New two storey Thomas Aveling classroom block

Modular Two Storey Classroom Block for Thomas Aveling School in Rochester

New two storey Thomas Aveling classroom block

Project Details

Location: Rochester
Client: Medway Council
Employers Agent: Bailey Partnership
Principal Designer: Enviro Building Solutions
Contract Type: JCT Design & Build Contract 2016

Project Summary

  • New two storey modular building on occupied school site
  • Extension to traditionally constructed changing rooms
  • MUGA sports canopy
  • 28 modular bays
  • 8 classroom block, washroom facilities, offices, plant rooms
  • Floor area 1000m2
  • Brick slip, vertical and horizontal composite cladding finish externally
  • Steel canopy with polycarbonate covering
  • Aluminium windows and doors
  • Installation of teaching walls in classrooms
  • All groundworks, foundations and drainage
  • Fire detection and intruder alarm installations
  • Completed October 2020 (MUGA Canopy January 2021)
  • Project value £2.1m excluding MUGA Canopy, £2.75m including MUGA Canopy)

The Challenge: Expanding teaching spaces and improving sporting facilities

The Thomas Aveling School is the joint lead school of the Fort Pitt Thomas Aveling Academies Trust (FPTA), which incorporates a grammar school, two high schools and two junior schools. Serving almost 1200 pupils aged from 11-19, the school is co-educational and non-selective as well as being a converter academy with specialist teaching areas for science, design technology, art and sport and a performing arts centre.

“Enviro were able to successfully deliver this project during a very difficult time (COVID-19). They remained committed to delivering the project throughout.”

Stuart Collingwood, Director Building Surveyor, Bailey Partnership

The modular element of this build called for the construction of a two-storey, eight modular classroom block to provide additional teaching capacity. It would also serve as an extension to the school’s existing sports changing facilities using traditional construction methods. In addition, the project involved the construction of a MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area) canopy to cover the existing tennis courts, creating an all-weather play facility.

Managing the planning elements

This was a major building project managed under a PCSA (Pre-Construction Services Agreement), enabling Enviro Building Solutions to contribute to the design process, then a PPA agreement which gives greater certainty to the planning process, fostering a collaborative approach to designing better developments.

Importantly, a PPA contributes towards the certainty of timescales for reaching a decision and a specific planning committee date to work towards. As a direct result of this approach, the team from Enviro Building Solutions was on-site at Thomas Aveling School just two weeks after planning permission was granted.

Overcoming pandemic supply chain issues

The project on-site began at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Although this has impacted upon the schedule for the build due to restricted availability on a range of materials, the extension to the changing rooms was completed in time for the start of the new term, as originally planned. The new classroom block was commissioned over half term and ready for use at the beginning of November.

Other issues which could have impacted on the build but were successfully managed by Enviro Building Solutions included the effects of Storm Francis in August. Torrential rain and storm-force winds took a whole bay off a low loader en route for Rochester. Prompt action by the team overcame logistical and manufacturing challenges to ensure there were no resultant delays to the project.

Incorporating external and internal finishes

This significant modular build sits well in its chosen position on-site, featuring an attractive combination of brick slip, vertical and horizontal composite cladding externally complemented by aluminium windows and doors. There are internal staircases to either end of the building, together with teaching walls installed in classrooms, integrating front of class storage provision with whiteboards and classroom technology.

Planning conditions for the project also called for major landscaping works, with hedging and planting for shielding purposes to screen the site from the surrounding residential areas.


From a sustainability point of view, the building achieved a strong EPC B rating, with carbon emissions and U-values significantly exceeding the minimum standards. With grid-supplied electricity in a building environment classed as mixed-mode with natural ventilation, the building emission rate has been measured at 14.87kgCO2/m2 per year.

Despite the supply chain and associated challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, Enviro Building Solutions were committed to maintaining the original build schedule as far as possible. As a result, the changing rooms were delivered on time and the classroom block just a few short weeks later. The final phase of the build covering the installation of the MUGA canopy will be completed as planned early in 2021.

