Securing High-Quality School Buildings

How can we ensure the acquisition of top-notch school buildings? This article takes us on a “back-to-school” journey, sharing insights on how modular buildings can be utilised to create exceptional educational spaces. We also address commonly asked questions, such as “What features can I expect in a modular school building?”, “Are they a viable long-term solution?” and “How environmentally friendly are they?”

Pay attention to the planning stage. Although discussing your summer building program may seem peculiar, now is the ideal time to commence the process. We understand the tremendous impact the pandemic has had on education, placing significant demands on your time and resources.

Space remains a critical issue, both pre-and post-pandemic. This is where modular construction becomes invaluable: providing additional space swiftly, with minimal disruption, and offering a range of other benefits.

Enhanced quality: modern modular buildings bear little resemblance to the temporary classrooms of the past. Those of us who recall those drafty, creaky, and leaky cabins situated on netball courts or parking lots may have preconceived notions about modular classrooms.

However, today’s modular buildings are selected for clean rooms, hospitals, laboratories, clinics, and even entire schools. Moreover, our new buildings adhere to permanent building standards, signifying a definitive long-term solution.

Why choose modular for your school? Modular construction is the answer if you seek a comprehensive solution that can be constructed relatively quickly while allowing the customisation of teaching and support facilities according to your requirements. Modular buildings are built in segments or modules within a factory and delivered to the site separately via trucks. These modules are then interconnected on-site to form the complete building, often comprising multiple stories achieved through stacking.

Our modules can be pre-fitted with many amenities, including electrical systems, ventilation, plumbing, heating, smart teaching walls, science labs, and IT suites, and arrive fully decorated and ready for use.

In summary, a modular building offers you the following:

  • The required space was delivered, constructed, and finished swiftly
  • Savings in terms of time and cost
  • Added flexibility in design and layout
  • Minimal construction time on-site
  • Reduced disruption to your school and neighbours
  • Improved health and safety for all
  • The ability to relocate and reuse the building on-site or at another location

Based on our experience, modular construction is generally around 50% cheaper than traditional construction methods and can be completed on-site at least 70% faster. However, the cost and speed depend on the project’s specific requirements.

To learn more about the materials used in modular classrooms and the potential cost savings, please refer to our comprehensive post on modular construction in the UK.

One unique aspect of PF Modular is that we provide a single point of contact. From start to finish, the same person at PF Modular will oversee your project, possessing the relevant experience and knowledge tailored to your specific circumstances. This streamlines communication, making it easier for you to articulate your needs and minimises the chances of errors and misunderstandings.

While modular construction offers speed and efficiency, achieving the best outcome for your school requires time and effort. However, the results are well worth it.

Countdown to summer: Many schools use modular construction’s speed to build new classrooms during the summer break. This logical decision makes this period exceptionally busy for the entire modular building industry.

To secure one of these prime slots, it is crucial to book early.

Autumn Term 1 – Determining the location: We understand that space may be limited, but the initial choice of location may not always be the most optimal. Benefit from our experience building schools and placing structures in tight spaces to identify the best site.

2 – Navigating the planning process: In all likelihood, you will require planning permission. Even without complications, the planning process usually takes at least 13 weeks, plus additional time for the next planning meeting (adding roughly four weeks). It can be an intimidating process, so if you require assistance, our planning expert is available to support you.

Spring Term 3 – Finalising the design: The next step involves finalising the detailed design. This is when you can specify the desired details to create suitable spaces for your students and staff. Consider aspects such as teaching walls, lighting requirements, colour schemes, socket placements, and more. We require your formal approval shortly after Easter to allow sufficient time for our technical submission and subsequent Building Regulation approval. Providing the Local Authority ample time to review and approve our plans before commencing construction on-site is essential.

Summer Term 4 – Commencing construction: While you navigate your busy summer term, we will complete the construction at our manufacturing facility, taking care of all necessary preparations before the modules are delivered to the site. During this time, we will also set up the site, establish the boundary, carry out groundwork, and build foundations in preparation for the main construction phase during the holidays.

Summer Holidays 5 – Completion timeline: Finally, we will deliver the modules to the site, which can be a visually impressive moment as they are craned into position. Our teams will connect the modules, complete interior finishing and services, handle exterior landscaping and coordinate with your contractors to integrate the building into existing IT/communication networks and fire alarm systems. Typically, we manage everything, including the handover, ensuring your project is delivered on time and within budget.

By commencing the process early, you will have ample time to collaborate with your teams, develop ideas, and gain internal consensus. This will enable us to meet regulatory requirements on time.

For more information, contact the team at PF Modular today!