The inaugural Modern Methods of Construction Awards recognises excellence in modular construction. TG Escapes Timber Frame Eco-Buildings were honoured to receive awards in two categories, winning both the ‘panelised system’ Project of the Year for their 10-classroom block at Ratcliffe college and the Public Sector Innovation of the Year for their innovative concept of a Biophilic Primary School with Early Years.

Ratcliffe College

Ratcliffe is an independent school located in Leicestershire. In 2021, requiring more space for their growing student numbers, they sought a company to build a new teaching block that would accommodate their whole English department.
Speed and design were two factors emphasised strongly by the college which played a key part in TG Escapes being awarded the contract – ‘they deliver a stylish, sustainable, economic solution with a bespoke design, a timber frame and engineering that achieves net zero in operation’.  Using a panelised modular system designed by in-house architects and engineers, the 925m2, ten classroom, two storey block was built in only 28 weeks, inclusive of demolition and enabling works to the original site. The modular approach saved time and compound space, simultaneously reducing costs versus more traditional construction solutions.  The building is sited in a prominent position in full view of parents dropping off their children and so was designed as an aesthetically pleasing addition to the school. The design includes a full height atrium with roof lights, a large PV array and a living roof along with a mix of render, cedar and neo-life cladding to the external façade. Views of nature, easy access to the outdoors, natural light and materials, were all considered and  are proving to enhance the well-being of students and their educational experience.

Head of English, Luanda Stannard says.

“Teaching staff are really enjoying the space in the rooms. We’ve got a lot more space to configure the desks as we want and it’s easier to walk around the room. We like the brightness. To teach in, they are extremely fit for purpose and having smart new rooms is quite exciting for the students as well.
It has all been received very well by parents and staff from other departments with comments like ‘Wow! This is amazing.’ Because it is the best building in the school. The most impressive building. The wall art particularly and the atrium area are fabulous. Very positive responses.
I think that there is a difference in attitude working in an environment that is good for learning. I can certainly see that because they have got the space and the light. It is a little bit early to tell but, I would say that certainly in behavioural terms in the classes themselves there has been a positive influence.
Overall, it is a massively positive building and it is a positive experience to work and learn in it.”

Biophilic Primary School

TG Escapes believe that connecting young people to nature can help not just educational outcomes but also health and well-being. They wanted to design a completely biophilic environment providing outdoor learning for the majority of the curriculum, and do this in a way which was affordable. This single-entry nursery and primary school for 300 children is constructed almost entirely from timber, with a low embodied carbon value, to be highly sustainable and lifetime net-zero.
The modular timber frame solution provides bright, airy buildings with high ceilings, exposed timber and abundant glazing for natural ventilation and light. It is clad in natural timber and features large solar PV arrays for sustainable net-zero operation. The approach makes biodiversity a priority with bird and bat boxes, insect-supporting structures, natural living roofs, rainwater capture and ongoing tree planting.
The design utilises separate pavilions connected by covered walkways and canopies, arranged to envelop a central landscaped, terraced area with an outdoor class at its centre. The walkways replace much redundant internal circulation with time outdoors, supporting various features such as seating, outdoor play and learning facilities, and sedum roofs. Modular construction means it can be built over a number of years, starting with early-years, adding accommodation for each new intake.
The total cost of the build, (excluding landscaping and services which will be site-specific) is £4m. The whole-life carbon calculation exceeds the RIBA 2030 target for schools.
TG Escapes provide an all-inclusive design and build turnkey service. The offsite modular construction process means that a bespoke design building can be completed on-site in as little as 6 weeks. With over 800 buildings countrywide, they are used in education for classrooms, canteens, sports facilities, training centres, early years spaces, SEND facilities and more. Rated by customers on Feefo they score 4.9 out 5 based on 183 reviews.


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call 0800 917 7726


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Transforming the education sector with SmartSpace: McAvoy’s high-quality modular fleet for rental & sale

McAvoy has been manufacturing and delivering a wide range of innovative and adaptable space solutions for more than 50 years during which time it has delivered more than 10million square feet of high-quality accommodation across a range of sectors including education.

McAvoy recognised the need for a product that could support customers in meeting immediate needs, for example, to cope with classroom shortages, without having to make a large capital investment. Within the education sector, for example, this could enable funds to be used elsewhere, eg upgrading equipment or hiring staff, resulting in improved overall service levels.
Combining design expertise, engineering excellence and precision manufacturing, McAvoy created their SmartSpace modular fleet for rental and sale– which is amongst the newest of its kind – it is sustainable, safe, high quality, adaptable, and future-proofed. Offering endless configurations SmartSpace can also be easily repurposed.


