to turn to their local authorities for help to avoid becoming homeless. While the ban helped people in financial difficulty keep a roof over their head, there’s been no talk of additional support to help renters pay off any arrears. 

    There’s also a lot of uncertainty around homelessness funding. Earlier this week we issued our thoughts around councils getting funding for rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness in response to the pandemic and the government’s ‘Everyone In’ scheme. Though this was a welcome scheme, there’s no clarity on what will happen after the 21 June when restrictions are set to lift. There are also wider concerns that councils are still failing to house rough sleepers. Despite a High Court ruling that found councils have the legal powers to help those who wouldn’t be eligible for support during the pandemic. 

    The government said that councils have faced significant challenges in the delivery of 3300 supported homes for rough sleepers. Plans last October, laid out by the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, outlined that the government had approved more than 3000 homes for rough sleepers to keep them safe during the pandemic. In response to a recent Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee report on homelessness and private renting, the government indicated that it had missed its target. Thought it didn’t disclose how many homes had actually been delivered.

    The capital faces the most severe homelessness crisis in the country. Councils currently estimate that there are around 165,000 people sleeping rough in London and living in borough-provided temporary accommodation. This number accounts for two-thirds of England’s homelessness total and almost 70% of London households in temporary accommodation have at least one child. Councils now fear that with no clear support following the lifting of restrictions, new records of homelessness could be set this year unless the government steps in. 

    Councils are looking to the government to increase investment in homelessness prevention. They need the government to outline plans for support following the lifting of restrictions, if any, and improve councils’ resources for building social housing to make sure there are enough homes for everyone. They’re also calling on the government to restore government funding for councils’ local welfare assistance schemes and to end the five-week wait for Universal Credit payments to begin. 

    There are already vast numbers of families on social housing waiting lists. These numbers are only set to grow when private renters lose their homes. Councils need more investment in housing and more resources to make decisions on the types of houses they build. Too many councils stick with traditional house building methods but they aren’t quick to build and planning processes are notoriously difficult. This means people often end up in hotels or cramped in one or two rooms, living on top of each other. It also means that local authorities and councils are spending a large part of their budget on hotels. This ‘summer wave’ of homelessness could be avoided but only if a resolution is found quickly.

    We can relieve councils and local authorities across England and provide a solution for their housing needs with ‘meanwhile housing’. Temporary housing, that doesn’t compromise on space or quality. It sits in vacant spaces until it’s needed for more permanent housing and saves money on unsuitable B&Bs. People can live in these homes temporarily while getting access to further support to gain work or until they’re able to find a more permanent home. 

  18. Meanwhile homes – a fresh solution for the housing crisis?

    Comments Off on Meanwhile homes – a fresh solution for the housing crisis?

    The idea of ‘meanwhile homes’ as a solution to the housing crisis is refreshing. It brings together some of the biggest topics in housing – sustainability, micro living and modular housing. 

    But what does it mean?

    ‘Meanwhile housing’ is where temporary housing is built on vacant land until it’s needed for other purposes. It’s actively encouraged to help move families out of unsuitable and poor temporary housing and into a more affordable, beautiful looking home. 

    The UK’s first ‘pop up’ village was built on vacant land in Southeast London in 2016 to successfully house families who were forced to live in B&B’s until more permanent homes were sourced. With rent and property prices skyrocketing and housing waiting lists growing longer and longer, councils and local authorities are under pressure to find a solution.  

    How can it help the housing crisis?

    Temporary accommodation is supposed to be temporary. But families are reporting that they’re left there for weeks, sometimes months, while more permanent homes are secured and this accommodation isn’t always in good condition. It can take anywhere up to three months for councils and local authorities to make a decision as they’re often really busy with thousands of families and not enough homes to house them all. According to Shelter UK, tenants can ask their Temporary Housing Officer for alternative accommodation if they believe it’s unsuitable, if it’s unaffordable, overcrowded or in poor condition. But with thousands of families needing help and sitting on the waiting list, it’s not always easy to get. 

