A model for outstanding education: how off-site modular construction and full turn-key solutions paved the way for a growing school with even bigger ambitions.

Make a difference. Be outstanding. That is the vision at the heart of Arundel Court Primary Academy in Portsmouth.

This inner-city primary school has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Teaching standards have improved at all levels, recognised by Ofsted as being good and outstanding in areas such as leadership and management, behaviour, curriculum, care, guidance and more.

After receiving funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency to replace their ageing buildings, the next stage of their growth was to be their most ambitious yet.

Challenge: the only way is up

The existing school building was a sprawling single-storey block that has seen multiple extensions in every direction over the years. Nestled in a densely populated area adjacent to the main road, the limited space meant that sideways growth was no longer an option.

The proposal of a new three-storey building was not all plain sailing. Plans were subject to some local objection with concerns over proximity and overlooking of the new structure.

Solution: Less disruption, more flexibility

Modular buildings supplier and main contractor Elliott proposed a three-storey building that would make the most of the compact site. This allowed the build to take place on the existing small playing field next to the old school.

To alleviate concerns over proximity and overlooking, Elliott took up the offer of attending the design review panel to present sunlight path diagrams that had been incorporated into the proposed building’s design. With final approval granted, the project was split into two key phases.

Phase one involved the complete site set-up and strip, decanting pupils into temporary accommodation. Hoarding was placed across the site, with temporary access off Holbrook Road, and a full-time gateman to secure the area.

Construction of the new three-story 3,059m2 building began in January 2019. Accommodating 630 pupils, the state-of-the-art modular/hybrid units include  23 teaching spaces, main hall, studio space, learning resource spaces and administration rooms.

Taking advantage of complete design flexibility, the modular buildings incorporated all the advantages of traditional construction, with the added benefits of improved safety, consistency, and speed.

Complete with elevational treatment, brickwork, STO render and cedar cladding, aluminium external windows and doors, Elliott was able to create a more aesthetically impressive building, capable of satisfying all planning requirements.

Phase two saw the safe demolition of the existing building segregated from the live operational environment, along with all external works and final landscaping touches.

Elliott’s phased off-site construction process ensured that disruption was kept to a minimum while the existing school facility remained in operation.

Flexible maintenance and aftercare packages ensured that the smooth-running of the project would continue long after construction was complete. The permanent off-site solution includes 60 years of design life, 25 years structural warranty, five years’ product warranty and 12 months’ warranty on all other parts.

“Nothing is ever too much trouble for Elliott. They listen to the needs of the school and work collaboratively to find positive solutions and provide ongoing support. Thank you for everything!”

Karen Stocks, Headteacher

Why off-site?

Arundel Court Primary Academy chose off-site modular construction, in part, to keep disruption on-site and in the community to a minimum. The new three-storey building was built on the existing small playing field next to the old school, which meant less moving of vehicles, builders and materials to and from the site.

The turn-key solution also ensured that funding for the school could go further, sourcing everything from fencing to furniture and fire safety from one supplier.

Instead of managing multiple relationships, purchase orders and invoices, increased vehicle movements on site and time spent coordinating and communicating, Elliott provided a single point of contact, so teams could get to work faster.

Following the completion of the new school build, the existing school building was demolished and external works and landscaping completed to reconnect the new building with existing facilities and provisions.

The extra space offered by modular units makes it possible to welcome more parents into school, with dedicated areas to work with them and their children – a key requirement for the new school.

Source: Building

 

In the construction industry, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the importance of a simple classroom block. The latest addition to Ty Gwyn Special School may look like a normal school building, but it is packed with interesting features and was delivered using modern methods of construction.

The block is surrounded by security fencing with access-controlled gates and CCTV to ensure pupil safety when in school, and at either end of the block, bespoke, powder coated aluminium canopies cover small separate playgrounds for each class, leading to a wider playground with built in play equipment.  However, as the name suggests, Ty Gwyn Special School is no ordinary school, and this is no ordinary classroom block. Ty Gwyn is wholly focussed on supporting pupils who have profound or complex needs. Rated as ‘Excellent’ by Estyn, the education and training inspectorate for Wales, the school will educate children from three years to nineteen years old who might present severe or challenging behaviour.

