Here, James Withey, Managing Director at Algeco offsite, looks at how innovation in the design and delivery of modular platforms is driving forward the new schools building programme.

The pressing need for additional places is driving significant changes in the type of construction technique specified, with the government pushing for platform-based solutions.

In 2020, the UK government published its Construction Playbook – a document which aimed to set the future direction for the construction industry. It contained the following recommendations: Standardise designs, components and interfaces as much as is possible to improve quality, safety, performance and reduce environmental impact and; Drive innovation and Modern Methods of Construction, through standardisation and aggregation of demand, increased client capability and setting clear requirements of suppliers.

Previously, the Government had stated that five central government departments would adopt a presumption in favour of offsite construction, leveraging their buying power to support the modernisation of the sector. Their goal was to facilitate a platform approach to design for manufacture and assembly (P-DfMA). This is a process by which building products and components are designed in a way that enables them to be made on a large scale and then factory assembled.

This platform based approach requires components that are designed digitally for use across multiple types of built asset, which minimises the need for bespoke components for different types of assets. For example, the same modular building component could be used in the construction of a school, hospital or university accommodation.

As part of the consortium of partners that developed the Seismic, which uses a platform-based approach and takes its lead from P-DFMA, we like to think that we are strong proponents of standardised, offsite construction. We are living, breathing and delivering on the government’s objectives – and taking a leading role in the transformation of the industry as a whole.

There are good reasons why we took this approach, with P-DFMA modular construction techniques able to deliver projects in up to half the time of a conventional build, whilst achieving important synergies around cost, efficiency, build quality and safety.

Northampton School for Boys

Partly in response to a need for high quality teaching spaces, Northampton School for Boys applied to the Department for Education (DfE) to open a co-educational Free School. At the time of the application, extensive public consultation with the local community showed considerable support for the proposal. The site for the proposed school was owned by Northamptonshire County Council and the new facility would help meet the need for school places that were forecasted.  Following public consultation, the proposal was successful in gaining DfE funding and it was subsequently named Northampton School for Boys Multi-Academy Trust. The new school will create a 1200 place new secondary school, including sixth form provision for 11-18 year olds. It is a state funded single sex boys’ school. Girls are admitted to the Sixth Form.

Algeco was appointed to construct the school on behalf of the Department for Education who are funding the school. When completed, the school will be operated by the Northampton School for Boys Charitable Trust. Fittingly for such a forward thinking school, we will deliver the construction programme using the Seismic platform.

We secured the project via the MMC1 Lot 1 modular framework and were appointed as Principal Design & Build Contractor, working with Watson Batty Architects. Our approach will provide a full turnkey solution. Work began on site in January 2023.  A combination of our offsite and modular building construction system was chosen to deliver the programme. Utilising the Seismic platform for the modules will realise significant benefits; it is 75% faster and achieves a 47% improvement in value compared to traditional construction techniques; it even offers a 33% improvement in speed when compared with standard modular construction.  Seismic delivers in other areas, too. It results in a significant reduction in both operational and embodied carbon of up to 70%. This is achieved through factors including design efficiency, materials selection and manufacturing effectiveness, leading to limited wastage.

A total of 210 Seismic modules will be supplied to create the main teaching areas. We will also be utilising a hybrid structure for the halls, which require large open plan internal spaces.  Delivering these important programme benefits is helped by the fact that we manufacture the modular buildings at our facility in East Yorkshire. Utilising DfMA (Design for Manufacturing Assembly) and Lean Manufacturing, combined with Seismic design platform, allows us to deliver the modules with a high PMV (Pre Manufacturer Value) of around 80 percent. This reduces the amount of work required on site and means that we can achieve the strict schedule on this project. The building modules will be delivered to site in August 2023. Handover of the completed school is scheduled to take place in 2024.

From a practical point of view, achieving a high PMV means that important compliance assessments can be carried out on the modules before they arrive on site, meaning it is done in a controlled, quality assessed environment that has strict procedures in place. That is important because, for example, carrying out fire and thermal performance testing on site is often a challenge due to it requiring continual observation and assessment throughout the entire build process to verify that the correct approach has been followed at each stage.

Doing this in a factory, where strict procedures and checks are in place is much easier and results in a more robust end result. In reality, it means that the building will perform better. In reality, they’re really aren’t issues with Seismic because of rigorous factory testing and we are exploring next phase developments on Seismic that will create pre-approved solutions.

