Manufacturing Locked In

Manufacturing is well underway for the new prison at HMP Millsike, York, for which PCE Ltd has been appointed superstructure and façade delivery partner by Kier.

The Ministry of Justice project once again sees PCE’s award winning HybriDfMA Secure Prison System being used, following the successful completion of HMP Five Wells, at Wellingborough and HMP Fosse Way, Glen Parva.


Manufacturing for the category C prison, which will focus on rehabilitation for almost 1,500 prisoners through a large array of workshops and classrooms, sees a total of around 12,500 elements manufactured across seven factories within PCE’s extensive and adaptable supply chain, over a circa 12-month period. These elements comprise precast concrete walls and floor units and precast hollowcore. A further 681 steel elements and 34 Deltabeams® are used to create 8 buildings across the new prison facility, including 6 houseblocks, a Care and Separation Unit (CaSU) and an entrance building. The rigorous design process that precedes the manufacturing stage allows PCE to ensure units are designed and manufactured with robustness and longevity in mind, with a minimum concrete design strength of C35/45 to a maximum of C60/75, built to a 100 year design life.


One of the many benefits an offsite HybriDfMA model brings is the manufacturing of precast units in controlled factory environments, where every detail is closely scrutinised to guarantee consistent quality. As part of PCE’s commitment to delivering the highest quality at every project phase, component quality standards, aesthetics and tolerances were defined and agreed with input from key stakeholders, including PCE, Kier and the MoJ. These ‘first casts’ benchmark standards ensure all following offsite manufactured components are delivered to the highest quality standard, without exception.


Across its supply chain, a total of 55,000 free issue casting components, such as cell door frames, cell windows and casting conduit assemblies are delivered to factories so that all M&E and security components can be preassembled and cast into the precast units. This allows unique and specific M&E needs to be incorporated into the manufacturing process, offering configurability in addition to quality assurance, efficiency and control.


Coordinating the logistics of such a large-scale operation to a just-in-time model requires cutting edge digital capabilities. PCE uses state-of-the-art technology and a unique digital platform called Ynomia to generate an interactive 3D ‘digital twin’ from design conception, replicating the model whilst visualising each component. Within the manufacturing stage, this means each unit, when produced in controlled factory environments, is equipped with a Bluetooth tracking device, monitoring every stage of its journey in real time, from leaving the factory through to onsite installation. This provides transparency, clarity and predictability throughout the entire offsite process.


A commitment to continuous improvement

HMP Millsike follows the successful collaboration between PCE and Kier to deliver HMP Five Wells using PCE’s Secure Living System. Following HMP Five Wells, PCE were appointed superstructure and façade delivery partner for HMP Fosse Way. As part of its commitment to continuous improvement and sustainable practice, the Decarbonising Precast Concrete report, completed in conjunction with the MOJ and other industry experts, has allowed carbon-reducing benefits to be successfully implemented at HMP Millsike. This achieved a 12% reduction in embodied carbon when compared with HMP Fosse Way, constructed in 2021.


Working with multiple manufacturers across the supply chain, PCE collaboratively reviewed, innovated and tested concrete mix designs, ensuring the revised mix would continue to deliver structural integrity and other required performance properties, whilst simultaneously achieving a reduction in carbon content. The 12% reduction achieved translates to a saving of over 1,200 tonnes of CO2, with an actual average of 443kg CO2e/m3 against the HMP Fosse Way project of 501kg CO2/m3. In other words, HMP Millsike has seen a reduction of over 753kg CO2 per prisoner place, in what is a true testament to the proactivity PCE shows in creating sustainable solutions across the design and build industry.

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