Prison Estates Transformation Programme

MZA Consulting Engineers was appointed to deliver the RIBA Stage 4A design for two new prisons being constructed under the Prison Estates Transformation Programme for the UK Ministry of Justice. The prisons are located at Wellingborough and Leicester, each housing approximately 1600 prisoners, and were designed to revolutionise the custodial estate through focussing on rehabilitation and prisoner training. Each had a construction value of £250M with designs delivered over an 8 month period. In addition to accommodation blocks, the facilities included Care and Separation Units, commercial kitchens, healthcare, vocational workshops, administration buildings, educational facilities, social visits complex, security management buildings and site wide infrastructure.

The projects were delivered to Level 2 BIM and included COBie data requirements through all project stages, which will be utilised as part of  the facilities management information. The projects as a whole are embracing a Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) and integrating digital tools to drive efficiencies in the design, construction and operation of the facility. MZA developed a prefabrication strategy for the buildings, which allowed a series of standardised plant skids to be designed, for use across multiple buildings. This allowed for flexibility in project delivery and enabled the main contractor to spread risk by utilising two prefabricated plantroom manufacturers across the site. In addition to plantroom modules, the MZA prefabrication strategy developed a series of horizontal multi-service distribution modules and 4-storey multi service risers. Where applicable, extensive areas were designed around modular wiring systems. The strategy developed by MZA has enabled approximately 70% of the building services to be procured as offsite components.

The first prison (Wellingborough, now renamed HMP Five Wells) had a 22-month construction period and utilised a pre-cast panelised concrete solution, which required builderswork details to be developed at RIBA Stage 3. MZA undertook the full detailing of the MEP builderswork, which included fabrication models and drawings for components including conduits, shower gulleys and underfloor heating, enabling the main contactor to procure these components in advance of the main MEP contract to ensure the precast programme could be achieved. To further assist the programme, MZA undertook the Stage 4 modelling in Revit fabrication which ensured the design stage Revit model could be developed into the installation level model without the requirement to remodel. During the construction stage, MZA has been instructed to develop a solution to provide 96 electric vehicle charging points for the prison car park and also to develop a feasibility study for the prison to achieve net zero carbon in operation, which would make it the first such prison to do so within the United Kingdom.