    In Scotland, families can only stay in a B&B for seven days. A limit on temporary accommodation stays would change people’s lives. But new, affordable and suitable housing would be even better. Traditionally built developments can take anywhere between three and five years to be built and people are still slow to take to modular housing. We need an immediate solution.

    With planning known to be a notoriously long and difficult process, ‘meanwhile housing’ can provide a temporary solution. It also means that the land isn’t sitting vacant for years. While the planning process is in motion and the land is left unused, families can live in nicer housing while they wait for more permanent homes and stay out of B&Bs.  

    Thurston’s modular solution

    In 2019 we worked with Hugg Homes and Broxbourne Council to deliver 32 temporary homes to help support local, lower income families. The ‘pop-up’ homes were put in place to relieve housing issues in the area, getting families off waiting lists and into homes. Rather than having dormant land lying empty for years while developers work on their long-term plans, it provides an immediate high-quality, affordable housing solution. 

    When you think ‘pop-up’ home, you may not think of quality. But think again. Our high-quality modular homes for Hugg Homes maximise space with fitted furniture and appliances. Creating an efficient and well insulated living environment. With sustainability in mind, the homes are energy-efficient and provide good acoustic performance with minimal noise transfer. They’re also situated in a landscaped courtyard with ample green, play and leisure spaces.

    The land in Chestnut is part of a much bigger regeneration project and planning application that would otherwise have been vacant for a number of years. Eventually the area will provide housing, business units and a local centre including a primary school and landscaped public areas. But for now, it’s providing a much needed, immediate solution for the area’s housing issues.

    Do you think your local area could benefit from ‘meanwhile housing’? We can provide an immediate solution. Find out how by getting in touch with us.  

  19. Helping to tackle COVID-19 with modular ward building

    Comments Off on Helping to tackle COVID-19 with modular ward building

    A new, flat-pack style ward for seriously-ill coronavirus patients is under construction for Tameside General Hospital during the pandemic, the Manchester Evening News can reveal. And incredibly, manufacturers have worked round the clock to deliver the modular ward building in just a matter of weeks.

    The intensive care unit ward will have capacity for ten beds and a steel frame is expected to be hoisted into place on a huge crane a week on Sunday.

    Health trust bosses said the project was part of its plans to increase the hospital’s critical care capacity during the pandemic.

    Wakefield-based Thurston Group, which manufactures modular buildings and portable buildings, was given a brief by Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust on March 18.

    Read full article on the MPBA website

  20. New modular ICU ward for coronavirus patients at Tameside Hospital

    Comments Off on New modular ICU ward for coronavirus patients at Tameside Hospital

    Thurston Group is building new modular ICU ward for seriously-ill coronavirus patients for Tameside Hospital during the pandemic, as covered in the Manchester Evening News.

    Incredibly, manufacturers have worked round the clock to deliver the project in just a matter of weeks.

    The flat-pack style intensive care unit ward will have capacity for ten beds and health trust bosses said the project was part of its plans to increase the hospital’s critical care capacity during the pandemic.

    Wakefield-based Thurston Group, which manufactures modular and portable buildings, was given a brief by Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust on March 18.

    Previously, the firm has built three specialist wards for Wythenshawe Hospital, which formed a two-storey facility catering for 105 beds.

    Read full article on the Manchester Evening News

  21. Healthcare Buildings

    Comments Off on Healthcare Buildings

    Thurston Group is a leading manufacturer of standardised and bespoke healthcare buildings that are designed and precision engineered to deliver the very best in clinical environments.

    Our portable and modular solutions meet all NHS guidelines, including HTM and HBN requirements. With over 50 years of experience, you can save time and money coming to us for best building advice.

    Designed to meet your needs

    In a market where shortages exist, building standards for comfort and infection control are extremely high. In a world where sustainability is of growing importance and budgets are tight – offsite construction has to be a big part of the solution. Our healthcare buildings work as stand-alone cabins or can be linked to create a much larger building to provide much needed care environments.