The school needed a new block urgently to cater for a rise in pupil numbers – with less than ten pupils per class, classroom space is vitally important for the school. To procure the new block, Cardiff Council ran a mini competition via the SEWSCAP framework, which was subsequently won by Wernick Buildings.  The building is constructed using 18 individual modules which were manufactured in Wernick’s dedicated factory in Port Talbot, less than an hour away from the site. These were transported to site by lorry, then craned into position and bolted together to form the core of the building. The brick cladding and trussed roof were then added to the core to give a traditional construction appearance.

Manufacturing the building in a factory environment gave the project several advantages. Firstly, the building could be constructed at the same time as the foundations were being prepared, dramatically reducing programme length, particularly on site. Manufacture was also not affected by site conditions like the weather, making the programme even more reliable. This was vitally important for the school, who would need the building in time for the start of the new term.  The reliability of modular building was further tested by the outbreak of COVID-19. However, as a large part of the fit out had already been completed in the factory Wernick Buildings were able to minimise the operatives needed on site at any one time. Combined with careful site management, this allowed Wernick to continue work during the first lockdown, and ultimately the building was delivered ahead of schedule.

 

 

Providing a robust building which would be both a safe and calming environment for Ty Gwyn’s pupils who can sometimes present challenging behaviour, was important. This was reflected in the enhanced specification required by the council which Wernick embraced fully, enhancing their standard modular system to meet the requirements.  The painted internal walls were upgraded with impact-resistant plasterboard to better withstand the demanding classroom environment. The floor, apart from being fully non-combustible, was also enhanced to improve rigidity and acoustic performance. All the doors are also equipped with acoustic seals to reduce noise throughout the building and ALUMASC Safehinge anti finger trap system to avoid any opportunity for entrapment.

Acoustic performance was especially important for the withdrawal rooms off each classroom. These spaces can be used when a child needs a calming and safe environment. The walls and floor of these were padded to ensure child safety, and were also equipped with an observation window and AV system, allowing teachers to play music for the children from the main classroom. A ducted heat recovery system was employed in the ventilation in these rooms, and comfort cooling is used throughout the building.  The audio-visual system in the block is also a step above many standard classroom buildings. Aside from the withdrawal rooms and interactive whiteboards in each class, there is also a dedicated sensory room with controllable coloured lighting and interactive projections on the floor and wall which pupils can engage with.  All classrooms are also equipped with a DDA compliant toilet and shower room, as well as a ‘nurse call’ system to help staff in emergencies. Glazing throughout the building was also enhanced to reduce u-values and improve security by meeting Secured by Design standards.  As standard the windows had toughened glazing inner and laminate glazing outer.


A spokesperson for Cardiff Council commented: “The Wernick team were excellent to work with from start to finish.  Teamwork was at the heart of everything, and the team committed from the outset to deliver the project on time.  Working relationships were excellent, and this facilitated first class communication and ultimately the delivery of a highly successful project”

www.wernick.co.uk

A new primary school is rapidly taking shape after the first buildings were lifted into place ahead of its opening later this year.

The landing ceremony was celebrated last month at the Ebbsfleet Green Primary School where the first units for the 420-capacity school were craned into place.

A virtual tour of the school in Ebbsfleet Garden City – due to welcome pupils from September – has also been released to give parents and children the first glimpse of their new school.

The school, which is run by the Maritime Academy Trust, will teach children from the garden city as well as helping to cope with increasing school place demands in Dartford and Gravesham.

The whole structure is built off site and then lifted into position using a 200-tonne mobile crane.

Richard Bysouth, operations director for Kier Regional Building London and South East, said the construction was like building “a large Lego set”.

He added: “Once the individual modules are connected together the building will be fitted out.The buildings which will make up the new Ebbsfleet Green Primary School are lifted into place. Picture: Ebbsfleet Green

“This modern, innovative method of construction has many advantages, including improvements in productivity, significantly reducing on-site waste and clear benefits in terms of quality, cost, and health and safety.”

