Front corner of new Greenacre Academy modular build

New Offsite Building for Greenacre Academy in Kent

Front corner of new Greenacre Academy modular build

Project Details

Location: Medway, Kent
Client: Medway Council
Employers Agent: Bailey Partnership
Contract Type: JCT Design & Build Contract 2016

Project Summary

  • Design and construction of a new double classroom building, with stores, WCs and circulation space
  • Awarded under a PCSA (Pre-Construction Services Agreement) to give greater certainty to the planning process
  • Modular panel system with steel erected on-site, panels built in the factory then shipped to site
  • Extremely restricted space and limited access on occupied school premises
  • Brick slip and render finish to complement the existing building.
  • Floor area approximately 192m2
  • UPVC windows and doors
  • All groundworks, foundations and drainage
  • Fire detection and intruder alarm installations, all integrated into existing BMS system
  • Provision of temporary teaching space for the construction phase
  • Works included refurbishment of toilet area within an existing adjacent building, addition of a weather canopy and drainage to an external play area
  • Externals included construction of a footpath and tree works
  • 18-week construction period
  • Completed February 2021
  • Project value £664,000

The Challenge

Greenacre Academy is a boys’ secondary school with shared sixth form located in Walderslade, Kent. It is part of the Skills for Life Trust, which aims to prepare pupils for adulthood by encouraging them to reach their full potential academically, teaching life skills and exposing them to a range of potential careers and mentors from the business world, both locally and regionally.

The school was seeking to increase teaching space in line with the intake for the new school year. The designated site was a corner plot adjacent to the existing building, required to house two classrooms with toilet facilities and stores. Access to the area was extremely tight and demanded a creative approach to achieve the desired end result.

“This was an extremely challenging project in terms of both project planning and construction, due to the space restrictions on site. The finished build optimises the available area and complements the existing architecture of the school.”

Richard Sharman, Project Manager

Additional Works

The specification was further extended to include the refurbishment of washrooms in an adjacent building, as well as the construction of a weather canopy and drainage to an external play area, addition of a footpath for access and some necessary tree works.

All weather canopy at Greenacre Academy

As part of the project, Enviro Building Solutions sourced and installed temporary teaching space elsewhere on the site to meet the requirements of the Academy. This was removed once the new building was ready for use at the end of the 13-week construction period. 

Bringing together design and planning

The project was managed under a PCSA (Pre-Construction Services Agreement), fostering a collaborative approach enabling Enviro Building Solutions to contribute to the earliest stages of the process. This was followed by a PPA (Planning Performance Agreement) which gave greater certainly to the planning process and enabled a swifter completion schedule.

Complimentary design of the new modular building adjacent to the existing classrooms

The finished building occupies a compact triangular site adjacent to the existing school building, housing the required additional teaching space, providing high quality facilities to match the ethos of the Academy and the Skills for Life Trust.

Modular SEND Classrooms for Appleton Academy

The new modular SEND classroom at Appleton Academy

Project Details

Location: Appleton Academy Wyke, Bradford
Client: City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
Contract Type: JCT Design & Build Contract 2016

Project Summary

  • Design and construction of a modular building to provide additional SEN space to meet increased local needs
  • Three classrooms, breakout room, washroom facilities, office, staffroom and plant room
  • Six modular bays
  • Teaching walls and padded wall to breakout room
  • Colours and acoustics designed to specialist SEND requirements
  • Western Red Cedar cladding externally to match aesthetics of main school building
  • Fire detection and intruder alarm installations
  • Recessed entrance lobby feature
  • Floor area 222m2
  • All groundworks, foundations and drainage
  • All associated external works including permanent fencing, tarmac surfacing and landscaping
  • Completed April 2021
  • Project value £459,000

The Challenge: A SEND classroom block where the design and materials complemented the award-winning architecture of the main school building

Appleton Academy is a mixed school offering ‘all through’ educational provision for pupils aged 3 to 19. Named after Sir Edward Victor Appleton, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1947, the school is located in Wyke in the City of Bradford. Appleton Academy is part of Exceed Academies Trust, serving some of the highest levels of social and economic challenges in the city. Schools within the Trust are some of the highest performing, both locally and nationally.

Aerial shot of Appleton AcademyThe Academy is housed in a high profile building that links the three phases of learning in a single circular building wrapping around a naturally landscaped central garden. When additional space was required for a SEND classroom block, it was essential that the design and materials complemented the award-winning architecture of the main school building.