    These highly specialised buildings can be used in many applications such as A&E wards, acute, paediatric and isolation wards, toilets or showers, sleeping or rest areas, shower blocks or storage areas. Available in a range of sizes and with various options for internal and external finishes, Thurston’s units are the ultimate in quality and functionality. Our product range can also include various architectural features match your existing estate, as well as local or environmental planning requirements.

    Proven Methodology

    Offsite construction delivers a range of benefits over traditional build methods:

    • Fully complies with all building health & safety regulations
    • Faster return on investment due to reduced overall programmes
    • Protect your employees and your patients
    • Providing additional peace of mind

    As much as 75% of a building is manufactured offsite in a controlled environment, this reduces construction traffic and noise in the sensitive health environment. Meaning your hospital can maintain its high quality day to day care standards, whilst expanding its facilities to coordinate an emergency response.

  22. Top 5 misconceptions of modular buildings

    Comments Off on Top 5 misconceptions of modular buildings

    Offsite and modular construction is steadily on the rise with more companies choosing modular buildings as their choice of modern method of construction (MMC). Modular buildings provide more versatility, flexibility, speed and minimal disruption to a site. However, there are still some commonly held misconceptions of modular so we’re challenging the top five misconceptions of modular buildings.

    1. Disrupts work productivity

    It’s quite the contrary! Modular construction actually reduces construction time by up to 50%[1], minimising disruption on site and improving efficiency. The majority of the manufacturing process is carried out offsite. From building all the components, right through to the bulk of the assembly. This means less noise, less traffic and less waste.   

    2. Not built to last

    Modular buildings follow the same set of regulations as traditional construction and therefore need to meet the same standards of quality and structural integrity. The average life span of a modular build is around 20 to 30 years[2], so they’re definitely built to last. However, our builds are accredited to BBA standard, offering high quality, reliability and credibility for over 60 years.

    3. They all look the same

    As modular buildings have evolved over time, they’re able to offer more customisation than ever before. Our buildings can be made to look like an existing one or a brand new one.  From interior and exterior design to layout, insulation and cladding, we provide a full turnkey package and can manufacture to exact specifications. 

    4. Modular buildings are not sustainable

    Sustainability is a hot topic in the industry with companies constantly looking at ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Modular buildings are a much more sustainable solution than traditional build, as the majority of work is done offsite and kept in a controlled environment. Ultimately reducing onsite waste and carbon emissions in the process. Additionally, buildings can be re-used for another project after use due to their longevity. Find out more here.  

    5. Modular buildings are architecturally boring

    Whilst some companies may require a more traditional looking modular build, we know this isn’t the case for every customer. Modular buildings can offer creativity and versatility in line with customers’ needs. From timber clad to pitched roofs and customised colours, modular buildings are becoming more aesthetically appealing to meet market demand.

    Recently working with Caddick Construction to provide a marketing suite mirroring the exact internal space of their apartments of the Hudson Quarter development in York. We’re proud to be supporting projects such as these and debunking the myth that modular is boring.

    We pride ourselves on creating high-quality modular and portable solutions. With continuous innovation at the forefront of our business, we’ll meet any need. Find out more about our recent projects.

    [1] https://www.pbctoday.co.uk/news/modular-construction-news/offsite-tackle-issues-construction/51045/


  23. Thurston Group Project Highlights

    Comments Off on Thurston Group Project Highlights

    This month, we’ve been busy working on some really exciting modular building projects. From education to commercial and industrial units, here are our October project win highlights:

    Rolls Royce

    We’ve recently completed a full turnkey package to Rolls Royce Motor Cars Limited. From design through to delivery, the project included a reconfiguration of one of their existing warehouse and logistics buildings. It accommodated two bespoke units – a production office block and amenity block. These were lifted onto an existing structure by crane to the first-floor mezzanine area. Avoiding minimal disruption to the operational function of the site, units were installed over a weekend. Providing employees with better amenities and increased office space.


    We’re delighted to be working alongside ALDI to deliver a gatehouse to the £25m expanding Regional Office and Distribution Centre in Bathgate to upgrade their logistics operations. Having worked with ALDI over the last few years, we knew exactly what the client required and are delighted to be working the team again.

