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To support the Platform Programme, the Hub has created sandpits – test beds providing a safe space to concept, learn and develop.

Building on the Product Platform Rulebook and Value Toolkit, these sandpits are physical demonstrators of the theory, providing a safe space to develop, test and refine innovative solutions, products and approaches for the schools and hospitals of the future with an approach that can be used across public procurement.

The sandpits have been both physically and digitally developed at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry. Two of the sandpits, Education and Health, are being delivered externally as test beds for the classrooms and hospitals of the future. These complement an existing Indoor Sandpit and Digital Sandpit.

The MTC was established in 2010 as an independent Research & Technology Organisation with the objective of bridging the gap between academia and industry – referred to as ‘the valley of death’. The sandpits support this objective, underpinning the work the MTC is doing as part of the Hub.

Please click on the boxes below to find out more about the individual sandpits.




"We will look to procure construction projects based on product platforms comprising of the kit of parts, production processes, knowledge, people and relationships required to deliver all or part of construction projects.”

The Construction Playbook

We are proving through the sandpits that by using a manufacturing approach we can deliver outcomes that will – reduce cost, carbon and waste and increase productivity, value, speed, safety and quality.

What do we mean by 'sandpits'?

Sandpits provide a safe space to develop, test and refine innovative solutions, products and approaches to:

  • De-risk their application on live projects;
  • Build understanding and capability amongst industry and clients;
  • Test interoperability and scalability, and;
  • Measure how these approaches add value and support the broader objectives.

Essentially these are physical demonstrators of the theory – facilities we can showcase, demonstrate, view and even amend.

Why are we doing this?

The sandpits will provide test bed facility at MTC for the foreseeable future providing a safe space to test, learn and develop – an important part of the Hub’s legacy to the sector.

This in turn will support the development of robust and reliable products, that can be delivered straight to market and provide a vehicle to be used by industry partners in collaboration and for shared learning.

You can find out more in our official Sandpits video, to the left.

How would we like industry to use the sandpits?

The sandpits are an important testing environment for gaining knowledge and data around performance.

Through the creation of three structural frame systems (steel, pre-cast concrete and home-grown engineered timber) the sandpits will enable the demonstration of interoperability between the systems and different suppliers. The equipment used in the sandpits will be available at MTC to support industry partners in developing their solutions and improving their knowledge of how the products and systems work.

Ultimately, we want the sandpits to support the production readiness of products, the method of integration and the use of the Product Platform Rulebook as a guide to standardised systems and tools.

We are developing the sandpits with industry, for industry and in line with Government policy – supporting the development of the schools and hospitals that will be built over the next decade and beyond.

For more information, please get in touch with the sandpits team at sandpits@the-mtc.org.