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Tag Archive: offsite construction

  1. Modular construction in the Education sector

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    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.

  2. How can MMC help meet sustainability targets?

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    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?

  3. ‘Defining the Need’ – A conclusion and a look ahead to the future

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    ‘Defining the Need’ has demonstrated an objective approach to understanding the needs of the public sector estate. It also highlighted the need to harmonise and digitise demand across new build programmes. This piece is a conclusion of our ‘Defining the Need’ series and provides a look into the future to see how it can provide a long-term solution.

    The results of the cross-departmental pipeline analysis showed that the top three most common spaces were circulation, storage and bathrooms. Constituting around 30% of the entire government’s estate. This shows that there’s a huge opportunity for the government to harmonise pipelines and implement a platform system solution. A standardised, repeatable platform construction system that ultimately meets the needs of multiple departments would provide the public sector with a quicker, better quality building solution.

    This report, combined with the government’s Construction Playbook, would give departments an opportunity to focus on building spaces that improve departments or communities and provide the greatest value.

    A standardised approach to building doesn’t need to compromise on quality or flexibility. At Thurston’s we’re able to provide high quality modular and portable buildings for every sector. Utilising a standardised approach, we’re able to meet individual client requirements and create a bespoke building while reducing delivery speed, improving sustainability and improving quality.

    Based on the data analysed and collected, the Platform team have been able to start developing their platform strategy that meets the needs of the customer. Looking ahead, the Hub’s project team plans to build a Rulebook with defined rules and standards detailing how technologies and components can be integrated. It also plans to build a Value Proposition which will define the characteristics, differentiation, cost-structure and life cycle of the platform and a Kit of Parts. The Kit of Parts will comprise the components of the platform highlighting how it can be varied within certain constraints. Finally the team will also progress with resources to support adoption, called Enablers. 

    A platform construction system solution provides new ways of working that may require changes to the ways that organisations are structured. Not every organisation will be able to implement a platform strategy without making significant changes, which is why the project team will build a set of processes and standards to help. The overall success of a platform system approach will rely on clarity of roles, responsibilities and processes, as well as the kit of parts.

    The processes and standards developed by the Platform Design Programme (PDP) will be made openly available and in 2022, demonstrate how they can be applied in practice. The PDP will use the concept training building and work undertaken at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry as a showcase to show organisations how they can implement a platform construction system along with the benefits.

    The PDP can also offer opportunities to the wider market. The full report, due to be published in winter, will demonstrate the potential for platform construction systems and how it could potentially be applied to other industries within both the public and private sector. Enabling others to procure, develop and apply platforms to develop better, faster and greener outcomes.

  4. Planning permission and building regulations: A breakdown

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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. 

  8. Thurston Group attends MPBA webinar

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    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.”

  9. Meet the team – our Business Development Manager, Bob Holloway

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    This week, we talk to our new Business Development Manager for Offsite. Responsible for the southern region of the UK, Bob Holloway brings over 30 years’ of experience in the industry. We talk to him to find out more…

    1. Hi Bob, welcome to Thurston Group! Can you share your key responsibilities?

    My main responsibility is to look for new business opportunities in the southern region. Whether that’s new clients or building relationships with existing clients. As I’m quite new to the team, I’ll be focusing on developing relationships and getting to know our existing customer database further.

    1. Are there any particular markets you will be exploring?

    The Projects area is my key focus so I’m looking to meet with architects, main contractors and cost consultants. The five main sectors of focus are education, residential, commercial, infrastructure and healthcare but I will be exploring other sectors too, such as construction and industrial. 

    1. In your opinion, what is the one key benefit of using modular buildings?

    There are so many benefits but if I had to choose just one, it would have to be that modular buildings can be designed and built in a factory environment. By building units in a controlled environment health and safety isn’t compromised, sustainability is improved and waste is minimised. As modular buildings are constructed offsite, there’s minimal disruption to clients and buildings can be built up to 50% quicker than traditional builds. 

    1. What one key business objective would you like to achieve by the end of 2019?

    Secure more business and grow our brand within the education, healthcare and the residential sectors whilst ensuring targets are met.

    1. Can you share an insight into what 2020 looks like?

    There’s no doubt that offsite construction is growing, and we are seeing a significant demand for modular buildings across a range of sectors. At Thurston’s, we want to continue to meet market demand by offering a quick turnaround and high-quality modular solutions that will benefit a range of sectors.

    To find out more about Bob, connect with him on LinkedIn here. You can find out more about our Senior team here.

  10. Top 3 health & safety benefits

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    In recent years, there have been major improvements to health and safety in the construction industry. However, the industry still accounts for a high percentage of fatal and major injuries.[1] Health and safety of staff and visitors is one of the most crucial factors on any construction project, but can often be overlooked.