SEND Modular School Building

New SEND Teaching Facility for Burraton Community Primary School

SEND Modular School Building

Project Details

Location: Burraton Community Primary School, Saltash, Cornwall
Client: Midas Construction/Cornwall Council
Contract Type: NEC3 Engineering & Construction

Project Summary

  • New SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) teaching space
  • Two teaching classrooms, two calming rooms, sensory room, therapy/group area and multifunction space
  • Hygiene, staff and plant rooms.
  • 10 bay modular bays
  • Floor area 375m2
  • White render, vertical larch and brick slip finish externally
  • Aluminium windows and doors
  • Working as a subcontractor to the Principal Contractor
  • Occupied school premises
  • Fire detection and intruder alarm installations
  • Completed February 2020
  • Project value £505,000

The Challenge: Constructing purpose built SEND teaching facilities on an occupied school site

Burraton Community Primary School is one of the largest primary schools in Cornwall, catering for children from 4-11 years. It has fourteen mainstream classes and an Area Resource Base for children with special education needs and/or disabilities.

Known as Eden Class, Burraton’s ARB caters for twenty children with severe and complex needs. They have their own specialist facilities, but join with mainstream classes when they can for shared learning opportunities.

The staff at Burraton work hard to create meaningful, exciting learning opportunities for children, with the vision statement ‘Through support and challenge, we strive to equip our children with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for a successful and fulfilling life’. Building the right facility to house the ARB has been an important step for this community school.

“This project demonstrated clearly how modular construction methods can be deployed effectively to create a specialist facility on an occupied school site, working to deliver high quality SEND classrooms within a limited timeframe to match teaching requirements.”

Jonathan Collins, Enviro Building Solutions
SEND Modular Classroom

Modular building methods to fast track SEND facility

Burraton School is an inclusive school, welcoming all children regardless of need or ability. The facility supports children with SEND using strategies and interventions designed to overcome their barriers to learning.

Creating a purpose-built SEND environment was identified as a vital need, with modular building methods providing a fast and affordable solution.

With a tight three month build schedule timed to take place during the winter months, the project presented a number of challenges. Access was severely restricted and it was imperative that the school remained fully open for the duration of the build.

The team from Enviro Building Solutions specialises in working safely on operational school sites. They formed an entrance through the playground and safe passage to the car park area, which was given over for storage and welfare facilities.

Kitchen inside the SEND classroom

Matching specialist SEND requirements

Statistics from the Disabled Living Foundation show that there are 770,000 disabled children under the age of 16 in the UK, meaning schools need to create the right facilities and deliver flexible spaces capable of meeting diverse pupil needs. Building SEN classrooms involves complex considerations at both design and build stages.

With a wide range of special standards and regulations to meet and a broad spectrum of needs, every SEND project is different. Areas for consideration include accessibility to facilitate the use of mobility aids such as walking aids and wheelchairs, designing in ramps and low level thresholds.

Modular building methods provide a practical solution capable of responding to sensory and practical elements too. For this project, lighting and acoustics were important issues as well as soundproofing and specialist bathroom facilities.

Calming and sensory rooms plus specialist lighting

As groundworks were completed on site, the individual bays for the building were manufactured off site at the company’s factory, keeping to the strict time schedule.

In line with specific SEND requirements, the two classrooms were complemented with calming rooms, a sensory area and therapy room together with washrooms, staff area and plant rooms. Additional facilities included a hoist and specialist lighting for all spaces.

Externally, this attractive new building features clean white rendered walls complemented by vertical larch cladding and brick slip finish. Aluminium windows and doors provide a quality touch and the work completed by Enviro Building Solutions included fire detection and intruder alarm systems.

Burraton’s ARB SEND space was completed on time and to budget, and is now providing children with a safe, secure environment for learning designed to help them achieve their full potential.

Low Ash primary school from the air

Energy Efficient Classroom Building for Low Ash Primary School

Exterior of the new classroom at Low Ash

Project Details

Location: Shipley, West Yorkshire
Client: City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
Employers Agent: V B Johnson LLP
Principal Designer: City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
Contract Type: JCT Design & Build Contract 2016

Project Summary

  • New modular nursery building including washroom facilities, kitchen area and storage
  • Constructed in two phases on an occupied school site: externals and modular build
  • Four modular bays
  • Additional works to playground including the relocation of the school ball court, fencing and railing, hard and soft landscaping
  • Designed around thermal efficiency, reducing building heat loss
  • Floor area 105m2
  • Attractive Artem Cedar external vertical cladding finish
  • Brick plinth with stepped and ramped access
  • Anthracite grey Plastisol fascia with overhang canopy
  • Aluminium windows and doors
  • All groundworks, foundations and drainage
  • Fire detection and intruder alarm installations
  • Completed August 2020
  • Project value £483,000

The Challenge: Creating an attractive, energy efficient building on an occupied school site

Constructing an energy efficient building offsite poses its own unique set of challenges. Learn how Enviro Building Solutions achieved that with the completion of a new modular classroom for Low Ash Primary School.

