Modular construction in the Education sectorComments 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.