    Our Managing Director, Matthew Goff, believes that modular construction can help improve health and safety onsite, and shares his top three health and safety benefits of modular:

    1.    Manufactured in a controlled environment

    Traditional construction sites pose many health and safety risks to workers, from falls from height to equipment accidents. But with modular, the majority of the manufacturing process is carried out offsite using specialist machinery in a quality-controlled factory environment, resulting in reduced waste, increased quality control and a lower environmental impact.

    Modular units are delivered to site, pre-fitted with electrics, plumbing, heating, doors and windows and in some cases fixtures and fittings, reducing the time spent onsite and accelerating the overall construction process. Risks can be easily managed in one setting, enhancing health and safety on site.

    2.    Waste reduction

    Modular construction ensures that materials are used more efficiently and accurately. Compared with traditional methods, 67% less energy is required to produce a modular building and up to 50% less time[2] is spent onsite. This results in up to 90% fewer vehicle movements and reduced carbon emissions.

    The impact on the local environment is also reduced, with less noise, packaging and emissions. And when a modular building is built to comply with specific sustainability standards, such as BREEAM, buildings use resources more efficiently, and see a reduction in energy consumption and operational costs.

    3.    Safer working conditions

    Modular construction provides safer working conditions. A controlled factory environment enables safety requirements to be easily met and policed, leading to better quality through improved quality control procedures. Not only is there a reduced risk of slips, trips and falls, particularly as work at height is reduced, but there is also a reduction in onsite activity. Ensuring health and safety remains a top priority from start to finish.

    Factory operations can continue 24/7 with less risk of noise and disruption to workers and projects are unaffected by the weather and other environmental delays, which results in a quick turnaround.

    We pride ourselves on creating high-quality modular and portable solutions to meet your business needs, with continuous innovation at the forefront of our business. 

    [1] http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/healthrisks/key-points.htm

    [2] https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Modular_vs_traditional_construction

  11. Meet the team – Project Manager, Harrison Hudson

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    This week, we talk to Project Manager, Harrison Hudson. With a family history in construction and a passion for sustainability, Harrison believes the modular industry has a lot more to offer. We talk to Harrison to find out more…

    1. Hi Harrison! How have you settled into your role since joining three months ago?

    I’m really enjoying it and finding it really interesting. The fact that Thurston’s manufactures onsite really stood out to me as it’s such a rarity in the UK. It’s a really busy time for Thurston and it’s exciting to be a part of the business during their growth.

    2. Tell me more about your role at Thurston’s and your key responsibilities.

    I’m responsible for a variety of things. From taking a project from the initial design into production and installation, right through to completion of a modular build cycle. It’s very rewarding and it’s great to have such a supportive team.  

    3. Why did you choose this industry? What excited you about it?

    One of the topics that interests me the most is sustainability and modular buildings certainly have a key role to play in this. They can reduce energy consumption and ensure that materials are being used more efficiently, so there’s less waste. Becoming greener and more efficient is such a current issue. So it’s great to know that I’m working in an industry that is putting sustainability at the forefront.

    4. What’s your favourite thing about working in the modular building industry?

    No two days are the same. From providing modular buildings for the healthcare and residential sectors to specialist petrochemical sites, there is so much variety.  

    5. What have been some of your favourite projects to work on this year?

    I recently worked on an Edinburgh Bio-Quarter project. Thurston’s supplied a two-storey building consisting of a large Cat2 labotatory, several meeting rooms and an office space for healthcare research. It felt very rewarding to be doing something for the greater good.

    Another project I particularly enjoyed was working with Rolls Royce. We supplied a full turnkey building package from design right through to delivery. It felt amazing to work with such a renowned brand!

    6. How do you think the industry can attract more graduates?        

    I believe we need to bridge the gap earlier between classroom education and working on site. This will give graduates a much better insight into businesses and the real world, whether that’s offsite or onsite. It also gives individuals the chance to learn and be mentored by architects and surveyors to fully understand the manufacturing process. Enabling them to figure out which path they want to take.  

    I do believe the face of the industry needs to change too. There needs to be an even bigger focus on sustainability and lowering emissions, which is something today’s generation are really passionate about. I believe that would inspire more graduates to join the modular building industry.

  12. Top 5 misconceptions of modular buildings

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    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/


  13. Different Types of Modular Construction

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    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.

  14. Modular Construction: Why it’s so brilliant

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    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!

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

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    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.

  16. Greener Buildings? Move to modular

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    There has recently been a big focus on everybody becoming ‘greener’ and improving their carbon footprints, leading changes in our lifestyles. But there are also other ways of helping the environment that people may not be aware of. Modular buildings are greener, and a large step forward towards improving sustainability compared to traditional methods.

    Here’s why:

    • Offsite construction results in less pollution

    Modular buildings are constructed offsite which offers numerous benefits. One of these benefits is that it causes less pollution when compared to traditional methods with less traffic in and out of site.