Serving 480 pupils between the ages of 3 and 11, Low Ash Primary School in Shipley aims to be a caring, exciting and enjoyable place to learn. The school’s motto is ‘Be the best that you can be!’, with staff, parents, carers, governors and children working together, putting each child at the centre of learning to build a positive learning environment for all.

“In a word, professional. This project ran through Covid-19 lockdown, and the team helped keep the work going and dealt with the numerous supply issues that occurred due to the pandemic. It was one of only two school projects that stayed open throughout the lockdown, solely down to the way Enviro handled the project and looked after their employees.”

Jonathan Simcock, Architectural Technologist/Project Manager, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
Jonathan Simcock, Architectural Technologist/Project Manager, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

When the school required additional purpose-built space to house a new nursery classroom for Early Years education provision, modular building methods provided a fast and achievable option with the added benefit of energy efficient construction to reduce building heat loss.

One of the key challenges was to deliver the project on an active school site, with very little space for separation of construction works and the day to day schedule of education within the school itself. Combined with the unexpected difficulties created by an active pandemic, this was a challenging build.

Creating safe spaces on occupied school grounds

With the space for the new nursery building located right in the centre of the existing play area, the team from Enviro Building Solutions detailed a plan for the construction works and site logistics designed around the requirements of the school.

View across the playground at Low Ash to the new energy efficient buildingPhase One saw the team move a hard standing ball court, extending this with perimeter fencing and works vehicle park. All construction traffic and ongoing works then happened within this defined and segregated area, releasing playground space for the school and providing safe passage for pupils and staff through to the adjoining playing fields.

Attractive, robust and practical design

Work could then begin on the foundations for the build, featuring a brick plinth with both stepped and ramped access to match requirements. Four modular bays form a classroom complete with a quiet area, wash room facilities, kitchen area and storage space. Artem cedar composite cladding was chosen for the exterior, providing a strong, durable and attractive solution with no requirements for staining, painting or treating.

Artem Cedar composite cladding on the Low Ash exeriorBefore the install began, Enviro’s site manager championed the case for a time capsule to be buried within the foundations of the building; the school and the pupils got behind this scheme enthusiastically and the resultant records of our current times now lie beneath the foundations for future generations to discover!

Achieving high standards of energy efficiency

Although modular build projects are usually tendered in detail and priced against a given M&E specification, energy efficiency is always a consideration for Enviro Building Solutions. For Low Ash Primary School, the walls of the building are manufactured using steel columns, PIR insulation board (polyisocyanurate), plasterboard and timber.  The external cladding was specified for its aesthetic as well as availability around COVID-19.

The roof and floor of the building consist of steel, exterior grade plywood, rigid flooring insulation (PIR), mineral rock wool insulation and oriented strand board (OSB). Windows were specified by Enviro to greatly exceed the u-Value requirement, including thermal bridging within the frames as well as an advanced glazing specification. Spaces within the building have appropriate passive control measures to limit solar gain.

As you can see from the thermal images below the building is relatively well insulated. The dark coloured roof compared to the buildings around shows that significant heat is being retained. The shiny surface also reflects the cool energy from the sky. Other aspects of the build show heat loss from expected areas, such as windows and doors, but at a lower reading than less well specified buildings. It’s also fair to say that energy efficiency could have been improved further but this would have meant significant additional cost to the client. The materials chosen offer a blend of good value as well as good thermal properties.

Thermal image of the new classroom at Low Ash

The Target CO2 Emission Rate (TER) for this build was 22.7 kgCO2/m2 per year; the actual Building CO2 Emission Rate (BER) achieved was 20.4 kgCO2/m2 per year.

Thermal image of the new classroom at Low Ash from above

Meeting the COVID challenge

This project was completed against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, with all the attendant challenges in terms of sourcing material supplies, labour and meeting social distancing requirements. Enviro Building Solutions succeeded in maintaining momentum for the project with the objective of having the classrooms ready for schools reopening in September, creating much needed additional space for education to resume safely.

Staff, governors and parents at Low Ash Primary School are delighted with the end result and say the new nursery building looks as if it has always been there. The school now offers impressive space and provision for Early Year children.

“We had a modular nursery built for us by Enviro. I am absolutely delighted with the result as it is well-built, attractive and put together with great attention to detail. It looks really smart.”