    Sandy Upper School

    Our most recent win is on a short time scale. Modular buildings meet the demand for schools that need to be built in a short period of time. As part of the ESPO Framework, we’ve started building a seven-bay double modular classroom with a turnaround time of just eight weeks. In partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council, the modular building will be made from our lightweight steel frame system.

    Business Growth

    After a 40% sales increase, we’ve appointed six new employees to support the business and meet market demand as we continue to grow. Keep checking our blog and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for regular updates and more modular building projects.

  24. 100 modular units installed across five sites

    Comments Off on 100 modular units installed across five sites

    It’s been a busy week for the Thurston’s team! We’ve installed over 100 modular units in five sites across England, Ireland and Wales. These projects include two modular buildings for Network Rail, a gatehouse for East Midlands Airport, six new modular homes and much more.

    From portable modular builds and welfare buildings to specialist units, we offer a range of solutions for a variety of sectors including residential, education, rail and construction.

    Find out more




  25. The benefits of a modular office

    Comments Off on The benefits of a modular office

    If you’re running a business that needs one or multiple offices, then you’re going to be faced with sky-high prices with a traditional build. Fortunately, there’s an option that’s significantly better than traditional office space: a modular office.

    So we’re going to tell you what one is, and what the benefits are.

    Modular Office: What is it?

    A modular office is office space that’s made out of sustainable materials instead of the classic brick and mortar. A modular office has many benefits that can’t be attributed to traditional office space, making it the superior option.

    Modular Office benefit #1: Cost-effective

    For a business looking for office space, cost is always going to be a consideration. You need to stick to a budget, despite the fact that offices are notoriously expensive to purchase or rent and then run. This makes the cost-effectiveness of modular one of the key selling points.

    Modular is kind to your budget, meaning that you can have the office space you’ve always wanted without the large budget.

    Due to the cost-effectiveness of this option, you’ll often end up with some of your budget left over. This can then be invested elsewhere, further showing why you should take a look at modular.

    Modular Office benefit #2: Speed

    Although modular buildings are great for your budget, they also offer a range of other major benefits. One example is that building times are up to 50% quicker than traditional builds.

    If you’re just starting your business and you know that you’re going to need office space, you’re probably going to want to have this space as fast as you possibly can. Without doubt, modular construction is the fastest way for you to have the office space that you need.

    Although you might not have considered investing in your first office – after all, you can always rent – modular allows you to have office space at a great price.

    Modular Office benefit #3: Transferable office space

    This advantage doesn’t matter for a lot of people, but it’s a great advantage for those who want to make use of it.

    Depending on your situation, one of the main advantages is that you can move them whenever you feel the need to. This is especially good if you’re in a business where you often have to move to a new location; now, you can take your office with you.

    Moving modular buildings is very easy. It’s especially great for a business that wants to be in multiple locations throughout the year, for example, if you know that you can sell more in one location for a part of the year and then better in another location, at another time, you can move your office to suit your needs.

    Modular Office benefit #4: Adaptable

    A lot of businesses start in one office and end up having to move elsewhere. This is usually because they’ve outgrown their current office space. Modular offices are easily adapted to meet your needs. Do you need to need more room for your business? Your modular space can be extended in mere weeks, perhaps days, and for a great price too!

  26. Modular systems buildings advantages

    Comments Off on Modular systems buildings advantages

    For a business in need of systems buildings, modular definitely gets the best result. Here we explain the advantages of modular systems buildings, so that you can decide whether to invest or not.

    Modular systems buildings: Speed

    If you need systems buildings for your business, you don’t want to have to wait forever. One benefit of modular buildings is that they’re built quickly, so you can use them almost straightaway.

    Modular construction is up to 50% faster than traditional construction. So why is modular construction so much faster? The main reason is the fact that the construction process is completed in a controlled factory environment. This means that the project isn’t delayed by factors such as bad weather.

    Modular systems buildings: Minimal site impact

    Once you’ve decided that you want modular construction for your business, you don’t want day to day operations affected while the construction process is ongoing. With modular, this isn’t a problem.

