Modular Connections

Monday, April 07, 2008

Yorkon completes one of the UK's most sutainable school buildings to be constructed off site

Award-winning off-site construction specialist and Portakabin subsidiary, Yorkon, has completed construction of one of the UK’s most sustainable modular school buildings.

The scheme for Worcestershire County Council is believed to be the first modular education building to be heated using biomass fuel and the first to incorporate such a complex passive, low energy ventilation system.

The project at the Bewdley High School and Sixth Form Centre is part of a major reorganisation of education provision in Worcestershire, which has resulted in an additional 360 pupils joining the school.

The two-storey building was manufactured off site in York, which reduced the programme time for such a challenging project to just 22 weeks. 60 steel-framed modules have created clear internal spans of up to 12m for space planning flexibility and were craned into position complete with windows and partitions pre-installed in the factory to improve quality.

The modular scheme provides 12 general classrooms for the school’s English, Modern Languages and Humanities Faculties, two science laboratories, a creative area and administrative centre. It is linked to a traditionally-constructed drama and dance studio – illustrating how conventional building methods can be integrated with off-site construction.

Other design features include:

-central heating powered by an environmentally friendly ‘biomass’ boiler to minimise carbon emissions
-passive ventilation to monitor carbon dioxide and temperature levels in each classroom, and to create a constant change of air within the building without draughts. The selection of the system was in line with the Council’s policy to naturally ventilate all its school buildings, whilst ensuring the comfort of teaching staff and pupils and to help improve concentration levels.
-timber cladding from sustainable sources
-a highly glazed activity studio with high levels of natural light
-a striking bespoke roof structure.

Commenting on the project, Dermot Galvin, Project Architect at Worcestershire County Council, said, “The primary driver for the decision to use off-site construction for this project was time, which was critical to ensure the new facility would be ready in time to take the additional intake of pupils.”

“Yorkon offers a superior quality building system and has a keen interest in design, attention to detail and quality of finish, bringing skills to the project that are not always associated with modular construction and despite the challenging timescale. Their team has added value to the scheme and had the flexibility to meet our specific requirements, which included a number of bespoke elements. The result is a good quality, low energy building, which has met our expectations.”

Julie Reilly, Head Teacher at the Bewdley High School and Sixth Form Centre, said, “The new building has provided us with spacious accommodation and room sizes that are appropriate for our learning and teaching needs. It is visually pleasing from the outside and fits in well with the locality. Our students have been impressed with the design of the building and it has helped develop a strong sense of pride in our school and working environment.”

“The modular approach is a very good method of construction for schools as it limits the disruption to learning because of the speed of assembly. The building will be easy to expand and the design is sufficiently flexible to meet the changing needs of our students and curriculum development.”

Off-site construction is a highly sustainable method of construction, which improves air permeability to enhance energy efficiency. It also reduces vehicle movements to site, waste, running costs and carbon emissions.

For further PRESS information, please contact:

Joanne Bridges, Bridges Communications
PRO – Yorkon
Tel: 01423 520111
Fax: 01423 520152


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