Fiona Meer, Co-Headteacher
The front of Weeth Primary School

Modular Double Classroom Building For Weeth Primary School

The front of Weeth Primary School

Project Details

Location: Weeth Community Primary School, Camborne, Cornwall
Client: Cornwall Council
Employers Agent: Mace Group Ltd
Principal Designer: Enviro Building Solutions Ltd
Contract Type: JCT Design & Build Contract 2011

Project Summary

  • New modular building incorporating two classrooms, lobby space, washroom facilities, store and plant room
  • Floor area 151m2
  • Five modular bays
  • Combination of plastisol and cedar cladding
  • Demolition and removal of existing modular building
  • All groundworks, foundations and drainage
  • Fire detection and intruder alarm installations, IT cabling
  • Aluminium windows and doors
  • Completed April 2017
  • Project value £255,000

The Challenge: Upgrading upper school learning facilities

Weeth Community Primary School is one of the smaller schools in Camborne, priding itself on providing a family atmosphere and close links between children, parents and staff. The school is committed to helping its pupils to develop a love of learning accompanying them into later life.

Inside a classroom at Weeth Primary SchoolTeaching facilities and atmosphere contribute to the school’s success, and in 2016 plans were made to replace an existing outside classroom with a new, much improved double classroom unit for use by the two upper school classes.

Following a competitive tender process, Enviro Building Solutions was commissioned to design, build and install the new and expanded learning space, complete with entrance lobby, toilet facilities, storage space and plant room.

Creating functional, practical and attractive education spaces

Enviro Building Solutions has extensive experience in the design and installation of modular classroom buildings, having worked closely with councils and education authorities across the UK on projects ranging from single storey, single classroom units through to complex multi-storey builds housing everything from art facilities to science blocks.

At Weeth Community Primary School, work began with the demolition and removal of the existing classroom unit which was to be replaced by the new, modern and contemporary building.

Once the site was cleared, the company completed all groundworks including a reduced level dig together with the installation of foundations and both foul and surface water drainage facilities. Whilst this work was in progress, the modular building bays were constructed offsite at Enviro’s factory before being transported to site for final installation and fit-out works.

Safety and performance

Safety is always a primary consideration for Enviro Building Solutions. With works being carried out on an active school site, where space for the build was at a premium, the company set up a compound on the very edge of the school boundary. An available grass verge was used to avoid taking up valuable playground space or encroaching on areas in use by pupils, staff and parents.

Weeth Primary SchoolWhen the modular units had been delivered and installed, the Enviro team completed the internal fit-out including the installation of a mains electrical supply calibrated to match projected usage. Mechanical services including heating and plumbing together with additional facilities including fire detection and alarm system, intruder alarm system and cabling for IT installations were also installed. The areas to each side of the new building were tarmacked and safety fencing installed.

The resulting modular primary school building was completed on schedule within a tight six-week timeframe. It provides Weeth Community Primary School access to enhanced teaching spaces in line with the school’s commitment to its pupils and families.

The front facade of the new Cardinal Newman College

Construction of New Sixth Form Building For Cardinal Newman College

The front facade of the new Cardinal Newman College

Project Details

Location: Cardinal Newman College, Preston
Client: Cardinal Newman College
Employers Agent: Ridge & Partners LLP
Principal Designer: Ridge & Partners LLP
Contract Type: JCT Design & Build Contract 2011

Project Summary

  • Modular building providing eight classrooms complete with offices and washrooms
  • Floor area 750m2
  • 22 modular bays
  • Attractive rendered exterior finish
  • Internal fire escapes
  • All groundworks, foundations and drainage
  • Fire detection and intruder alarm installations
  • Automated door access systems
  • Completed September 2016
  • Project value £824,000

The Challenge: Creating a quality educational space for a leading sixth form college

Cardinal Newman College is a Catholic sixth form college located close to the centre of Preston, named after Saint John Henry Newman, an English theologian and poet.

Graded ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2009, the establishment was granted ‘Beacon College’ status by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service in November 2010 and ranked as the best sixth form college in England according to the Sunday Times’ analysis of ‘A’ Level performance for 2011.

In 2016, following a competitive tender process, Enviro Building Solutions was awarded a contract to construct the St Teresa Building on the college campus using modular techniques.

Exterior steps and walkway to Cardinal Newman CollegeThis two storey, 8-classroom addition was built to accommodate the college’s excellent RE programme and now acts as a high-quality educational space for learning, relaxation and time out from students’ busy schedules.

Changing specifications to match client requirements

Enviro Building Solutions was originally awarded the project to manufacture, supply, deliver and erect eight modular classrooms, offices and washroom facilities. Before work began, however, the original specification was significantly redesigned to match revised client requirements.