    Modular construction minimises site disruption because it’s completed primarily offsite. Up to 90% of construction activity is completed in a factory, keeping your business running smoothly.

    Modular systems buildings: Sustainable

    Although the success of your business is very important to you, it’s also crucial that we also look out for the environment. Modular construction is more sustainable than traditional methods.

    Modular buildings are built with eco-friendly building materials, which means that you aren’t damaging the environment with the products that you’re using. It’s also been found that modular buildings use plenty of recycled materials, which is even better.

    With modular, you’re investing in a sustainable construction process from start to finish, so that you know you’re doing your bit for the planet.

    Modular systems buildings: Cost-effective

    In business, it’s vital to be cost-effective. One of the ways to be successful is cut down costs. Modular buildings are an extremely cost-effective option. There are multiple ways that modular systems buildings are cost-effective, so we’ll explain two of those here.

    Modular buildings are cheaper than traditional builds, and as construction times are shorter, this can also end up saving you a big amount of money in the long-run. The design service for modular construction is often included, which means that you won’t have to find additional funds for an architect to design your building for you.

  27. Different Types of Modular Construction

    Comments Off on Different Types of Modular Construction

    If you’re looking for a cost-effective alternative to traditional methods, modular construction is the solution. Not only is it cheaper, there are also a range of benefits. Keeping that in mind, we’re exploring the different types of modular construction and why it’s beneficial to use modular over traditional.


    Suppliers of education often have to stick to tight budgets so when they need extensions, the budget for them is scarce or non-existent. Whilst modular construction still costs money, providers of education have quickly realised how much cheaper modular buildings are. Not only that but for schools and other providers, there are many benefits to using modular as opposed to traditional.

    Modular buildings can be modified to suit the individual needs of education suppliers. More modules can be added or removed, meaning that, if one year there’s more students than expected, more modules can be installed. On the other hand, modules can be removed if there are less students than originally expected. This, combined with cost savings, make modular construction an option that most schools now choose.

    Portable Offices

    In a lot of jobs, workers are always on the move. One example of this is in construction. Because of this constant moving, new offices are often required wherever the workers move. However, with a modular portable office, workers can take their existing office with them. Workers can get used to the space and customise it to suit their needs, knowing they’ll be taking it with them. The portable office can be expanded and shrunk as needs demand so it’s always suitable for all needs. Also, portable offices are very easy to move. It isn’t going to be a day’s work if the office needs to be moved elsewhere.

    Modular Homes

    With potential homeowners looking for something new, innovative and sustainable, modular housing has rapidly rose to prominence. Modular housing is significantly cheaper when compared to traditionally constructed properties. This is because up to 90% of the construction is completed offsite and then installed onsite quickly. It’s not only a short-term solution either; modular housing can be a long-term alternative to living in a traditionally constructed property.

    As with the portable offices and education buildings, modular homes can be extended and shrunk as the owner pleases. Inside isn’t a conspicuous void and can be as personal as any house, with lots of options. These options mean that lots of people are choosing modular housing as a short-term and long-term option when looking for suitable housing.

    There are numerous benefits to using various types of modular construction for your projects. Reach out and see how we can help you achieve success with your projects.

  28. Modular Construction: Why it’s so brilliant

    Comments Off on Modular Construction: Why it’s so brilliant

    When everything is so expensive in construction, an often-overlooked method of cutting costs is modular construction. So what is modular construction? What can be made and why are they so great?

    What’s modular construction?

    Modular buildings are pre-assembled buildings created from multiple sections known as modules. It differs from other methods of construction as the module sections are constructed offsite; this is one of the reasons why construction is cheaper than traditional methods. Modules are then delivered to the site with final construction and installation concluded at the site. 60-90% of the construction is conducted offsite in a controlled environment such as a factory. Onsite, modules can take anything from a few hours up to days to assemble.

    Modules can be placed side-by-side, end-to-end or stacked. The variety of combinations means that there’s lots of customisation when it comes to the configuration and style of the end result.

