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Willmott Dixon to manufacture health buildings offsite

5 November 2018 | By Neil Gerrard

Image: How the exterior of a Cura building is expected to look

Willmott Dixon is to offer a range of pre-designed health buildings, using pre-cast concrete frames manufactured offsite.

The company’s new Cura concept has been developed in conjunction with architect Penoyre & Prasad.

Standard sized, multi-use rooms are designed as clusters that Willmott Dixon says will enable NHS Trusts to tailor their hub to suit individual clinical departmental requirements, such as therapies, dental, general practices, diagnostics and mental health.

It can be adapted into a combination of sizes, starting from 1,500m2 and rising to 5,000m2.

The repeatable system is thought to be a first for the healthcare sector, Willmott Dixon said.

Image: Reception area in a Cura building

Its creation follows on from the Sunesis system of predesigned offsite school buildings, developed in conjunction with Scape and CODE, which offers pre-designed custodial facilities.

Together, Willmott Dixon says the systems have helped secure the company over £200m in orders over the last five years.

Willmott Dixon’s Cura lead, Anastasia Chrysafi, said: “Our in-house health specialists have invested heavily in taking learning from our pre-design products developed for the education, leisure and custodial sectors to bring these advantages to healthcare. Cura will give NHS Trusts, councils and their partners the benefit of quicker delivery for much needed facilities with the added bonus of cost, programme and quality certainty, which is a key issue with the budget restraints in place.”

“Importantly, we configure the internal layout to suit local needs, with the pre-cast element also providing high levels of thermal mass, which moderates the internal temperature and makes the building as energy-efficient as possible.”

Willmott Dixon said the introduction of Cura came at a time when there is pressure on the NHS to renew much of its estate when budgets are stretched. It referenced a 2017 report by NHS Digital which found that the money needed to address the “high-risk” building and maintenance backlog caused by the NHS’s ageing estate had almost doubled, from £458m in 2014-15 to £947m in 2016.

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