 

 

As well as the modern classrooms, the school features a large open plan library at the entrance which is said to reflect the school’s emphasis on reading.

The light and spacious new rooms will be focussed around a large central courtyard overlooking grounds which will include a wildlife area, a dipping pond to explore life underwater as well as a vegetable garden pupils will help to plant.

The buildings which will make up the new Ebbsfleet Green Primary School are lifted into place. Picture: Ebbsfleet Green

Final groundworks will be completed by August allowing the first classes from the nursery to Year 3 to move from their temporary home at Bligh Infant and Junior School in Strood ahead of the new school year.

Various projects to mark the opening of the school are taking place to symbolise the historic moment.

 

Source: Kent Online

 

 

TG Escapes unique modular eco-buildings use traditional materials with sophisticated technology to create a standalone space with a difference. Their bespoke timber frame design system can provide buildings to suit most locations in a variety of finishes including timber or composite cladding, render in a range of colours and brick slips.

Their fully inclusive service allows them to create the perfect building to suit the clients’ individual needs with adaptable bespoke designs to fit most locations.

MATERIALS: The materials used in construction are integral to the eco-friendly credentials. They build with timber frame and sectional wooden insulated panels constructed offsite.

FOUNDATIONS: The foundations have been designed to reduce impact on the environment by using a minimal amount of concrete in a unique pad-based system or, when more appropriate, screw pile.

ROOFS: A Sedum roof is not only aesthetically pleasing all year round, but also provides a habitat for a rich variety of wildlife. A sedum roof significantly reduces rainwater runoff whilst lowering energy consumption.

TIMBER: Timber comes from sustainable forests (FSC and PEFC). These forests are meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. By practising an environmentally-aware land stewardship ethic the use of timber reduces the embodied carbon for any project and acts as a carbon store.

RENEWABLE ENERGY: They can incorporate solar power into all builds as a clean renewable source of energy.

INSULATION: The glass wool insulation used in the buildings is manufactured from a combination of silica sand and up to 80% recycled postconsumer glass that would otherwise be heading to landfill. This makes it one of the most environmentally sustainable insulation products on the market today.

SUN PIPES: Sun pipes capture daylight from the rooftop, through highly reflective tubing, and channel it to where it’s needed. The pipes offer brilliant natural light as an alternative to artificial lighting, helping to reduce energy consumption.

 

 

The buildings achieve A+ energy ratings with an air test of 5 or less through the use of:

• Ultra-efficient LED lighting calculated for each space to specific levels avoiding over lit areas using photocell detection and timeclock.
• Ventilation using a mixture of natural ventilation, ultra-energy efficient ventilation systems and low carbon fans with integrated controls that monitor both temperature and CO2 for optimum thermal comfort and air quality. It operates in three modes depending on the season.
• AA rated Mitsubishi air source heat pumps.
• Low carbon usage extract fans in toilets & kitchenettes.
• Water heating with an air source heat pump combined tank to reduce carbon emissions. Water controls can be installed on all urinal cisterns which, together with sensor taps, keeps the overall water usage to a minimum.
• With the addition of suitable PV solar panels, the buildings can be classified as ‘Carbon Neutral’ in use.
The buildings are designed to be aesthetically pleasing, ergonomic and highly practical but just as importantly, they are built to last. They expect buildings to last 60 years or more with appropriate maintenance. A Construction Line Gold member, an approved partner of the Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) and a member of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), they have built over 700 eco-buildings country wide and customers score them 4.9 out of 5 based on 152 reviews.

‘Working with TG Escapes was very good. The buildings provide a better quality environment for staff and students.’ Estates Manager

“We couldn’t have asked for more! The building time was very quick but was completed to a very high standard with minimal disruption to the school day.” Headteacher

Single or double storey buildings range in price from £80k to over £2m and larger sizes can cost from as little as £1500 per m2.For more information call 0800 917 7726

or email info@tgescapes.co.uk

www.tgescapes.co.uk

Rapid Ramp, the UK’s leading modular ramp and step manufacturer continue to offer a nationwide supply and installation service.

