The Project

HMP Five Wells was the first in a series of schemes to be undertaken as part of the Ministry of Justice's (MoJ) wider transformation programme, to reform and modernise the prison estate to make it more efficient, safer, and focused on supporting rehabilitation.

A core feature of the project was to optimise how the MoJ’s assets are designed, procured, delivered, and operated, through a Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) or ‘platform’ approach. Kier incorporated repeatable, standardised components across 13 buildings on site of which circa 80% of the design had been standardised. During the design phase Kier optimised the precast structure, greatly increasing the number of cast-in components, such as mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering (MEP); powered by our digital approach. Using this common design, three precast suppliers across six factories in the UK manufactured components that were the best possible fit for their production facilities.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) and digital integration with our client and supply chain remained a  primary focus throughout, helping us improve upon this flagship digital scheme and apply its successes on other projects.

The Approach

We proved our commitment to standardisation by adding 3,245 components and system families to the MoJ’s digital component library to date.

We rationalised the number of standard precast components by 50%, resulting in a programme saving of 18.5 crane weeks per houseblock. We also developed 65 Solibri rule-sets and 30 classifications to enable us to digitally measure design standardisation.

Kier’s use of prefabricated MEP has been continuously improved. Throughout this project, we fine-tuned the modular services design applied at HMP Oakwood to ensure enhanced access for maintenance and integration of new technologies. Through utilising prefabricated MEP we saved 30% in on-site resource, eliminating 54,000 working hours on site (a 10,000- hour efficiency improvement compared to HMP Oakwood).

Committed to leaving lasting legacies, Kier created 176 new jobs, upskilled 614 people, hosted 1,661 work placement days and 34 apprenticeships.

The Result

HMP Five Wells represents a step change in the evolution of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), offering technological and operational improvements over two proceeding prisons, achieving a platform for delivering future prisons more quickly and efficiently with better outcomes.

The HMP Five Wells facility was built 22% faster than traditional construction methods. Offsite manufacture reduced on-site labour by a third compared with traditional construction, with prefabricated MEP alone saving 54,000 working hours on site.

The legacy for HMP Five Wells is already being realised on the 10,000 places prison programme, where the platform design is being used at a new 1,680-place prison at Glen Parva.

HMP Five Wells

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