This included changes to exterior finish, alterations to the window design and apertures to all elevations to optimise natural light and extending the length of the building to bring external fire escapes inside, improving the aesthetics.

Walkway between 2 of the new Cardinal Newman College buildingsAll redesign and planning work was completed prior to commencement of the build.

Work began on site to create the foundations for the building and to provide for foul and surface water drainage at the same time as the factory build to produce 22 individual modular units which would make up the two storey, 8 classroom building.

One of the new classrooms at Cardinal Newman CollegeThis was an active and busy college site, so Enviro Building Solutions set up a secure compound using part of the existing car park area for added safety and to minimise disruption to pupils, staff and visitors.

Keeping local residents informed

The college is located in a busy city centre site, very close to residential housing and with significant access issues created by traffic and parked cars. The Enviro team worked hard to keep local residents on side, completing letter drops with information on planned works and delivering the individual modular units over two days on a single weekend to ensure the process was carried out without a hitch.

Once the modular units were in place, internal fit out began with the team completing all electrical and mechanical works, installing fire detection and intruder alarms, automated door access systems and also fitting the internal fire escapes to each end of the building.

Further exterior landscaping works included flagged walkways around the building to facilitate access.

St Teresa BuildingThe college building construction was completed in just twelve weeks, on time and to budget, creating an attractive rendered building which sits well against other structures on the campus and provides the Cardinal Newman College with vital additional educational facilities.

Side entrance to Kingsleigh Primary School new modular building

Kingsleigh Primary School Double classroom SEN Resource Base

Kingsleigh Primary School in Bournemouth

Project Description

Location: Kingsleigh Primary School, Bournemouth
Client: Bournemouth Borough Council
Employers Agent: KSP Consultancy LLP
Principal Designer: KSP Consultancy LLP
Contract Type:  JCT Design & Build Contract 2016

Project Summary

  • SEN resource centre for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) incorporating two classrooms, sensory room, quiet room, kitchen and plant room
  • Floor area 168m2
  • 7 modular bays
  • Contrasting Plastisol / cedar cladding finish to match an existing building
  • All groundworks, foundations and drainage
  • M&E works including automated door access, fire and intruder alarms
  • Completed August 2019
  • Project value £456,000

The Challenge: Creating a positive school classroom learning space for SEN teaching

Kingsleigh Primary is a community school striving to help each and every pupil achieve their true potential. They encourage children to work to the best of their abilities and to acquire the skills to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

‘’Enviro worked closely with the Council, School and technical advisors to ensure the design responded to the brief and were proactive in finding cost effective solutions to issues that evolved during both the design and construction. They demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of working within an occupied school environment and exceeded expectation in terms of involving the pupils in the project. The Enviro team had a ‘can do’ attitude which was refreshing and this has contributed to an excellent building, which is already having a very positive impact the on the pupils’ behaviour, self-esteem, and consequentially their ability to learn.’’

Anita Ellis, Client Project Manager, Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council

Seeking to open a Resource Base for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and severe social communication and interaction needs, the school commissioned the design and construction of a bespoke single storey detached modular building. This would include two school classrooms plus ancillary space for a quiet room and a sensory room.

Inside Kingsleigh Primary ScchoolUsing modular building techniques, Enviro Building Solutions successfully delivered a resource base for children needing a more specialised and bespoke approach to their education. Designed to meet their identified needs and to facilitate a positive learning experience.

Special interior fit out requirements

This project called for a building designed specifically to meet SEN standards, designed to complement the existing school architectural style and delivered within a tight time frame of just six weeks.

Modular building techniques provided the optimum solution to achieve a quality build incorporating all the required facilities, within the desired build schedule.

The sensory room at Kingsleigh Primary schoolInterior fit out was also an important consideration. The two school classrooms are both equipped with teaching walls, whilst the sensory room is equipped with special lighting. This is designed to provide a calm space, using a specific colour palette that can play a role in supporting children to regulate their emotions. Specific acoustic requirements also have a role to play here.

The exterior of the building features a Plastisol finish with cedar cladding, reflecting the colours and finish utilised for the main school building.

Value engineering yields costs savings

Cost is always an important consideration. Following the first tender submission, Enviro Building Solutions were requested to value engineer the project, aiming to provide best value for money whilst retaining all the important performance features.