 

Their modular products are available from stock with a fully adjustable design to provide access to various sized playground and school buildings, including modular classrooms.

Unlike wooden ramps and steps that will burn if exposed to fire, the Rapid Ramp system is non-combustible and can fully comply with building regulations.

Installations remain flexible with fitters often working during the holidays to accommodate around the teaching timetable. Plus, fitters can dismantle and remove existing wooden ramps.

An in-house designer creates 3D drawings with each quotation, and site surveys can be arranged.

 

 

 

Contact details:  E: sales@rapidramp.co.uk  –  T: 01424 714646  –  W: www.rapidramp.co.uk/education

 

 

 

 

 

 

Offsite and modular building specialists Enviro Building Solutions have won a contract worth £2.8M for the construction of an eight classroom block for the Thomas Aveling School in Rochester. In line with exacting time schedules, work has just begun on site and the project will be delivered in September of this year.

Alongside the extra classroom capacity, the project includes an extension to the school’s existing sports changing facilities using traditional construction methods. In addition, Enviro Building Solutions will oversee the construction of a MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) canopy to cover the existing tennis courts, creating an all-weather play facility.

“Modular building methods provide the perfect solution for applications where timescales to project delivery are particularly tight,” stated Craig Reidy, Finance Director. “Traditional construction methods could not achieve the build schedules we regularly provide to deliver our projects in line with the requirements of our clients and end users. In addition, today’s advanced modular buildings combine cost effectiveness with versatility and sustainability; we build high quality facilities which often achieve EPC ‘A’ ratings, creating attractive and practical buildings designed to stand the test of time.”

The Thomas Aveling School is the joint lead school of the Fort Pitt Thomas Aveling Academies Trust (FPTA), which includes a grammar school, two high schools and two junior schools. It is an 11-19 co-educational, non-selective secondary school and a converter academy with specialist teaching areas for science, design technology, art and sport and a performing arts centre.

Enviro Building Solutions has already delivered a number of projects for Medway Council on time and to budget, and was the Council’s preferred partner for this build based on the quality and value of past schemes including classroom blocks for Rainham Mark Grammar School and Riverside Primary School.

www.envirobuildingsolutionsltd.co.uk

 

Keeping pace with the demands for faster installation

#constructionindustry #sustainable #architects #localauthorities #contractors #developers #innovation #buildingtechnology #mmc #onsiteinstallation #newconstructionproducts

 

Building construction requirements are changing and traditional methods are finding it hard to keep pace with the demands for faster installation without compromising quality and technical skills in order to deliver the necessary speed, conformity and cost.
To meet these needs without compromise Sure-Rend have developed a range of products.
Supplied in a range of finishes, Brick Slip, Render, Timber, Aluminum and Architectural Profiles can be manufactured and delivered ready for fast on-site installation.  Window bands, preformed corners and special features can all be built into the panel design at the manufacturing stage.
Timber or steel can be used in the design of the supporting framework and support rails or special adjustable fixing brackets used to mount the panels on to the frames.
Suitable for both new-build and re-fit projects the lightweight panels are designed to be hung on the structure or existing building rather than relying on extra foundations.
Sure-Rend’s quality product solutions have been successfully serving construction for some time.  The extraneous impact that the first half of 2020 has brought to bear on the sector has made the product quality and speed of turnaround that Sure-Rend can offer an even more vital component in helping designers and contractors as we enter the second half of 2020 and forge ahead with recovery.

www.sure-rend.com

 

As 2020 gets into full swing, so do many School expansion projects throughout the UK. Schools need to provide additional classrooms and facilities, within strict timeframes and budgets, which can make projects challenging. Issues with access, particularly during term-time, or finding suitable space for new buildings add to the difficulties, but not for those with experience in this sector, if using the right products.

Eurobrick Systems has 30 years’ experience with school expansion projects, seeing many different solutions to different problems. Whether it’s an infill, building upwards, working in restricted spaces, or making a new addition look like it’s always been there.

Modular construction is invaluable to schools, helping to minimise disruption and time on-site creates an excellent advantage, while giving the opportunity to save time and money.