    Modular buildings can be a short-term solution but also a long-term option. This means that even for a long-term option, you can have a cheaper alternative to traditional construction if you’re on a tight budget.

    What can be made?

    Due to the nature of modular construction, modules can be used anywhere and in any sector. Here’s a few examples of what modules are often used for:

    Education buildings

    Education buildings are often constructed using modules. This is because schools have to stick to tight budgets and year upon year they never quite know how many students they’re going to have. This can often leave them in need of emergency space. Fortunately, modular construction means that they can stick to their budget whilst adjusting their space at will. Not only is modular construction cheaper than the traditional option, it’s also quicker, meaning that schools can have a modular building in no time at all.

    Portable offices

    If somebody is in a role where they know their office is going to have to move a lot, such as construction, modular construction is the perfect option as they can take it with them when they have to move. This means that they don’t have to pay for new space as they’ll be taking their existing space with them.

    Why is it so great?

    Modular offers a lot of choices at an excellent price. This means that people can stick to budgets whilst still getting what they require for potentially half the price, if not cheaper, compared to traditional methods.

    The fact that modular construction can be added to, taken away from and moved is also an excellent quality. It means that if you need more space, you can easily have it. Need less space? That’s an option too. Need to move to a new site? Modular construction allows for that!

  29. The vast range of modular buildings

    Comments Off on The vast range of modular buildings

    If you’re looking at options when it comes to modular buildings, you’ve probably realised just how many there are. With so many choices available, it’s often difficult to decide which building is best for you. Here we’re going to explore what modular buildings are, why they’re beneficial and some of the options that are available.

    What is a modular building?

    A modular building is the most popular alternative available to traditional construction methods. These buildings are manufactured offsite and are suitable for a range of sectors including education, healthcare and residential.

    The advantages of modular

    Modular construction has become increasingly popular for a variety of reasons, and has numerous benefits, making it one of the best options for your home or business:


    It’s one of the best options available for anybody looking for a cost-effective solution for their home or their business. Especially for people who might be looking for their first home. It offers everybody the opportunity to own their own space, simply because it’s so kind to your bank balance.

    Easily adapted

    If you need a space that you can easily make changes to in the future, modular can be the solution. You can easily expand modules or remove if you need to downsize due to the way they’re built. This means that you can make changes without all of the trouble of having to pay for a traditional extension.

    Short construction period

    It doesn’t take too long to construct one of these buildings, which is one of the main selling points. As you’ll be aware, brick and mortar buildings take a long period of time to construct. With modular, construction times are considerably reduced. Why? Modular structures are constructed offsite and then installed onsite in a matter of days or hours, so problems such as the weather don’t impact the construction process.

    Types of building

    As mentioned earlier, there’s a variety of buildings that are classified as modular buildings:

    Modular housing

    This option is for everyone. Modular housing is an up-and-coming form of housing that you’ll find worldwide. It’s an increasingly popular option for young people who are looking to invest in their first home, simply because it’s cost-effective to move into one of these properties as opposed to other construction methods. It’s perfect for those who can’t afford a traditional house for whatever reason. The materials are cheaper and construction is completed in a factory; both contributing factors to it being a great way to move into owning your own property.

    Modular education building

    Schools have smaller budgets than they have ever had in the past. This means that cheaper, high-quality education buildings are perfect for schools that need to expand but on a budget. Modular buildings can be used for any form of education, as they are an extremely adaptable option. This means that you can use them for primary schools, secondary schools, and extended education locations. Modular education buildings are the best option for schools as the space is adaptable. It can be changed year upon year to meet demand.

  30. Why modular buildings are great for education

    Comments Off on Why modular buildings are great for education

    We’re part of a wider collaboration of businesses. One of our sister businesses is an industry leader in portable and modular building solutions. Thurston’s Building Systems provides high-quality modular and portable buildings for use in every industry and is designed to meet a wide variety of requirements.

    See why modular buildings are great for expanding schools from one of the experts over at Thurston’s Building Systems.

