As one of the UK’s largest off-site manufacturing businesses, Caledonian knows a thing or two about modular buildings. It’s one of the reasons why the company has grown to a turnover in excess of £50m and with a goal firmly set on doubling this over the next 2 years you get the distinct impression they’re set to change how the industry works. Having been founded over 50 years’ ago and now operating from a 40-acre site in Newark, Nottinghamshire, they’re unusual in having one of the longest trading histories in the modular sector.
Success has come about by sticking to what it does best; high quality modular accommodation that is delivered to site with up to 96% of the build completed in its quality assessed manufacturing facility. Proof is in the pudding and they don’t get much bigger than the £53m Hinkley Point C worker accommodation contract that was successfully delivered in 2018. Effectively creating in ‘new town’ in just 51 weeks, it shows the capability of modular construction and how, if the government’s rhetoric on solving the UK’s housing crisis once and for all translates into action, Hinkley is the shape of things to come. Housing providers should take note of what Caledonian has achieved – effectively creating a modular new town at Hinkley that houses 1,496 workers in just 51 weeks.
Caledonian’s innovative modular building system means that programme savings of up to 50% or more are possible compared with traditional forms of construction. And the programme can be more predictable than when using conventional methods as well as reducing waste and number of deliveries to site.
A central pillar to the company’s growth is the ongoing focus on quality and project delivery. The underpinning methodology is to take a traditionally constructed building and apply latest manufacturing techniques to drive efficiencies. The three core areas of this are the use of BIM, design for manufacturing and assembly (DfMA) and lean manufacturing techniques.
The results are replicable, too. The latest is a £25m project that involves Caledonian working with Bowmer & Kirkland to manufacture high quality student accommodation as part of a £54m development for the University Campus of Football Business, First Way Campus in Wembley.
The 680 bedrooms will be manufactured and installed by Caledonian and, similar to Hinkley, will be 96% complete prior to shipping to site. That was one of the main reasons they were selected for this project; because they could show how the modules would help meet the strict deadline dates, which required handover by July 2020 in time for Euro 2020. First Way Campus is situated a few minutes’ walk from Wembley Stadium, and will include a mix of purpose-built student accommodation as well as academic, office and outdoor space.
Fire compliance capabilities of the modular system also featured highly in the selection process, due to the high rise nature of the development. It rises to 11 storeys and that really shows what is possible with the company’s modular building solution. Caledonian gave the client and design team confidence post Grenfell, providing a pre-engineered fire compliant modular solution suitable for a development of this scale.
Damian Flood, CEO of Cole Waterhouse, said “We liked the modular building solution proposed by Bowmer + Kirkland and its supply partner Caledonian for First Way Campus because it was a practical way of meeting the strict schedule. We are providing Wembley and the UCFB students with a fantastic campus that will include a number of facilities for students including purpose built accommodation (678 beds), seminar rooms and staff office spaces as well as amenities such as a café style restaurant, a gym and library/IT suite.”
Developers Cole Waterhouse brokered a deal with Unite Students, a leading provider of student accommodation in the UK. Caledonian has incorporated the Unite requirements into the design to provide a higher standard student living experience than is traditionally expected.
Caledonian is a company with an eye firmly set on the future and as Chief Executive Officer Paul Lang explains: “Our ability to deliver to a strict schedule and have an existing fire compliant solution made a compelling proposition for First Way Campus. We are able to achieve consistent project delivery by investing in BIM, design for manufacturing and assembly (DfMA) and lean manufacturing. In combination we believe that it will help us raise industry standards across the board. Our long term goal is to lead change in the industry by establishing a ‘modular mindset’ with clients and developers.”