The overall cost was successfully reduced by 9% by taking steps such as changing the window specification from aluminium to UPVC, providing an alternative flooring finish and suspended ceiling and omitting VRV air conditioning whilst retaining the breathable buildings requirements for Part L compliance.

M&E works included automated door access, fire and intruder alarms, with external works including fencing and secure gated areas. This is within a residential area so Enviro Building Solutions also screened the boundary fence with planting.

Enviro Building Solutions also designed and submitted planning for the project, achieving this with only minimal issues. The building was completed in August 2019, ready for the September intake.

Three quarter view of the nursery schol building in Honley

Modular Nursery Classroom for Early Years Facility in Honley

Front of the new Honley School modular nursery building

Project Description

Location: Honley CE (VC) Junior, Infant and Nursery School Honley, Holmfirth
Client: Kirklees Council
Employers Agent: Kirklees Council
Principal Designer: Enviro Building Solutions Ltd
Contract Type: JCT Design & Build Contract 2011

Project Summary

  • Modular classroom building with full fit-out
  • Floor area 195m2
  • 6 modular bays
  • External storage facility
  • External soft play area and equipment
  • All groundworks, foundations and drainage
  • M&E works including automated door access, fire and intruder alarms
  • Completed September 2017
  • Project value £287,500

The Challenge: Fast tracking a modular Early Years facility

Located in the village of Honley near Holmfirth in West Yorkshire, Honley CE (VC) Junior, Infant and Nursery School is a vibrant educational establishment providing a safe, caring and stimulating environment. The school aims to provide an exciting and challenging educational experience encouraging individual children to flourish and achieve.

``The project was managed well from start to finish, the new building was finished on time to specific requirements and has provided an excellent addition to the Honley School Portfolio. Aftercare has also been excellent in terms of dealing with building issues.``

Dean Masters, Project Manager, Kirklees Council

When the school wanted to create an independent nursery facility to accommodate Early Years pupil places, modular building methods provided a fast, affordable and high quality option meeting all of the required design and performance parameters.

Enviro Building Solutions successfully designed, manufactured and installed a prefabricated classroom and nursery building inside a tight nine week timeframe, together with associated external works, ready for use by the new school year intake in September 2017.

Focus on safety and security

This was a challenging nursery school building design in a residential area, with particular demands on access including narrow village lanes and low overhead cables. In addition, the site specified for the build was located very close to the main entrance to the school, so health and safety considerations were of paramount importance.

Three quarter view of the nursery schol building in HonleyWith a proportion of the work carried out on an active school site, Enviro Building Solutions devised a plan to move an existing wall to create a safe site barrier and provide a vehicle drop off area. The relocated wall was repositioned again to ensure safe access once the build was complete.

Attractive prefabricated classroom

The six bay modular classroom building features attractive cedar cladding and included a full internal fit out plus the installation of washroom facilities. In addition, Enviro Building Solutions created a bespoke outside store. This was complete with light and power, sourcing and delivering a storage container which was then clad with cedar to match the building, providing much needed storage space.

External landscaping and fencing

The new modular nursery is equipped with an automated door access system and intruder alarm and complemented by exterior landscaping. This includes the supply and installation of an external soft play area complete with play equipment, attractive external planters and secure perimeter fencing. Services were linked in to the existing school building. Also additional street lighting was installed and a pathway rerouted. 

This project, awarded in June 2017, was completed by early September in time for the new Early Years intake.

New modular classroom art block for Rainham Mark Grammar School

Modular Classroom Purpose Built Art Block

New modular classroom art block for Rainham Mark Grammar School

Project Description

Location: Rainham Mark Grammar School, Rainham, Kent
Client: Medway Council
Employers Agent: Bailey Partnership
Principal Designer: Bailey Partnership
Contract Type: JCT Design & Build Contract 2016

Project Summary:

  • New prefabricated four classroom art block complete with washrooms, office, plant room and circulation space
  • Floor area 560m2
  • 19 modular bays with canopy/overhang
  • Photo Voltaic Modules / Solar Panels
  • Mixed brick slip finish and Cedral cladding
  • All groundworks, foundations and drainage
  • M&E works including automated door access, fire and intruder alarms
  • Completed November 2018
  • Achieved EPC ‘A’ Rating (Score 13) – Energy Efficient
  • Project value £980,000

The Challenge: Creating new art classrooms on a busy school site

Rainham Mark Grammar School in Kent is an 11-18 selective school with 1400 pupils on the roll. This is a stimulating educational community focused on motivating young people to enjoy learning and make the most of their abilities.