    Schools are over-crowded and underfunded and it’s evident that things need to change. Expanding schools is the first step to solving overcrowding issues, helping students improve performance. With tight budgets, expanding schools isn’t as easy as it sounds. Traditional expansions don’t come cheap or quickly. How can the Education sector solve these issues? Modular can be a solution but the uptake is slow despite numerous benefits.

    Quick construction

    Construction at schools can be disruptive. One of the biggest issues when completing any construction at schools is finding time to do it. It’s important to make sure that children are safe, especially young school children who might want to see what’s going on. It can take months and a lot of money if you can only work on weekends or school holidays.

    Modular is up to 50% quicker than traditional methods. Buildings are also completed offsite and then installed once 90% complete, minimising disruption for the school. This saves money and improves efficiency.


    The cost of construction isn’t something that education providers can afford. Staff wages and necessary equipment are generally top of the list of things to spend money on. But the best thing about modular buildings is that they’re much more affordable to build and maintain. This means that education suppliers with small budgets can tackle overcrowding with a modular expansion.


    One of the best characteristics of modular buildings is flexibility. Our buildings come in a variety of layouts, shapes and sizes and can be tailored specifically to the clients’ needs. It’s very easy to modify a building once installed whether you need it smaller or bigger. If you have a particularly big class, it’s very simple to expand a modular building. Similarly, if you have a particularly small class, it’s simple enough to make it smaller.

  31. Modular vs masonry: What type of construction comes out on top?

    Comments Off on Modular vs masonry: What type of construction comes out on top?

    With the aim of helping you to find out what’s really the best option for you, we’re comparing two popular methods of construction: modular vs masonry. Exploring the benefits of both, we’ll find out which comes out on top as the best one for your wants and needs.

    If you’re considering building your dream, lifetime home, it’s important to make sure you get it right. You don’t want to spend time, effort and money on something that you think might ­be perfect, just to find out that it isn’t.

    Modular housing: The Benefits

    Quicker construction

    When looking at the benefits of modular housing, this is always the decider. Construction times are never delayed by the weather. On traditional construction sites, weather is a big deal. A bit of rain and the work has to stop. Due to the fact that modular housing is constructed in a factory environment, the building will remain on schedule regardless of the weather.


    With modular housing, passive features such as house orientation, insulation, shading, solar power and grey water systems are easily incorporated into any designs and are installed during the construction process. Whilst these are options for traditional, it takes a little longer and it leaves a lot of waste. Also, since modular properties are constructed in factories, the amount of waste and site disruption is kept at a minimum. Meaning that it’s significantly more sustainable than a site build.

    Remote location installations are cheaper

    If your dream home is in a remote area, onsite building costs can skyrocket quickly. This is because there’s higher delivery costs, long-term travel and accommodation expenses for the builders working on the project. With modular, you can save nearly 90%  compared to traditional construction. With factory construction, homes are delivered 90% completed so installation is quicker and time onsite is reduced.

    Masonry housing: The Benefits

    Top-end luxury

    If your dream construction is a top-end luxury property, it’s unlikely that modular building is going to be the best option for you. This isn’t because a modular home can’t be stylish and luxury, it’s because large homes would require a lot of extra modules as well as extra features. This means that the modular process isn’t ideal as it will end up becoming expensive due to the amount of time it would take and the components required. This means that masonry may be the best option as it is all one construction instead of various modules.

    Best choice for cities

    In cities, transporting modular homes can be difficult. This is simply due to the number of obstacles that litter the busy city space. For example, in cities, there are lots of power lines. Making transporting pre-built modular homes difficult, resulting in higher costs. Although modular can work well in a city and has been used plenty of times in the past.

    So modular vs masonry? When looking for a housing solution, it’s best to plan ahead to see what best suits your needs. Modular will always come out on top, but traditional will always be available as an alternative depending on the project.

  32. Modular buildings UK: The rise to prominence

    Comments Off on Modular buildings UK: The rise to prominence

    The history of modular buildings starts in 1837. Where the first on-record example of this type of housing was a home designed and constructed by London-based carpenter Henry Manning. Upon creation, it was transported to Australia. Many more were built from this due to popularity and the industry grew.