Track record of project delivery

In line with the latest government guidance and policy, the Seismic platform was developed to drive a major shift towards a more productive, better quality and lower carbon construction industry.  Developed by a consortium of organisations, including ourselves, this cross-sector platform for construction projects uses the latest in digital and manufacturing technologies.  The platform facilitates the design, procurement, manufacture and assembly of buildings using standardised and interoperable components and assemblies. It enables contracting authorities to collaborate and benefit from increased efficiencies across different sectors.

We are currently the only company to supply offsite and modular buildings using the Seismic platform, enabling us to ‘manufacture at scale standardised building modules whilst maintaining exemplary quality levels. It’s currently being utilised in another major construction project, the £19.2m Laurance Calvert Academy in Leeds, along with several leisure and retail projects.

Designed in line with the government’s Construction 2025 targets, modular manufacturing programme makes a step change in the shift to a more productive, better quality and lower carbon construction industry. As a matter of course, we now guide any educational establishment looking to renew or expand their estates to consider the benefits of a platform-based approach. It has already been added to the Construction Platform Rulebook.

This approach uses a small number of repeatable base designs, whether the resulting component module is being used for a classroom, changing area or student accommodation unit. The standard design can then be tailored to meet individual customer needs later on the process, leading to significant economies of scale.   The platform has been transformational; previously the bottleneck in the modular industry was making the steel frame, yet with Seismic we have been able to more than quadruple our throughput. That has made a huge difference for customers looking for efficiencies in their construction programme.


Shown are images of the Build process of new Laurence Calvert modules from Algeco in Carnaby Bridlington. Images Copyright ©Darren Casey DCimaging

Consolidating growth  Recent project wins for Algeco came at the close of a very successful year, which saw us secure around £95m of new business, many within the education sector.  This year, we will consolidate this growth by investing in the expansion of our Carnaby factory in East Yorkshire to increase capacity. This includes ongoing investment in DfMA (Design for Manufacturing and Assembly) and Lean Manufacturing to further unlock the benefits of standardised, platform-based construction and efficiency. Ultimately, it will drive a major shift towards a more productive, better quality and lower carbon construction industry.  There’s no doubt that developers, planners and manufacturers across the board are operating in difficult times, and the current economic climate requires us all to achieve more with less. But by adopting efficient approaches such as offsite construction platforms, combined with DfMA and Lean Manufacturing, the industry will be better able to achieve government targets and reduce costs and emissions, whilst delivering projects more efficiently.  In short, by adopting offsite construction more widely, and at the planning and design stages, the industry will be well-placed to meet the challenges ahead.


For more information on Algeco’s offsite solutions,

including our latest projects



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.





(Photo by Katie Lenhart)

The Remsen Medical Sciences Building is closed following a fire Sunday morning in a seventh-floor laboratory.

Access to the adjoining Kellogg Hall and Vail Research building will resume for research and education functions on Monday. Vail is closed on Sunday while the situation is being assessed.

The fire was contained to the Remsen lab and set off the building’s sprinkler system in the vicinity of the fire. The Hanover Fire Department received an automated fire alarm call just after 7 a.m., and firefighters were on the scene moments later. No one was injured in the incident.

The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation by Hanover fire officials, who have remained on the scene. Dartmouth has also had a team on site all day, assessing damage to Remsen.

Remsen sustained fire and water damage in the lab, and substantial water damage throughout the rest of the structure, according to Hanover fire and Dartmouth officials. Kellogg and Vail were not damaged.

“We are grateful to Hanover firefighters for their quick response and their ability to keep the fire from spreading,” says Geisel School of Medicine Dean Duane Compton. “Remsen will be closed to permit timely cleanup and repairs. We can’t allow people back into the building until we can do so safely. We are assessing the damage, in concert with Hanover fire officials, and we are working to restore access as soon as possible.”

Remsen, an eight-story building located off College Street, sits between Anonymous and Kellogg halls. Remsen and Vail together cover 187,000 square feet and are among the largest facilities on campus. Remsen is a multifunctional building that supports education programs for Geisel medical students and research programs that involve students from the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies as well as Dartmouth undergraduates.

