Comments Off on Construction Insights: MMC in Education, 2024.
At Thurston, we’re dedicated to providing educational institutions with cutting-edge, sustainable, and cost-effective solutions. As we look to 2024, our latest blog to explores the key benefits of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) for Education:
Thurston, Huddersfield New College, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, July, 2023
Enhanced safety measures are implemented during factory assembly, creating a secure environment for your employees and students.
We prioritise eco-friendly materials and practices, reducing waste and minimising environmental impact—a win for both future generations and your institution’s reputation.
Our modular approach typically reduces construction time, allowing schools and universities to accommodate growing student populations quickly.
Streamlined processes and reduced on-site work mean cost savings, freeing up resources for other essential educational needs.
Modular buildings can be easily expanded or reconfigured to adapt to changing educational requirements, ensuring longevity and value.
Our off-site construction minimises disruption to ongoing campus activities, allowing educational programs to continue without interruption.
Precision engineering in a controlled factory environment ensures consistently high-quality structures, meeting the stringent safety standards of the Education sector.
If you’re interested in exploring how modular construction can benefit your educational project, please reach out. Let’s create inspiring spaces for the leaders of tomorrow.
Comments Off on Modular construction in the Education sector
In the education sector, not every project or client is the same. These institutions, schools especially, are generally overcrowded and underfunded. Expansion is the first step to solving overcrowding issues, which in turn helps students improve their performance. But with tight budgets, traditional expansions don’t come cheap or quickly. From universities to primary schools, each building has a specific set of needs and requirements. How can modular construction in the education sector solve these issues?
Matthew Goff, Managing Director at Thurston Group, explains how modular construction benefits the education sector.
The main benefit I think is the fact that our modular buildings are built offsite with 90% of the build completed before it’s delivered and installed. Most institutions don’t need the disruption caused by traditional methods. With modular, you don’t have builders in and out of site. You have less traffic, less noise and less disruption. This means that you don’t necessarily need to wait until half-term to get your project underway. We can get around to it offsite and then plan the delivery for when there won’t be any students or children on site. Although if you wanted to, you could invite them to watch the installation, safely, from a distance and make it a learning experience.
The next benefit is reduced maintenance. We undertake a strict quality control process throughout the entire project to ensure that no product or building leaves the site until it has been checked thoroughly. From the design stage, we monitor and improve quality through the RIBA Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA), providing guidance to the design team in simplifying the product structure.
This reduces costs, improves efficiency and quantifies improvements. Not only does this help reduce waste and improve sustainability, it also improves the quality of the build. Nothing leaves the factory unless it’s been signed off and approved, meaning durable, lifetime buildings. This also means that over its lifetime, there’s less chance of any problems because of the way that it has been built.
Another benefit is flexibility. Modular and portable buildings can be modified and adaptable in order to meet the needs of the client. Modules can be added or taken away at any stage of the buildings’ lifetime to meet demand. This helps the education system significantly as no one can plan for how many students they’ll be getting in the future so with an ability to expand or reduce at any point, this is quite an attractive feature for education suppliers.
Not only are they flexible in size, they’re also flexible in design. Unless a client wants a brand new building, most education suppliers will need a building that is new but also matches the design of the current building. We’re able to provide bespoke buildings at the request of the client and have a range of options meaning that we will always be able to match the new building to the existing one.
This was a key factor for Aberystwyth University when they needed a new accommodation facility to meet demand. Working for Campus Living, we installed a brand new, bespoke triple storey modular student accommodation facility for the university. Designed and manufactured to the clients’ individual requirements, the facility comprised 60 fully furnished modern bedrooms to accommodate the increase in students. With tight deadlines and a live environment, modern methods of construction were the preferred choice to ensure disruption for students was kept to a minimum. The university also needed the accommodation quickly and traditional methods just couldn’t have been delivered in time.
