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Published: 8 February 2019 in Industry News

Is Offsite Construction The Future For The Expansion Of Schools?

Competition for school places has always been a tough reality for pupils across the country and an almost constant pressure for schools. Considering the significant lack of funding that the schools themselves face, even having enough physical space to accommodate pupils is another major concern for those working in education. Schools are therefore commonly faced with the unwelcome task of balancing the amount of space they can provide to pupils and balancing the books.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are options available to schools which offer a more cost-effective solution to expanding their capacity and this has since been recognised by the Department for Education. In this blog, we will be exploring the department’s new approach to school expansion and how offsite construction techniques are a key element of their framework reform.

The Department for Education’s framework goals

The department has recently revealed plans for establishing a new framework for delivering schools to meet the increasing demand for places. The four-year offsite schools framework aims to utilise methods in the design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) in addition to offsite techniques to create a more frequent production of school buildings. The overall target is to deliver up to 100 new school projects each year in the next five years.

The thinking behind this new framework is to create a more standardised approach to the production of schools. DfMA for example is a specific design approach which focuses primarily on creating more simple manufacturing processes in addition to efficient assembly lines. Essentially, how can suppliers use offsite methods to produce high-quality and efficient builds for a more competitive price. The department hope to expand their pool of suppliers in order to benefit from the wide variety of offsite methods including the use of both portable and modular buildings.

Why is offsite construction a great option for school expansion?

The announcement of this new framework does bring into question why such a change is necessary and how offsite methods can provide the solution. The harsh reality of the education sector presently is its lack of funding and increase in demand. With an increase in the number of pupils in school, the schools themselves begin to struggle to accommodate spaces for students. In addition, the traditional techniques of construction can cause serious disruption to school in addition to taking a significantly longer time to complete in comparison to its offsite counterparts.

Springfield Modular have several decades of experience in producing modular buildings for the education sector, and our close relationship with education authorities across the UK speaks volumes. Constructing the buildings off site have two primary benefits for schools: the first is based on the fact that we are not influenced by the weather and therefore construction is a lot quicker than traditional methods. Because of this, buildings can be delivered during the school holidays, removing any potential disruption which would be caused if the building was to be constructed on site during term time. Offsite construction methods therefore offer schools a fast, hassle-free and cost-effective solution to what can seem a daunting task. Hence the strong emphasis on our techniques from the Department for Education.

If you would like to find out more about the fantastic turnkey service we provide to schools and nurseries check out our website, or call 01744 851958.

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