Compton’s office contacted faculty, staff, and students who use Remsen, sending an email in the morning alerting them that there had been a fire and Remsen was closed. Remsen contains laboratories, classrooms, offices, conference and study rooms, and other spaces. The lab where the fire occurred is used for circadian rhythms research.

Fire departments from Lebanon, Hartford, Norwich, Lyme, and Canaan assisted Hanover firefighters.


South London pupils will get a new school after they had to leave their old building because of ” numerous health and safety concerns”. 

Students at Iqra Primary School will move into the new classrooms from next year, after Lambeth councillors approved plans to redevelop the school’s former Park Hill site in Clapham.

Under the proposals, the school’s ex-1970s blocks will be bulldozed and replaced with a new building with green roofs and solar panels. All 236 kids who attended the Islamic school’s former site before its closure in June 2022 will be rehoused in the new building.

Pupils have been taught in a spare classroom at nearby Kings Avenue School since they had to leave the Park Hill site.  Headteacher Humaira Saleem said the new Department of Education (DofE) funded building would allow kids to receive top teaching in a safe environment.

In a statement read out on her behalf at a council meeting on February 21, she said:


“I have witnessed the struggles and difficulties our students have faced every day due to the poor state of our current building. The current building is in a state of disrepair with outdated facilities, inadequate space and numerous health and safety concerns.

“Despite these obstacles, our school has provided excellent education to the children of Lambeth. It has been rated as outstanding by Ofsted and has continued to serve our community with distinction. We believe it is now time to build on this success and ensure our students can receive a high-quality education in a modern, safe and stimulating learning environment.”


Emma Penson, from planning consultants DWD said the buildings on the site were no longer suitable for the school. Speaking on behalf of the DofE, she said:


“The planning application provides a modern and quality school for the pupils and staff of Iqra.  The existing buildings are no longer suitable for the school, being dated, in poor condition and at the end of their working life.

“The Department of Education are thrilled that the planning application is being recommended for approval tonight. They are very much looking forward to delivering a modern, high-quality primary school for the pupils and staff of Iqra.”


But Krysta Shimamura, a local resident who lives across from the school, said she was concerned about smells and noise because of the building’s design. She told the meeting:


“According to the odour assessment report, this property has been classified as high risk in odour. The kitchen and bin storage have been moved closer to our property.

“Design option three puts the playground and assembly hall closer to our house than in design option two. As individuals who work from home regularly, this will disrupt our work day. We work from home four days a week.”


A Lambeth Council planning committee made up of five Labour councillors and one green councillor approved the new school at a meeting on February 21. One councillor abstained.


Source: Clapham Nub News

Exciting plans for a new school that will transform education for vulnerable learners in Powys have been unveiled, the county council has said.


Powys County Council is to build a new £9.1m school for Brynllywarch Hall School as part of its Transforming Education programme. The school, located in Kerry near Newtown, provides education for pupils from 8 to 19-year-olds, with a wide range of complex emotional, behavioural and social difficulties.

A pre-application consultation for the proposed development has started, which allows interested parties to comment on the plans before a planning application is submitted.

The pre-application consultation will close on Tuesday, 14 March, 2023.

The council and its construction partner ISG Construction will also be showcase the exciting plans at two drop-in events that will take place at the school on the following days:

  • Tuesday 28 February between 3.30pm and 7pm
  • Tuesday 7 March between 3.30pm and 7pm

The drop-in events will be open to the whole school community as well as members of the public.

Cllr Pete Roberts, Cabinet Member for a Learning Powys, said:


“The new building for Brynllywarch Hall School is a vital step to ensuring we deliver education in a safe and stimulating environment for all our pupils. This project will provide modern facilities for our pupils and teaching staff and help them to deliver an enjoyable and fulfilling education experience for everyone.

“These drop-in events provide a great opportunity for everyone in the school community and members of the public to view these exciting plans, which will transform education for vulnerable learners in Powys.”



To view the pre-application consultation documents online visit which also gives details on how you can make representations on the proposed plans.


Source: Powys

A new special school building which will cater for 100 students with social, emotional and mental health needs has moved a step closer after plans were lodged with the local council.

River Tees Academy Grangetown will take in youngsters aged between five and 19 years old from across the Tees Valley and employ about 70 teaching staff.