We’ve also recently written about how offsite and modular construction benefits special education needs in Education specifically, too. Each module can be adapted to meet all needs and make sure every student has the best learning experience. Find out more here.
Comments Off on Making SEN classrooms fit for the future
Not all projects are the same, so a ‘one size fits all’ approach just doesn’t cut it. Special Educational Needs (SEN) classrooms require even more planning and design considerations in particular. It’s important to take into account all needs without detracting from everyday experience. We’re able to support schools in helping those with additional needs by providing a safe environment, but how?
With plenty of years of experience under our belt, we work with the Department for Education to ensure all of our buildings meet all quality requirements and space standards. Some projects, like SEN classrooms, will require a specialist approach. This is where we come in. We’re able to provide a bespoke, tailored service to make sure we cater to every individual customer and brief.
Firstly, understanding the day-to-day demands of a SEN classroom is a must. Your design needs to ensure that all pupils, no matter what challenges they face, can get what they need; an engaging, stimulating, accessible and accommodating learning space.
It’s important to think about children’s SEN from the very start. We’ll work with our clients to build a design that meets their exact needs. All children deserve the same range of facilities and the same start in life. We’ll remove any barriers making sure that any practical issues that could arise will be addressed early on, so that the finished building is fit for purpose and fit for the future.
Accessibility is the most important factor. We’ll design a flexible, multi-use inclusive space where children are able to navigate the room whether they use walking aids or wheelchairs and more. You also need to factor in the need to provide functional storage space for any equipment. We address this by ensuring all space standards are met and incorporate features such as, in-built clever storage solutions along with lifts and ramps for wheelchairs users and pushchairs.
We always want to build confidence. We do this by including features and facilities that everyone can use without assistance, no matter what age or learning level. This can be anything from low level storage, toilets and handrails to appropriate door and cupboard handles.
Health, safety and wellbeing are important. The design, accessibility and placement of hygiene facilities are something we take into account when embarking on a project like this. You need to create a space in which pupils can move around freely, independently and safely, where appropriate. Taking into account sensory elements and quiet zones for those who need it – are they needed? If so, we’ll maximise the space and build it into the initial design.
After around 15 months of being kept inside due to the pandemic, we’ve really learned the value of outdoor space and how to maximise the use of it. This is especially important within schools, academies and classrooms. Sliding or bi-fold doors allow greater adaptation and help bring the outside in, while the use of canopies can help protect our children from that great British weather.
Understanding the users’ point of view, utilising and maximising space, and a multi-sensory environment all contribute toward ensuring the building will be fit for purpose. But it also needs to be adaptable and able to be fit for the future. Meaning a SEN classroom may need to adapt throughout its lifetime to fit students’ individual needs and Modular construction provides this exact solution.
It’s absolutely essential to get the design right at the very start of the project. So early engagement is key to the overall success of a scheme. Making sure you’re working with the client to find out their exact requirements and ensuring you’re working with them along the way, so that they’re aware of where you’re up to at each key stage. This is how we’ve built such a great reputation with those we’ve worked with on past projects.
Want to know more about projects we’ve worked on? Head over to our case studies page.
This month, we’ve been busy working on some really exciting modular building projects. From education to commercial and industrial units, here are our October project win highlights:
We’ve recently completed a full turnkey package to Rolls Royce Motor Cars Limited. From design through to delivery, the project included a reconfiguration of one of their existing warehouse and logistics buildings. It accommodated two bespoke units – a production office block and amenity block. These were lifted onto an existing structure by crane to the first-floor mezzanine area. Avoiding minimal disruption to the operational function of the site, units were installed over a weekend. Providing employees with better amenities and increased office space.
We’re delighted to be working alongside ALDI to deliver a gatehouse to the £25m expanding Regional Office and Distribution Centre in Bathgate to upgrade their logistics operations. Having worked with ALDI over the last few years, we knew exactly what the client required and are delighted to be working the team again.