So what is SmartSpace?
SmartSpace is McAvoy’s ready-to-go semi-permanent modular space solution designed for customers who want to rent or purchase accommodation within demanding lead-times. SmartSpace can be designed to accommodate anything from 10 to more than 1,000 people.

Incorporating the very latest in technology-led design, McAvoy’s high-quality SmartSpace solutions boast superior thermal performance, enhanced air tightness and U values that exceed current performance requirements. With a 90-minute plus fire rating floor to floor and a 60-minute plus fire rating inside to outside, complemented by A2 non-combustible cladding, insulation, and roofing every SmartSpace building is industry-leading and offers a stackable configuration of up to three storeys. For added design versatility and re-useability they come in three compatible and interchangeable module sizes.

All McAvoy’s SmartSpace modular solutions are warranty protected and boast high quality, low maintenance facades, commercial grade PPC aluminium external doors and low maintenance modern interiors.   With around 80% of the project being completed within our 70,000 sq ft purpose-built manufacturing facility, site disruption is significantly reduced.  McAvoy developed three different SmartSpace solutions to support its range of customer needs – with fast-track delivery guaranteed including SmartClass – designed and created for the education sector – which can be configured to meet the requirements of any education space in terms of whole-life costs, sustainability, flexibility, and overall quality.

0330 107 0799

SmartClass: Designed & Delivered

St Josephs National School,
County Dublin
Requirement:  To prepare for a rise in student enrolments, the Department of Education Building Unit required high-quality modular classrooms in time for students starting the new term.  Our solution:
Four SmartClass modular classrooms with WCs were delivered to site with 80% of the works having already been completed at our 70,000 sq ft purpose-built manufacturing facility, including electrics, internal partitioning, flooring, cladding and features an Air Sourced Heat Pump in accordance with NZEB requirements. The project was completed within 16 weeks and was delivered on time and to budget.

Ysgol Y Deri Special School
Requirement:  Home to 300 pupils, this is the largest special school in the UK. With rising admissions, the school had an urgent requirement for increased classroom provision for the September  term while it awaits a new build.
Our Solution:  52-week Rental.
Following appointment as principal contractor, McAvoy designed, built, and handed over the new SmartClass facility in less than 11 weeks from instruction and less than 5 weeks on site. The accommodation features an entrance lobby with cloakroom area, accessible WC and two individual pupil toilets with IPS as well as two 62m2 classrooms with wet play areas and dedicated storage rooms.

TG Escapes modular eco-buildings have provided more than 300 education buildings in various settings UK wide. Over the past few years there has been a significant increase in demand from special schools and for SEND provision in mainstream schools.

Those working in SEND and SEMH report that a timber frame building using natural materials, with floor to ceiling windows and glass doors, also providing easy access to the outdoors with covered walkways, provide a particularly suitable environment.  Each TG Escapes building is architect designed with specific needs in mind. Small rooms can be included for breakout spaces while treatment rooms and sensory rooms can be easily accommodated, as can accessible toilets, ramps and kitchens.

The natural materials, natural lighting and excellent acoustics provide calming spaces which have a significant and positive impact on student and staff well-being.

Two recent projects have seen the provision of a building to connect to a SEND garden at Chichester College which provides further and higher education, and a multi-purpose building at Mountfield Heath SEMH school for students aged 5-11 with complex and challenging needs.  We asked Executive Head at Mountfield Heath, Lyndsey Jefferies, about the process and the building.

How did you find the construction service?

“I think the most important thing to share from my experience was the actual build. We were quite a small site and the space the team had to work in was tight but they were fantastic. They were so respectful of the fact they were working on a site with special needs children. They kept us up to date with what plant was coming on-site and knew that many of our children were very excited to see it. They let us know what machinery was coming, and when, so that the kids could be very involved and watch what was happening. Also, in terms of their conduct, we have previously had workmen here smoking, using foul language and playing loud radios. The TG Escapes team were just so respectful.

Timing was tight but every delivery came in spot on schedule. This really helped with us to be able to let our neighbours know when big deliveries were due which made the build less stressful. Dealing with complaints from neighbours can be tricky, but we could give them advance warning of large deliveries and noisy building work. It also meant I could move children to other parts of the school when needed.”

How is the eco-building working out?