Source: Teeside Live

A Cornish construction and professional services consultancy facilitated £15 million worth of work in Cornish schools in 2022, on behalf of Cornwall Council.

The work, delivered by Mace Ward Williams Joint Venture (MWJV), is the result of one of Cornwall Council’s highest single year investment into school infrastructure on record.

The rolling programme aims to ensure all 39 local authority managed schools in the county are in the best possible condition.
Mark Stitson, Schools Maintenance Programme Manager at MWJV, said:


“It is great to be working with Cornwall Council on a significant body of work in such important settings.
“MWJV was created to simplify the procurement process. We have a large network of local suppliers offering a variety of construction services, such as project management, architecture, engineering and surveying. Working in this way ensures a significant proportion of Cornwall Council’s budget is spent on local SMEs.”

One of the beneficiaries of the Schools Maintenance Programme is the Humphry Davy School in Penzance.

In 2022 alone MWJV has facilitated a wide body of work and upgrades in the secondary school, including boiler replacements, electrical distribution board replacements, water system upgrades, roofing work, and more.

Theresa Grainger, business manager at Humphry Davy, said:


“Much of the work carried out in 2022 has helped bring the school in line with new compliance regulations, however the upgrade that will undoubtedly have the greatest impact is the new boiler and building management system.

“Aside from being much more efficient, the new system gives us greater control of how the buildings are heated. At a time when energy prices are so high, this is going to have a significant impact in 2023.”

The Schools Maintenance Programme is scheduled to continue throughout 2023, with further investment into local authority maintained schools.


Young people in the UK today are facing a perfect storm. The 21st century has seen technology impact natural human interaction whilst the pandemic has compounded the problems associated with reduced socialisation and global warming is a growing source of anxiety. It is no wonder that the mental well-being of children and young people is falling under this huge strain which is representing a key challenge for schools, teachers and parents. As many as 10% of children aged five to 16 have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem1 . Currently, one third of people aged eight to 24 report an increase in mental health and wellbeing issues2.

Exposure to Nature

Whilst it is clear that there is not a single, magic solution to the problem, it is well known that reconnection with nature can play a major role in enhancing a child’s development, mental resilience and capacity to thrive and learn. A study between Aarhus University in Denmark and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the US, children who grow up in greener surroundings have up to 55% less risk of developing various mental disorders. Biophilia, or a love of the natural world, is programmed into our DNA and appropriate architectural design can serve to nurture our deep-rooted need to connect to nature.

Biophilic Design

Biophilic design in classrooms has been shown to boost children’s wellbeing both physically and mentally. Noisy, open plan classrooms can cause stress and fatigue which can be alleviated by exposure to nature resulting in improved cognitive ability and emotional wellbeing. Furthermore, adding sensory elements from the living natural environment can inspire curiosity, imagination and discovery whilst offering a significant boost to learning by way of increased attendance, improved behaviour and increased focus.

Improved Educational Outcomes

These benefits have been proven by a variety of scientific experiments. One study by A Sigman shows that children exposed to nature scored higher on concentration and self-discipline than control group students and performed better in core curricular subjects. Another study by Human Spaces found that by optimising exposure to daylight, attendance can increase by more than three and a half days a year, whilst test scores can improve by between 5 and 14% with speed of learning boosted by as much as 26%. A further study has shown that a timber classroom can reduce the heart rate of occupants by 8600 beats per day versus a traditional classroom, indicating stress relief.

A Biophilic School

Having practised the implementation of biophilic design principles for many years, TG Escapes wanted to design an entirely biophilic primary school that is sensitive to the environment, cost effective and practical to build using modern methods of construction.

They have designed a new single-entry nursery and primary concept school. Constructed almost entirely from timber, the school will have a low embodied carbon value; be highly sustainable and net-zero in its lifetime. Furthermore, it will be more affordable to build, maintain and run than traditionally constructed buildings. In addition, renewable energy generation will be built into the design at every opportunity.

The design comprises separate pavilions for various school functions, connected by covered walkways and canopies and arranged to envelop a central landscaped, terraced area with an outdoor class at its centre. This promotes an interaction and connection with nature. It encourages sociability and play, whilst maximising the opportunity for outdoor learning, exercise and fresh air in all weathers.