    Modular buildings UK: Origins (1837 – 1900)

    As mentioned above, the first modular building recorded was designed and manufactured by Henry Manning. He created this building for his son who was due to emigrate to Australia. The appearance of his unique and innovative home thrilled the locals. Manning’s design had caught on. It’s presumed that the design interested people due its easy transportation and assembly.

    By 1853 hundreds of these modular builds were shipped to Australia on a yearly basis. Though it wasn’t just Australia embracing modular buildings. They were soon sighted all over the globe.

    Modular buildings were spotted during the California Gold Rush, which began in 1848 and ended in 1855. With a peak in immigration due to the Rush, causing 300,000 people travelling to California from all over the world, modular was the solution. As with the Australian examples of modular construction, components could be compiled easily upon their arrival in America.

    Next, modular construction appeared in Crimea, a peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe. Following on from Florence Nightingale’s infamous letter to The Times in 1854, Isambard Kingdom Brunel was commissioned to build a modular hospital in Scutari. Design and creation only took five months, demonstrating the speed when building modular buildings.

    Modular buildings UK: Impact of war (1940 – 1960)

    World War II had a significant impact on all aspects of life. After the war, the building of houses stopped despite many houses becoming damaged or destroyed by bombs. This created a housing crisis which needed a quick and efficient solution.

    Factories began producing components required to create temporary housing following the war. These homes were erected throughout the UK and many of those houses still stand today despite being a temporary measure. Helping to restore the economy and provide a solution to the ongoing housing crisis, these homes were easy and cheap to build.

    Modular building UK: Recent times (1990 – now)

    The UK has since embraced modular buildings and it’s no longer seen as cheap, second-rate accommodation. Modular has evolved into sustainable, beautiful buildings from the tiny, concrete prefabs of the past. A current example of modular construction being used in the UK is the use of modular NHS infrastructure. An innovative and lasting solution, the NHS has been able to build and expand, where necessary, due to how much cheaper and more flexible modular buildings are.


    The history of modular buildings is a long one, but it’s clear they won’t disappear anytime soon. With rising demand, they are going to be around for a long time yet. They are as useful as they have ever been, offering housing to millions of people who otherwise would not be able to afford their own home and building fully equipped medical buildings for our NHS. Find out more about our modular and portable buildings.

  33. Portable modular buildings: Why you need portable offices

    Comments Off on Portable modular buildings: Why you need portable offices

    Portable modular buildings, specifically portable offices, are brilliant. They hold numerous benefits over traditional methods, making it an excellent option if you have to move to different sites often. For example, working in construction. As you may need to move around depending on where the project is.

    The key word here is obviously portable. There are numerous benefits to being able to take these buildings with you as you move:

    • Customisation

    One benefit is that you’re able to customise the space you’re using in a job where you wouldn’t normally be able to do so. When constantly moving around is a crucial aspect of your job, it’s hard to get used to any office that you have. With a portable office, you simply take it with you. Meaning you’ll never have to get used to a new space when you take a new job.

    • Cost-efficient

    It’s also cost-efficient. You’ll save money by taking your portable office with you when you move locations because you don’t need to rent or buy a new one. Saving money is important no matter how little you’re saving.

    • Adaptable 

    One of the most impressive features with portable modular buildings is that they’re adaptable. This means you’ll always be able to customise size, layout and how it looks externally with little hassle. Every business grows over time. With a modular portable office your building can be modified, expanded or reduced to suit requirements. This option is a lot cheaper and easier than moving to a new office. Not only can you stay in the same location, materials are cheaper when adapting and extending portable modular buildings compared to traditional methods.

    What can we do for you?

    So you’ve decided that a portable office is right for your business? There are many ways we can help you with getting your perfect portable office. We don’t just supply the building. We can also offer various specialist features to provide a range of services. For example, do you need computer friendly flooring such as access panels for cabling? We offer bespoke solutions to your problems. Enabling you to have a customised office that will suit your needs for years to come.

    Are you interested in discussing your options? Contact us and find out more.