Sandy Upper School
Our most recent win is on a short time scale. Modular buildings meet the demand for schools that need to be built in a short period of time. As part of the ESPO Framework, we’ve started building a seven-bay double modular classroom with a turnaround time of just eight weeks. In partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council, the modular building will be made from our lightweight steel frame system.
After a 40% sales increase, we’ve appointed six new employees to support the business and meet market demand as we continue to grow. Keep checking our blog and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for regular updates and more modular building projects.
Comments Off on Different Types of Modular Construction
If you’re looking for a cost-effective alternative to traditional methods, modular construction is the solution. Not only is it cheaper, there are also a range of benefits. Keeping that in mind, we’re exploring the different types of modular construction and why it’s beneficial to use modular over traditional.
Suppliers of education often have to stick to tight budgets so when they need extensions, the budget for them is scarce or non-existent. Whilst modular construction still costs money, providers of education have quickly realised how much cheaper modular buildings are. Not only that but for schools and other providers, there are many benefits to using modular as opposed to traditional.
Modular buildings can be modified to suit the individual needs of education suppliers. More modules can be added or removed, meaning that, if one year there’s more students than expected, more modules can be installed. On the other hand, modules can be removed if there are less students than originally expected. This, combined with cost savings, make modular construction an option that most schools now choose.
In a lot of jobs, workers are always on the move. One example of this is in construction. Because of this constant moving, new offices are often required wherever the workers move. However, with a modular portable office, workers can take their existing office with them. Workers can get used to the space and customise it to suit their needs, knowing they’ll be taking it with them. The portable office can be expanded and shrunk as needs demand so it’s always suitable for all needs. Also, portable offices are very easy to move. It isn’t going to be a day’s work if the office needs to be moved elsewhere.
With potential homeowners looking for something new, innovative and sustainable, modular housing has rapidly rose to prominence. Modular housing is significantly cheaper when compared to traditionally constructed properties. This is because up to 90% of the construction is completed offsite and then installed onsite quickly. It’s not only a short-term solution either; modular housing can be a long-term alternative to living in a traditionally constructed property.
As with the portable offices and education buildings, modular homes can be extended and shrunk as the owner pleases. Inside isn’t a conspicuous void and can be as personal as any house, with lots of options. These options mean that lots of people are choosing modular housing as a short-term and long-term option when looking for suitable housing.
There are numerous benefits to using various types of modular construction for your projects. Reach out and see how we can help you achieve success with your projects.
Comments Off on Modular Construction: Why it’s so brilliant
When everything is so expensive in construction, an often-overlooked method of cutting costs is modular construction. So what is modular construction? What can be made and why are they so great?
What’s modular construction?
Modular buildings are pre-assembled buildings created from multiple sections known as modules. It differs from other methods of construction as the module sections are constructed offsite; this is one of the reasons why construction is cheaper than traditional methods. Modules are then delivered to the site with final construction and installation concluded at the site. 60-90% of the construction is conducted offsite in a controlled environment such as a factory. Onsite, modules can take anything from a few hours up to days to assemble.
Modules can be placed side-by-side, end-to-end or stacked. The variety of combinations means that there’s lots of customisation when it comes to the configuration and style of the end result.
Modular buildings can be a short-term solution but also a long-term option. This means that even for a long-term option, you can have a cheaper alternative to traditional construction if you’re on a tight budget.
What can be made?
Due to the nature of modular construction, modules can be used anywhere and in any sector. Here’s a few examples of what modules are often used for:
Education buildings are often constructed using modules. This is because schools have to stick to tight budgets and year upon year they never quite know how many students they’re going to have. This can often leave them in need of emergency space. Fortunately, modular construction means that they can stick to their budget whilst adjusting their space at will. Not only is modular construction cheaper than the traditional option, it’s also quicker, meaning that schools can have a modular building in no time at all.
If somebody is in a role where they know their office is going to have to move a lot, such as construction, modular construction is the perfect option as they can take it with them when they have to move. This means that they don’t have to pay for new space as they’ll be taking their existing space with them.