Cost and Carbon

The building will be cost effective to build and to operate and extremely eco-friendly. As TG Escapes are utilising an existing, panelised modular system, they are able to make a whole life carbon calculation. The total cost of the build, (excluding landscaping and services which will be site specific) will be £4m. Comparing this design to the EBDOG benchmark survey for primary, the scheme provides 7.31m2 per pupil (including circulation) versus the benchmark 5.69m2. The benchmark shows that an average cost of a net-zero school is around £2500 pm2. Their biophilic buildings come in at only £1,823 pm2 leaving plenty of headroom for external works.

The whole life carbon calculation exceeds the RIBA 2030 target for schools.

Biophilic Schools. Better for the Environment. Better for our Children

TG Escapes believe that our relationship with nature is a cornerstone foundation for robust mental health and a young mind’s capacity for learning. They are working with MTM Consulting to identify a suitable site to build a biophilic school that can help to provide a better future for our children and the world in which they live. They are also happy to work with education groups should they have a project to suit this biophilic approach.


For more information call 0800 9127 7726

or CLICK HERE to email TG Escapes

[1] As many as 10% of children aged five to 16 have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem LINK

[2] Barnardo’s Big Conversation 2020 LINK


School procurement: John Welch, Deputy Director for Construction at Crown Commercial Service explains how to use frameworks for your building or maintenance project




With the new academic year in full swing, now is a good time to review your procurement strategy and pin down the areas you need to focus on throughout the year – such as essential building maintenance work or construction projects.

At Crown Commercial Service (CCS) we understand that the education sector is under more pressure than ever to make every penny count. We’re here to help you save time and money on procurement, allowing you to get on with what matters most – running your school. We can help you procure works on everything from the construction of a new secondary school, to the painting and decorating of your classrooms.

Why procure through a framework?


If you don’t want to put your project out to tender yourself, procurement tools such as CCS framework agreements can help you identify a list of suitable, pre-checked suppliers. Frameworks also have the advantage of including pre-agreed terms and conditions, saving you time on negotiations with builders and contractors at the pre-construction phase of a project, as well as having built-in, robust legal protections.


CCS frameworks have already been advertised on Find a Tender and suppliers have been assessed using one of the procurement procedures. This means all you need to do is follow the award process in the contract or in the customer guidance that CCS provides for all its frameworks, knowing that all suppliers who are able to bid have been assessed for their ability to deliver to the agreed standard on the goods and services you need.

Once you’ve decided that using a framework is the best way for your organisation to buy what you need, you can then ask all the suppliers listed on it to bid. This process is called a further or mini-competition and can be run under most frameworks. Check the customer guidance for the framework you decide to use.


Why run a further competition?


Frameworks provide specific goods or services, but individual customer needs may vary, which makes it difficult for suppliers to provide a ‘one size fits all’ approach to pricing and requirements.

Further competitions enable you to outline your own specific requirements and identify the best solution for your school. Suppliers can then consider your requirements and submit a bid that outlines how exactly they can meet your needs. You could even go further and invite suppliers to get involved early in your project to help influence based on their experience to deliver against your needs.

When should you run a further competition?


Further competitions work best for more complex goods and services; for example, installing fire protection sprinklers and alarms throughout your educational establishment or a major refurbishment or construction project.


They’re not best suited  for low-value, ad-hoc purchases, where the time and cost of running a further competition is disproportionate to the goods and services supplied; such as purchases of one-off, so-called ‘tail spend’ items such as calculators or sports equipment. They are also not ideal when you have urgent requirements, because of the time it can take to complete the process although CCS experts can help you with accelerating mini competitions if this is required


In some instances, you can choose to place a direct award without further competition. This is an allowed option in our Construction frameworks. For some agreements, such as a Dynamic Purchasing System, there is no direct award option and you can only award a contract following a further competition.


How to get it right


Running a further competition can be daunting if you’ve never done it before, and it’s not part of your normal day to day job. Visit our website for more information on further competition and how to get it right.


Find out more

As the largest public procurement organisation in the UK, we’ve got a range of tailored solutions specifically aimed at customers within the education sector.

We offer the biggest construction commercial agreements in the country, driving industry change in support of the government’s construction strategy. For example, our Construction Professional Services (CPS) framework and dynamic purchasing system (DPS) helps deliver and support a wide range of construction projects through all stages of the project lifecycle.

To find out more about how CCS can help you add power to your procurement,

 CLICK HERE and download our digital brochure.