Eurobrick has been involved with projects that highlight solutions for this type of project and may give a little inspiration to those still in the planning stages.

Modulek Limited are a modular building contractor who have recently used Eurobrick’s X-Clad system on two large school expansion projects, working with Eurobrick approved installer ML Brickwork (Southern).

St James High School in Bolton contracted Modulek for their two-phase new build project, to replace an outdated three-storey school block with a two-storey modular building, creating an entirely new building with extra classroom spaces, storage, and catering facilities.

The first phase was completed in March 2019, while the second phase is still in-progress, Eurobrick have supplied their 17mm thick X-Clad system throughout. Both buildings use Rustic Golden Multi brick slips from Eurobrick’s Britannia range with specially formulated Europoint mortar in Standard Grey.

Bloxham School in Banbury also worked with Modulek and ML Brickwork (Southern) on their complex school expansion project. They required additional classrooms but had very little space for a new building. The only option was a tight quadrangle with difficult access. Using modular construction, these major challenges were overcome and a new two-storey modular building commissioned.

Eurobrick supplied 17mm X-Clad, along with Red Multi Dragwire slips, which were installed once the modular buildings had been craned into position on-site. Eurobrick’s lightweight, easy to handle cladding was the perfect solution for working on such a restrictive site and can be installed on or off-site.

Ideal Building Systems is another modular building company that has been using Eurobrick systems for 14 years. They recently completed two new schools projects.

Sketchley Hill Primary in Burbage, Leicestershire finished expanding their space in late 2018. The new two-storey building provided six new classrooms and extra facilities.

Eurobrick supplied 50mm thick X-Clad and the client sourced their own bricks to help the new building blend in with nearby buildings. They also added coloured cladding panels to create a modern aesthetic.

Ideal finished another project at Dovebank Primary in Nuneaton. They supplied a single storey modular classroom extension to match existing school buildings. Eurobrick’s 50mm X-Clad was installed with Smooth Red 400 slips which are 15mm thick so when combined with specially sourced Cheddar Red slips, cut to 25mm thickness, they created an interesting relief effect.

For more information on Eurobrick systems and products please visit www.eurobrick.co.uk

As offsite construction growth outstrips traditional methods, Gilberts has introduced a solution that simplifies incorporation of building services.

The company’s MFS (Mistrale Fusion) provides a stand-alone unit, requiring no ductwork or plant, to ensure a comfortable ambient environment within each space- in air quality AND air temperature.

It means one MFS delivers ventilation, cooling and heating as needed, with no external connections. Once on site, annual design consumption of just 34kw per classroom means that Gilberts’ MFS can cost as little as £5*/classroom/year to operate.

Installed through an external façade or window, Mistrale MFS mixes internal and external air to ventilate the internal space. Each MFS unit features a mixing damper within, modulating airflow to allow the new, fresh air to mix with the warm exhaust air, thus utilising its heat without the need for an exchanger. The integrated low energy fan energises to blend the internal air, ensuring an even distribution of airflow, with control over temperature and CO2 levels within, and maintenance of a comfortable internal environment for occupants. An optional LPHW coil delivers a heat boost, obviating the need to incorporate radiators.

In terms of capacity, just 2 no MFS128 or a single MFS256 will service a 55m2 room (equivalent to a 32 pupil classroom achieving the 8litres/sec/person fresh air required by current Department of Education Building Bulletin (BB101) and PBSP guidelines). Each unit also achieves relevant acoustic considerations: its operational ‘noise’ is less than 30dbA.

 

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Gilberts has further taken care to attain compliance with Building Regulations Approved Document L: MFS attains air leakage better than legislative requirements- 5m3/HR/m2, and a U value of 1W/m2/°C. As with all Gilberts’ ventilation solutions, it delivers efficient weather performance via its bespoke louvre system.

 “Offsite construction is currently predicted to grow at 30%pa, so there is a significant need for stand-alone building services solutions that facilitate efficient production techniques,” observes Gilberts’ Sales Director Ian Rogers. “MFS is already proven in mainstream construction to deliver a value engineered solution, ensuring an appropriate internal environment for an occupied space.”