Why is it so great?
Modular offers a lot of choices at an excellent price. This means that people can stick to budgets whilst still getting what they require for potentially half the price, if not cheaper, compared to traditional methods.
The fact that modular construction can be added to, taken away from and moved is also an excellent quality. It means that if you need more space, you can easily have it. Need less space? That’s an option too. Need to move to a new site? Modular construction allows for that!
Comments Off on The vast range of modular buildings
If you’re looking at options when it comes to modular buildings, you’ve probably realised just how many there are. With so many choices available, it’s often difficult to decide which building is best for you. Here we’re going to explore what modular buildings are, why they’re beneficial and some of the options that are available.
What is a modular building?
A modular building is the most popular alternative available to traditional construction methods. These buildings are manufactured offsite and are suitable for a range of sectors including education, healthcare and residential.
The advantages of modular
Modular construction has become increasingly popular for a variety of reasons, and has numerous benefits, making it one of the best options for your home or business:
It’s one of the best options available for anybody looking for a cost-effective solution for their home or their business. Especially for people who might be looking for their first home. It offers everybody the opportunity to own their own space, simply because it’s so kind to your bank balance.
If you need a space that you can easily make changes to in the future, modular can be the solution. You can easily expand modules or remove if you need to downsize due to the way they’re built. This means that you can make changes without all of the trouble of having to pay for a traditional extension.
Short construction period
It doesn’t take too long to construct one of these buildings, which is one of the main selling points. As you’ll be aware, brick and mortar buildings take a long period of time to construct. With modular, construction times are considerably reduced. Why? Modular structures are constructed offsite and then installed onsite in a matter of days or hours, so problems such as the weather don’t impact the construction process.
Types of building
As mentioned earlier, there’s a variety of buildings that are classified as modular buildings:
This option is for everyone. Modular housing is an up-and-coming form of housing that you’ll find worldwide. It’s an increasingly popular option for young people who are looking to invest in their first home, simply because it’s cost-effective to move into one of these properties as opposed to other construction methods. It’s perfect for those who can’t afford a traditional house for whatever reason. The materials are cheaper and construction is completed in a factory; both contributing factors to it being a great way to move into owning your own property.
Modular education building
Schools have smaller budgets than they have ever had in the past. This means that cheaper, high-quality education buildings are perfect for schools that need to expand but on a budget. Modular buildings can be used for any form of education, as they are an extremely adaptable option. This means that you can use them for primary schools, secondary schools, and extended education locations. Modular education buildings are the best option for schools as the space is adaptable. It can be changed year upon year to meet demand.
Comments Off on Why modular buildings are great for education
We’re part of a wider collaboration of businesses. One of our sister businesses is an industry leader in portable and modular building solutions. Thurston’s Building Systems provides high-quality modular and portable buildings for use in every industry and is designed to meet a wide variety of requirements.
See why modular buildings are great for expanding schools from one of the experts over at Thurston’s Building Systems.
Schools are over-crowded and underfunded and it’s evident that things need to change. Expanding schools is the first step to solving overcrowding issues, helping students improve performance. With tight budgets, expanding schools isn’t as easy as it sounds. Traditional expansions don’t come cheap or quickly. How can the Education sector solve these issues? Modular can be a solution but the uptake is slow despite numerous benefits.
Construction at schools can be disruptive. One of the biggest issues when completing any construction at schools is finding time to do it. It’s important to make sure that children are safe, especially young school children who might want to see what’s going on. It can take months and a lot of money if you can only work on weekends or school holidays.
Modular is up to 50% quicker than traditional methods. Buildings are also completed offsite and then installed once 90% complete, minimising disruption for the school. This saves money and improves efficiency.
The cost of construction isn’t something that education providers can afford. Staff wages and necessary equipment are generally top of the list of things to spend money on. But the best thing about modular buildings is that they’re much more affordable to build and maintain. This means that education suppliers with small budgets can tackle overcrowding with a modular expansion.