The launch of the Department for Education’s rebuilding programme, combined with the Government’s ‘presumption in favour of offsite building’ is increasing demand for this method of construction. Here, Jim Cowell, Technical Director at Algeco considers some of the benefits it offers the education sector.

Following the UK Government’s announcement of a ‘presumption in favour of offsite,’ all building projects should have at least one option that includes the substantial use of offsite manufacture during the development stage. Combined with a school rebuilding and refurbishment push by the Department for Education, many schools are opting for modular design builds.

One key factor in the rising popularity of modular construction – both within an offsite and temporary building hire programme – is its cost-effectiveness. Long-term running costs of modular buildings are often lower than those of traditional brick and mortar buildings, due to the modules being produced in a quality assessed production facility with high manufacturing tolerances at critical interfaces. Often, achieving these on site can be more challenging due to skills shortages and inclement weather, for example.

Offsite construction offers a quicker, less disruptive alternative to traditional construction. Utilising DfMA (Design for Manufacturing Assembly) and Lean Manufacturing, combined with Seismic design innovation, allows us to deliver building modules with a high PMV (Pre Manufacturer Value) of around 80 percent. It’s why we approach all our projects using DfMA, including more recent school builds at Laurence Calvert Academy in Leeds and Northampton School.

Completed the majority of work in a controlled, factory environment lifts any limitations usually imposed by weather. It also reduces the level of disruption to the school itself, mitigating any distractions caused by noise and alleviating health and safety concerns associated with a traditional construction site. As the majority of the building is completed offsite, insertion of the modular building onto the school grounds can easily be co-ordinated with school holidays, avoiding any disruption to learning.

Compared to traditional construction, modular construction produces a limited amount of waste, as classrooms are designed to tight specifications, with any excess materials from design modifications being reused for later projects. As modular buildings are completed offsite, vehicular traffic from travel to and from the construction site is eliminated, meaning CO₂ levels are lower than that of a traditional construction site.

Permanent offsite builds: Hatchlands Primary School

Due to residential developments and increasing birth rates in the area, a new school was developed in Redhill, Surrey.

Adjacent to a Conservation Area, offsite construction of the school using our permanent modular building system meant that the modules were delivered with a PMV of 85%, and ready for final finishing on-site. This reduced the construction schedule by around 50%, compared to a traditional on-site build, with completion in just 32 weeks.

The new school was funded by the DfE and operated by the Everychild Trust – a multi-academy trust, whose aim is to “Engage, equip and empower every child”. Development of the school was part of a Modular-A Primary School component solution framework.

The 420-place school had to be created on a similar footprint to the existing structure and within the same two-storey height limit.

The designers were DLA Architects who worked with our offsite team to develop a component-centred solution based on the Algeco market leading modular system. Hatchlands was designed in a contemporary style using brick, cedar cladding, purple panelling to complement the school’s branding, render and significant glazed elements to create light filled teaching spaces.

Built to high sustainability standards, the school achieves a BREEAM Very Good Rating, placing it within the top 25% of buildings, in terms of sustainability, aligning with the goals of Reigate and Banstead Borough Council. Transmittance of noise was minimised, meeting minimum standards set out in The Building Bulletin 93 (BB 93) ‘Acoustic Design of Schools: A Design Guide,’ through the construction of a suspended concrete floor in the module.

A large span sports hall was created using our Hybrid system, providing the school with a valuable space that is now used for assemblies, sports and performances. The system allows incorporation of large open atriums and increased ceiling heights and can be fully integrated with the modules to provide greater design scope.

CLICK HERE To find out more about the Hatchlands Primary School



Temporary modular buildings for hire

Changes in pupil numbers and demographics are putting pressure on education providers nationwide. It’s one of the reasons why more education providers are opting for temporary classrooms, because it allows them to create extra places, quickly. They can also be used to move the whole school into interim facilities while new permanent offsite buildings are created.

Schools that choose the hire route avoid the need for CapEx and lengthy sign-off processes whilst having the flexibility to use the buildings for as long as they want. This aligns well with sustainable and circular economy principles because the buildings are refurbished and re-used when they are decanted from site. Hiring temporary classroom is a cost effective solution for schools looking to respond rapidly to changes in pupil numbers.

CLICK HERE to discover more about temporary classroom hire