UK Construction Media

£8.2M school projects to use off-site construction

News   •   May 25, 2016 10:50 BST

The Department of Education has awarded the Portakabin Group contracts to rebuild two schools in the South East with a value of £8.2M.

The two projects – St Bede’s Church of England Junior School in Woking and Riverview Church of England Primary School in Epsom – will be manufactured off site at the Company’s production facility in York. By using this technique, the build programme will be reduced by half meaning the school will have less disruption during construction.

Off-site construction has been making the news recently after Head of Construction at the Cabinet Office, David Hancock, put forward the building method as a way to solve some of the issues afflicting the construction industry.

The rebuilding project are a part of the Government’s Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), which addresses the needs of those schools in the worst condition across the country.

Both schools have been designed by Surface to Air architects and will see the replacement of deteriorating buildings with state-of-the-art education facilities. The schools have been designed following consultation with teaching staff and will exploit natural light and ventilation.

The schools will feature two two-storey classroom wings, which are divided by a central path which runs the full length of the building and provides good passive supervision and zones for informal learning.

240 pupils aged between 7 and 11 attend St Bede’s School. The school’s original building was first built in the 1930s and is deteriorating badly.

The new educational facilities will include eight classrooms, a multi-purpose hall, and new hard and soft play areas. Each year group will have its own individual play areas with easy access to facilitate outdoor play and learning. The building will be designed to take advantage of natural light as much as possible.

Riverdale School accommodates 210 pupils and will benefit from eight new classrooms plus a large double height dining and sports hall. ‘Free flow’ play will be encouraged through the creation of easy access designated play areas.

Once the new buildings are up and running at both schools, Portakabin will safely demolish the old school buildings

Steve Newell, General Manager at the Portakabin Group said, “We are absolutely delighted to be appointed main contractor for these two projects. The opportunity for off-site construction to help the Department for Education improve the standard of school buildings across the UK is immense, as these projects will demonstrate.”