“The first thing is it feels lovely. It feels very bright and airy and because we are in quite a rural area it really is in keeping with the woodland, the trees and the fields. It doesn’t look out of place with our environment.  The natural materials change the feel of it and I think for a modular build it feels really solid and robust. The other thing is all the rooms have got lots of light, but there has been careful consideration about it. The kitchen area is a long galley with floor to ceiling windows that maximise the natural light.

The height of the ceilings is another massive plus. Often the ceilings in modular builds are very low so you feel very enclosed, but our ceilings are of a really good height which gives a feeling of space. A lot of our children suffer from sensory processing issues and so the lighting and the feel of a space are very important, as are the acoustics. The acoustics in our building are very good. Although many modular builds are very echoey, ours is not because of the ceiling tiles which are different to the rest of the school. We also have adaptive ventilation, due to our concerns about Covid, and air conditioning which are also great. The insulation is phenomenal and the building heats up very quickly then holds the heat. It’s very efficient.

What works very well are the verandas. Having the decking coming straight off the front, that indoor/outdoor space works very well with our children. TG Escapes took full consideration of the school environment and maintained excellent communication.”

Robert Kay, Director of Estates at Chichester College says

“TG Escapes provide a real ‘turn key’ solution, and take care of everything, from design to planning and final installation.”

TG Escapes modular eco-buildings offer a complete design and build service.

CLICK HERE for more information and case studies


call 0800 917 7726


or CLICK HERE to email TG Escapes



Students and teachers at Martin High School are enjoying a beautiful new classroom block at their school in Anstey, Leicestershire.

Classroom space for the Humanities department was limited. The department’s classrooms were far too spread out across the site, which was not the ideal learning environment to deliver the desired curriculum. The school sought to replace an old, small pre-fabricated block of classrooms with a modern bespoke building to serve as a centralised Humanities hub.

Through a competitive tender process overseen by Surveyors 2 Education, Wernick Buildings was awarded the project by the Lionheart Educational Trust.

A two-storey modular building was a more cost-effective solution for the Trust. The client remarked that a modular option allowed them to get more value for money across all project operations. It was also a more time-efficient choice. Unlike traditional buildings, a modular classroom block is manufactured and assembled in a controlled factory environment in a matter of weeks, drastically reducing the time spent onsite.


Wernick provided a full turnkey solution, complete with the demolition of the existing building and a full internal and external services package. To ensure that the building not look out of place, the block was designed to match the existing architecture of the surrounding buildings.

Each of the building’s 20 modules were manufactured in Wernick’s dedicated facility in South Wales. The offsite manufacture of the building modules 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 onsite, dramatically reducing disruption on the school site, and allowing students to continue learning without interference. Manufacture was also not affected by site conditions like the weather, making the programme even more reliable. This was vitally important for the school, with the building deadline being set within the academic school year.

Wernick’s manufacturing process was also a sustainable option for the client. The controlled conditions used to build modular units means almost no waste goes to landfill. Everything is filtered for recycling, and what can’t be recycled is shredded and distributed to a local “energy from waste” plant.

Once complete, the modules were transported to the school in Leicestershire via lorry. Due to the tight footprint of the site, the client worked closely with building crews to make sure there was sufficient space to proceed. The Wernick team proposed using a retaining wall to assist with the tight logistics of the area. Modules were then craned into position and bolted together to form the core of the building. A robust brick-skin cladding was later added to the core to give a more traditional construction appearance which perfectly matched the existing campus buildings.

Construction on the project was completed in October 2022. Both students and teachers continuously say that the block “looks like a traditional building.” External features include a large frontal canopy, an exterior staircase and curtain walling. It also has been outfitted with an energy-efficient heating and ventilation system. The interior is equipped with a customised, technology-rich IT suite, five spacious classrooms and several staff offices. Other indoor features include toilets and accessible toilets on each floor, an accessible platform lift next to the stairs, and storage areas.

Users of the building say they are enjoying the new teaching block. Oliver Willis, Project Manager at the Lionheart Educational Trust said,


“the feedback from the building’s users has been very positive. They are very thankful to have this building. There is great quality throughout the building. Students are able to learn and thrive in the space.”


Wernick Buildings has decades of experience in delivering modular solutions in the education sector and is highly skilled at working around live academic building settings. Design, manufacture and site teams are located in-house, providing you with a single point of contact for peace of mind throughout the project. Wernick’s flexible modular systems provide cost efficiency, shorter and more reliable programmes, and improved quality and sustainability.