When the school wanted to build a new art classroom block to enhance creative options for pupils, modular building construction methods provided a fast and affordable solution. They also minimised disruption to learning processes.

Inside the new art classroomEnviro Building Solutions delivered an ambitious and attractive modular classroom building project around a build schedule developed to match the operational requirements of the school. The end result is a four classroom block which has achieved an EPC ‘A’ rating based on build quality.

“A professional, pro-active and efficient organisation, on a school project with a restricted budget. Enviro worked very well in a live school environment, demonstrating very good communication skills with the school on a daily basis. This was a successful project which was completed on time and within budget.’’

Stuart Collingwood, Director Building Surveyor, Bailey Partnership

A building set in its own environment

This ambitious project consisted of the design and construction of a new four classroom art block complete with washroom facilities, offices, a plant room and circulation spaces.

Located on a raised piece of land, the grass banking was originally specified as gabion baskets. However, the school preferred a more subtle approach, so Enviro Building Solutions created a stepped grass verge leading down from the building. This was inlaid with bench seats to optimise creative use of the slope.

Large expanses of window add to the open, airy classroom spaces, with the exterior a combination of brick slip finish and Cedral cladding.

Seating and large windows of the modular classroomA total of 19 modular bays create the new building, which also features an attractive canopy to the main entrance forming an extension to the roof, supported by a cold rolled steel ‘V’ support.

The structure uses a raft foundation with a suspended floor; Enviro worked to design in innovative detail to reduce the ‘bounce’ inherent in this type of floor by upgrading the way it was formed and constructed and modifying steelwork to enhance rigidity.

With the existing access road routed right around the school, Enviro Building Solutions worked with a second contractor engaged in another project for the school to create a new site entrance to facilitate both sets of works. Additional works included digging over 150m of trenching to route cables to the plant room from an existing sports hall.

With the focus on sustainability, the team also installed a total of 66 photovoltaic modules on the roof of the building to optimise energy efficiency and further reduce running costs for the building.

“Fantastic looking building that you wouldn’t know was modular construction, delivered incredibly efficiently with clever programming and no disruption to the school.”

Robert Banks, Capital Project Manager, Medway Council

Build schedule focused around health and safety

Enviro Building Solutions offered the client two potential construction programmes for this project.

The first involved a commencement date at the start of the school summer holidays, continuing until the end of October. This had the potential for disruption to the school from the start of the Autumn term.

Easels in the art classroom

The second option scheduled the full preparatory facilitating works over the summer holiday period, when the school was not fully operational. Followed by total closure of the site until delivery and installation of the modular units during the October half term.

Although this added two weeks to the proposed completion date, this was the option selected by the school to minimise disruption. This would also optimise health and safety with the construction team active on site for only 9 operational school days. A significant achievement for a modular classroom building project of this size and complexity.

M&E works including automated door access, fire and intruder alarms and air conditioning, and the building – completed in November 2018 – has achieved an EPC ‘A’ rating.

Dowdales Modular Classroom

Dowdales School – Dalton-in-Furness

Project Description

Location: Dowdales School, Dalton-in-Furness
Client: Cumbria County Council
Employers Agent: Day Cummins Architects
Principal Designer: Enviro Building Solutions Ltd
Contract Type: JCT Design & Build Contract 2016

Project Summary

  • Two bay modular classroom building
  • Floor area 75m2
  • 2 modular bays
  • All groundworks and foundations
  • Electrical and mechanical works
  • Completed September 2017
  • Project value £125,000
Dowdales Modular Classroom
The rear of Dowdales School's new modular classroom

The Challenge: Fast track modular classroom for hire

Dowdales School began life in 1928 as a selective school for 200 pupils, built around a small Victorian mansion. In 1967 it was reorganised as a comprehensive school and is now a community comprehensive school accommodating both boys and girls in the age range 11-16, with some 1000 pupils on roll.

This is a popular, high achieving school which is consistently oversubscribed. In June 2017 Enviro Building Solutions was approached by Day Cummins Architects to establish the feasibility of providing a modular building on hire for three years to serve as an additional classroom. The building had to be commissioned on-site in time for the September 2017 intake.

The location and timeframe presented numerous challenges. From receipt of the initial enquiry at the end of June, Enviro Building Solutions successfully designed the project, refurbished an existing two-bay modular building to a high standard and installed the classroom ready for use by early September 2017.

“We had a modular building supplied by Enviro Building Solutions in 2017; all of our requirements were met in full, the building was supplied on time and fully meets the needs of our school. If we required another building we would be pleased to work with Enviro again.”