One of the best characteristics of modular buildings is flexibility. Our buildings come in a variety of layouts, shapes and sizes and can be tailored specifically to the clients’ needs. It’s very easy to modify a building once installed whether you need it smaller or bigger. If you have a particularly big class, it’s very simple to expand a modular building. Similarly, if you have a particularly small class, it’s simple enough to make it smaller.
Comments Off on What can you make from portable modular buildings?
Portable modular buildings are increasing in popularity. Incredibly multi-functional, in contrast to traditional methods, they have vast uses and benefits. We’ll explore some of them here:
The main benefit of portable modular buildings is that they’re much cheaper to build compared to traditional methods. Whilst you have the same performance, you have it for a much better price.
Another benefit is that they’re much better for the environment. This is because they’re built offsite, using less materials resulting in less waste. But any waste that is produced is easily reused and recycled. Not only is it better for the environment, it also saves time and money.
Modular housing holds all of the benefits we’ve already discussed of modular buildings but also so much more. Firstly, modular housing is a fantastic option when buying your first property. It’s cheaper, meaning you’re able to own your first property at a much younger age.
Secondly, modular housing allows for easy expansion. So many people move out of a house they love because they need more room. Fortunately, you can completely avoid this issue with modular housing. It’s incredibly easy and cheap to expand, so you won’t have to move to a new house when you need more room.
Modular Buildings for Education
Education suppliers like schools regularly need to increase the space they have available, making modular the perfect solution. Education providers also have tight budgets. This often means that expanding gets pushed to the bottom of the pile with other needs given precedence. With modular, education providers can afford to expand.
They can also be adjusted to meet growth requirements. For example, if a school has a massive influx of students that hasn’t been seen before, they might rapidly need to expand. On the other hand, they might all of a sudden need to shrink their space because they have less students. Modular buildings allow customisation year upon year, not just before construction.
If you’re in a job where you often have to move to different sites, such as construction, having a personal, portable office is important. It means that you’re able to personalise and customise the space, as you’ll be taking it with you. As your business grows you may also need more space. Instead of relocating, you can always expand your space by adding another module or reduce it by taking one away. Ultimately saving you money.
Do you need more space around your school? Are you short on time? If so, then a factory built classroom is the solution.
Background – a modular building is built offsite, typically in a factory away from the ‘live’ work site.
The classroom is essentially just a space that can be built to the client’s specifications – it can be used for so much more than just a classroom – staffing accommodation, nurseries, training facilities and day centres. As the classrooms are built offsite they come along with the same advantages as other modular buildings.
Here are the benefits of a factory built classroom:
The installation procedure has less disruption than one built on site as most of the work is already done in the factory. This means the build has no impact on the day to day operations of the business. Building offsite reduces the risk to children and inconvenience to teachers trying to teach. It also reduces the possibility of children walking into a ‘live’ working site, where they can potentially harm themselves.
A big issue that affects all potential buyers as well as users of the building is the quality. Will it stand up against a traditionally built classroom made out of bricks? The answer is yes, if you use the right manufacturer. We have certificates proving it. The BBA 60-year agreement certificate guarantees durability.
A decent manufacturer will have thought-out the outcomes and scenarios for the building and what materials should be used to avoid problems in the future. The use of corrosion resistant materials are a way to strengthen the classroom and make it last longer, thus, it can be met against the standards of a traditionally built classroom.
If you get the right company the sky is the limit. The classroom can blend in with the rest of the school or look brand new. Brick cladding, rendering, pitched roof and green roof are just a few of the variations that can be arranged.
Built offsite in a factory, away from bad weather and the public, it can also be completed in a shorter time frame than starting from scratch onsite. It also keeps people out of harm’s way and the construction does not have to be put on hold due to inclement weather – it’s a win-win situation.