“Enviro Building Solutions were appointed to build a new SEN unit on the grounds of Appleton Academy, Bradford. All works were completed on schedule, on cost and to an excellent standard, to the satisfaction of both the school and Bradford Council.”

Christophe Hamard, Senior Project Manager, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

The Requirement

With an expanding requirement for SEN places, Appleton Academy was seeking to commission a three classroom block to accommodate 18-21 children. With a very short window for completion of the project, modular building methods provided the best option in terms of speed, cost and quality combined with the necessary flexibility to incorporate all the different aspects required by this SEN build.

All work was completed in accordance with BB104 (Area guidelines for SEND and alternative provision) and BB93: Acoustic design of schools – performance standards, which includes specific guidance for SEND buildings.

The rear of Appleton Academy

Taking into account the short time window for project completion, the build was planned in careful detail to ensure material shortages due to the coronavirus pandemic would not impact upon completion times. Combined with this, working on an occupied school site with extremely strict access restrictions occasioned by COVID regulations and Health & Safety considerations made this a complex and challenging project.

An EPC A rating and excellent U-value results

Premium M&E specified at the tender stage by the client, coupled with the building fabric and make-up specified by Enviro Building Solutions means that this build achieved an EPC A rating. This was not a requirement of the contract but illustrates the overall build quality achieved.

EPC A Rating for the new Appleton Academy SEN ClassroomThe U-values for certain elements of the project also far exceed the minimum requirements, due to build design. The Building Regulation Part L report has highlighted an actual CO2 emission rate (BER) of 13.7 kgCO2/m2 per annum for the building compared with the target CO2 emission rate (TER) of 18.2 kgCO2/m2 per annum. See the report snippet below.

Building regulation report CO2 emission rate

Matching the SEN requirements

The team at Enviro Building Solutions has been responsible for a number of successful modular SEN classroom projects across the country. Specialist interior fittings included teaching walls and the installation of a padded wall in the breakout room, with colour choices, acoustics and lighting all designed to create the calm and serene atmosphere which was an essential component of the build.

The padded room at Appleton Academy

The objective is to create the perfect conditions for the four key areas specified in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice, namely communication and interaction, cognition and learning, support for social, emotional, and mental health difficulties, and sensory and/or physical needs.

Security cameras and lighting installed at Appleton AcademyFor security and operational purposes, the build also included BMS (Building Management System), CCTV, and door entry fob systems linking into the school’s existing provisions. An additional benefit from the modular build has been a significant improvement in thermal transmittance (U-values) over and above the standard requirements.

“From an Estate Manager’s perspective, Enviro were easy to work with during the build phase and adapted to the need of the Academy throughout in what has been a challenging time with issues such as access and weather on site. Professional at all times, keeping me informed on a daily basis around the build. The end result is a building that fits in with both the appearance and the ethos of the Academy.”

John Wavell, Estates Manager, Appleton Academy

External specifications

It was also important to ensure the new classroom block sat well within the existing environment, alongside this striking building which has been commended for a number of architectural awards. The exterior has been clad using natural and sustainably sourced Western Red Cedar from Canadian forests, offering the highest levels of durability, stability and resistance to decay.

The near complete SEND classroom at Appleton AcademyAlongside the construction and internal fit-out, the team from Enviro Building Solutions also completed all necessary external works including permanent fencing, surfacing and turfing as well as the provision and installation of solid timber planters.  The design also features an attractive recessed door entry area.

With just eight weeks to complete the build, modular construction methods proved the ideal choice. All groundworks and foundations were completed on-site with the classroom bays constructed offsite at Enviro’s factory. Although severe weather conditions affected the actual installation, the entire build was completed on time and to budget.

the new Thomas Aveling modular build from above

Modular 2 Storey Classroom Building for Thomas Aveling School in Rochester

the new Thomas Aveling modular build from above

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 2 storey prefabricated classroom buildings block to provide additional teaching capacity. This comprised of 8 classrooms in total with washroom facilities, offices and a plant room.

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.

underneath the new Muga canopy at Thomas Aveling schoolManaging 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.

one of the washrooms at Thomas Aveling schoolImportantly, 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.

Thomas Aveling School viewed from the skyOther 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.

one of the new modular classrooms at Thomas Aveling school

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 was 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.