Family-owned Gilberts has a heritage spanning more than 60 years, with a management team recognised as experts within their respective fields. At its 95,000 sq ft head office facility, it designs, manufactures and supplies a comprehensive range of components designed to deliver efficient air movement strategies in commercial environments. Products are predominantly manufactured in-house, to the extent it even designs and manufactures its own jigs and tools; ventilation products are validated in its purpose-designed on-site, in-house test facility.

 

www.gilbertsblackpool.com

Andy Smith, Head of Business Development at Caledonian Modular, looks at how offsite construction

can help alleviate the shortage of school places.

 

For a number of years, councils have been warning about a shortage of school places, mainly because last decade’s baby boomers are now entering secondary education. Last year alone, about 20% of families in England failed to gain a place at their first preference school.

Although classroom overcrowding remains an ongoing issue, modular and offsite construction can provide a way forward. The government has already stated that it will favour offsite manufacturing on all publicly funded construction projects, and that should assist with tackling the shortage of school places.

Modular and offsite benefits

  • 80 – 90% of the work can be completed in a factory, like our 40-acre Newark based facility, which is a quality-controlled environment unaffected by the weather.
  • Construction schedule can be reduced by half because, for example, foundations can commence at the same time as the building modules are being manufactured in the factory.
  • Minimises disruption to both operation of the school (which can remain a live teaching environment) and the local community by ensuring a rapid build and fewer deliveries.
  • Less use of high embodied energy materials such as cement – traditional masonry builds can require more concrete foundations.
  • Less waste because fewer materials are delivered to site.
  • Manufactured offsite and then assembled onsite creates a safer workplace, because it is a more controlled environment that requires less need for working at height.

What can offsite be used for?

Our modular construction solutions can be used to create classrooms, catering blocks, laboratories, gymnasiums, changing rooms, large-span hall facilities and administration offices. In effect, we can manufacture anything from individual classrooms, through to complete schools. Buildings can also be designed and built to an exacting specification, with a wide range of finishes and roofing options that fit seamlessly alongside an existing structure.

By reducing the construction schedule by half, classrooms or whole schools can be completed within the school holiday, meaning significantly less risk-assessed people on or around the site. With transportation and trade reduced there is less traffic and noise impact on both the school and the local community.

 

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£38m schools’ contract

We recently secured two large school projects in quick succession with a total order value of £38m. Haygrove School and The Sir Frederick Gibberd College were secured under Department for Education (DfE) frameworks. We were selected for both projects because we offered a full turnkey package including lead design, planning and installation, through to hand over.

We will create a brand new £29m secondary school at the Sir Frederick Gibberd College in Harlow, Essex. It will comprise a 1,200 place secondary school built over three storeys including a school hall, dining hall, drama studio and a 500 place sixth form teaching area, as well as sports facilities and all associated external works and pitches.

Work being undertaken at Haygrove School in Bridgwater will involve utilising our component-based school solutions to replace the main school building with modern and efficient teaching environments. The construction work will be undertaken while the school remains open and works will be carefully planned to ensure minimal disruption.

The three-storey building will consist of classrooms, double-height hall and studio spaces, offices, kitchen and associated rooms for educational purposes, along with enabling, groundworks and external works.

Both schools incorporate factory-installed concrete floors to deliver an acoustically compliant, comfortable, safe and durable environment for occupants. Up to 96% of the work on each module is completed at our quality-controlled factory facility before being delivered to site.

Modular Frameworks

Our recent portfolio of projects within the education sector are testament to the fact that offsite construction is already proving a popular choice for schools at all levels including primary, secondary and higher education.

We deliver innovative design led solutions that promote the intelligent use of BIM, Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) and the use of Lean Manufacturing techniques to eliminate waste.

Caledonian, and our partner Architects HLM, secured first place on the £300 million ESFA Batch C Modular Framework to provide permanent, component-based buildings and facilities for ESFA’s new secondary schools block replacement programme.

 

www.caledonianmodular.com