Keely Evans, School Business Manager, Dowdales School

Short deadlines and logistical challenges

The Dowdales School project called for the provision of modular buildings to be used as a single stand-alone classroom, supplied on a long term hire basis within a time window of just a few short weeks in line with school holidays and new term intake requirements.

To meet this demanding time frame and to optimise budgets, Enviro Building Solutions proposed the use of an existing modular building refurbished to a high standard from stock. Foundations were prepared on-site and services laid whilst work on the building was completed offsite to speed up the process.

Communicating to minimise local disruption

The key challenges on this project were time and location. This was a very tight site close to Dalton-in-Furness and accessed only by small country lanes, presenting real difficulties for transportation of the two finished modular bays. With potential congestion in mind, Enviro Building Solutions planned the installation for a quieter weekend date, to minimise disruption on the roads. The company also completed a comprehensive leaflet drop for local residents, explaining the processes and advising of delays.

The immediate approach to the site was also challenging, up a hill with a significant tree canopy which had to be protected from damage. In addition, the chosen site at the school was very close to an existing building, which meant that craning the bays off the lorry was a difficult task.

Despite the logistical challenges, Enviro Building Solutions gave Dowdales School exactly what they had requested, on time and at the right price.

Children playing outside the new modular building at St Stephens Primary School

St Stephens Community Primary School – Saltash

Three quarter view of St Stephens Primary School Modular Building

Project Description

Location: St Stephens Community Primary School, Saltash
Client: Cornwall Council
Employer’s Agent: MACE Limited
Principal Designer: Bailey Partnership
Contract Type: NEC3 Engineering & Construction Contract (Option A)

Project Summary

  • Single storey school block incorporating classrooms, specialist practical rooms, washrooms, undercroft store
  • Floor area 500m2
  • 17 modular bays
  • All groundworks, foundation and drainage works undertaken
  • Electrical and mechanical works
  • Completed September 2018
  • Project value £1.1M

The Challenge: Meeting a 10 week timeframe with offsite modular construction

Located in a residential area just outside the centre of Saltash, Cornwall, St Stephen’s Community Primary School accommodates girls and boys from ages 4 to 11. When Cornwall Council was looking to expand the school from a 1.5 form entry (315 pupils) to a 2 form entry (420 pupils), offsite construction methods provided a practical and achievable solution.

The project presented a very challenging time frame; pupil places were required for the September 2018 intake, and late confirmation on funding allocation meant that more traditional construction methods were not feasible.

The initial design proposed by architects Bailey Partnership was carefully adapted for offsite, volumetric and modular solutions by Enviro Building Solutions. The scheme was developed and delivered with an onsite period of just 10 weeks. As a result, both the September 2018 and the previous September 2017 intake now benefit from a new and exceptional teaching environment.

``Having worked within Cornwall Education and Early Years Service for decades it is still
great to see innovation working at its best for such a tight budget and timeframe. The end product not only met with an incredibly tight programme but also created a sustainable and considered learning environment which will meet pupil and staff expectations and also form a real hub to the community.``

Paul Renowden, Education Capital Strategy Officer, Cornwall Council.

Offsite Modular Construction – saving time and money

The offsite approach adopted for this project speeded up the construction process considerably in line with the requirements of the client, with external works completed concurrently with the manufacture of high quality, factory-built modules by Enviro Building Solutions.

Overall costs were reduced too; if a traditional onsite solution had been used in this instance, the Local Authority would have had to hire another temporary classroom for at least 3-6 months to accommodate the September 2018 intake.

A reduced programme of works on site also helped to mitigate many potential health and safety risks, with less disruption for pupils, teachers, staff and parents. In addition, as the school is located in a quiet, residential area, a reduced number of site deliveries and site construction traffic also reduced noise and disruption for the local community.

Sustainable and cost effective

The building also offers significant benefits in use. It is designed to be highly sustainable in terms of its life cycle costs; it reduced wastage during construction, was delivered more quickly and cost less to build. Its enhanced performance and maintenance-free materials will cost less to run over its lifetime and therefore reduce school maintenance costs.

Enhanced U-Values and improved air tightness, alongside the considered architectural design, allowed for a state of the art, highly energy efficient educational environment that exceeded expectations.

The building has been extremely well received by the schools’ staff, parents, pupils, and local residents and is a testament to the quality of work from offsite construction company Enviro Building Solutions. In fact the project was also nominated and shortlisted for ‘Education Project of the Year’ at the Offsite Awards 2019