    As modular buildings are constructed in a factory, many of the materials that are used in the construction process are reused and properly disposed of when they’re no longer needed. As a result, there are less harmful materials left behind like there can be with onsite construction. The possibility of pollution is greatly reduced, making it the best option.

    • Materials can be recycled and reused

    The framing used in our modular buildings is made of steel. A strong and surprisingly light material which holds many benefits over traditional structures. As it’s particularly resilient, steel does not deteriorate or rot over time. Making it a good choice of building material.

    Steel is a recyclable material. This means that one piece of steel can be used time and time again in a wide range of different projects. In fact, a large percentage of new steel production is completed using recycled steel. How does this fact mean that modular buildings are green? If you decide in the future that you don’t want your modular building it can be deconstructed, and components such as the steel can be reused, meaning less waste.

    • Less waste 

    Offsite construction makes the modular build process considerably quicker than it is for traditional buildings. With less work conducted onsite, labour requirements are noticeably lower, there are less wasted materials. When construction is completed in a factory, we only use exactly what we need, minimising waste. Any other waste can either be recycled or used as fuel.

    • Carbon reduction

    Modular buildings tend to have better thermal insulation compared to traditional methods. Long-term, this means lower requirements for heating. With lower requirements, less energy is used resulting in a reduction in carbon emissions. This is more beneficial to the environment and to those using the buildings, as it also reduces energy bills!


    Modular buildings are the ‘greener’ option.

    • Results in less pollution and emissions than traditional methods
    • Materials can be reused when the modular construction is deconstructed
    • Less waste

    If more people owned and used modular buildings, this would lessen our impact on the environment. Improving sustainability, reducing emissions and ensuring a better future for our planet. Find out how sustainable Thurston’s is. 

  17. Factory built classrooms

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    Do you need more space around your school? Are you short on time? If so, then a factory built classroom is the solution.

    Background – a modular building is built offsite, typically in a factory away from the ‘live’ work site.

    The classroom is essentially just a space that can be built to the client’s specifications – it can be used for so much more than just a classroom – staffing accommodation, nurseries, training facilities and day centres. As the classrooms are built offsite they come along with the same advantages as other modular buildings.

    Here are the benefits of a factory built classroom:

    • Less disruption

    The installation procedure has less disruption than one built on site as most of the work is already done in the factory. This means the build has no impact on the day to day operations of the business. Building offsite reduces the risk to children and inconvenience to teachers trying to teach. It also reduces the possibility of children walking into a ‘live’ working site, where they can potentially harm themselves.

    • High quality

    A big issue that affects all potential buyers as well as users of the building is the quality. Will it stand up against a traditionally built classroom made out of bricks? The answer is yes, if you use the right manufacturer. We have certificates proving it. The BBA 60-year agreement certificate guarantees durability.

    A decent manufacturer will have thought-out the outcomes and scenarios for the building and what materials should be used to avoid problems in the future. The use of corrosion resistant materials are a way to strengthen the classroom and make it last longer, thus, it can be met against the standards of a traditionally built classroom.

    • Customisation

    If you get the right company the sky is the limit. The classroom can blend in with the rest of the school or look brand new. Brick cladding, rendering, pitched roof and green roof are just a few of the variations that can be arranged.

    • Speed

    Built offsite in a factory, away from bad weather and the public, it can also be completed in a shorter time frame than starting from scratch onsite.  It also keeps people out of harm’s way and the construction does not have to be put on hold due to inclement weather – it’s a win-win situation.

  18. Five advantages of modular buildings

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    Modular buildings are six sided steel boxes manufactured offsite and can be stacked or put side by side. They have distinctive advantages, making them a much better modular and portable building solution. Here are five advantages of modular buildings in your project:

    1. QUICKER

    Modular buildings are built up to 50% quicker than using the traditional method. As they are made offsite, most of the building is already done in the manufacturing process, before it even comes to site. It’s also assembled and installed quickly too.

    2. CHEAPER

    They are quicker and require less time and material to build. This makes it cheaper than using other methods, particularly traditional methods. In a controlled factory environment, projects are planned out in advance. This means that we only use the materials that we need on each build, minimising waste. If there is any waste, this can be reused or recycled saving money on other projects and improving our sustainability.


    Being built offsite in a factory reduces site disturbance, and it takes away the view of a never ending construction site. Businesses can continue running day to day operations smoothly.


    The buildings are more flexible as they are easier to relocate if they need to be moved. We’re also able to work closely with the client on bespoke designs. Able to fit in with current buildings or be brand new.


    The modular can be built to fit most industries and adapt to the needs of the user. They can be modified once built so if a space needs to be extended or reduced. It’s simple and easy to do so.

    These are the five advantages of modular buildings. Do you need a modular or portable building solution for your project? Contact us today to find out more.