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 classrooms

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 the 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 a modular building 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.