Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Four new prisons to be built using DfMA

29 June 2020

The government has announced plans to build four new prisons using modern methods of construction, including standardised components manufactured offsite.

The four new jails, the first of which will be built next to HMP Full Sutton, in East Yorkshire, will be constructed over the next six years.

Work is underway to identify locations for a further prison in the north west of England and two in the south east.

The prisons are part of the government’s £2.5bn programme to create 10,000 additional prison places.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said the new buildings would employ modern methods of construction already incorporated into the new prison being built at Wellingborough by Kier. The facility embraces the Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) approach, integrating digital tools to drive efficiencies in the design, construction and operation of the facility.

The four new prisons will also adopt DfMA, building on lessons from recent school construction work. The MoJ said it hoped to see quicker assembly times, lower energy use, better environmental performance as a result, with components such as concrete walls, and pipework for water and electricity built offsite using modern, standardised processes and assembled on site.

Prisons and probation minister, Lucy Frazer, said: “These new jails form a major part of our plans to transform the prison estate, and create environments where offenders can be more effectively rehabilitated and turned away from crime for good.

“As well as a boost to our justice system, these prisons will create thousands of new jobs and send a clear signal that the government can and will continue to invest in the vital infrastructure this country needs.”

The new prisons are being designed with enhanced security such as bar-less windows to stop waste being thrown out and to prevent prisoners accessing drugs and mobile phones flown in by drones. High-speed network cabling will also be incorporated to enable modern security measures such as airport-style security scanning, to prevent the smuggling of the illicit items.