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NABLE SCHOOLS FOR THE FUTURE


waste on site is also reduced by 50% through this standardised approach.” The model uses standardised components to deliver bespoke schools, delivering them within just 18 months from design to completion. The design and planning phase of projects, which makes use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) is timetabled for delivery in 25 weeks, compared with about 30-40 weeks for a Building for Schools for the Future school. The construction phase for the schools is 52 weeks, compared with 70-80 weeks using traditional building methods.


The ‘Flat-pack’ standardised schools can be designed, evaluated and re-interpreted at each site across a whole local authority programme saving time and costs across a number of schools within a given area. “This design and delivery approach is both unique and proven in the market, and has been actively honed and refined on major school building programmes underway across the UK right now.” commented Philip Watson, Education Director at Atkins. “The blue-print utilises a kit of parts that responds to the needs of the end-user. This allows us to create a large variety of flexible, customised layouts that deliver huge cost efficiencies at a time when every penny must count”.


IMPROVING LONG TERM SUSTAINABILITY However, offsite production doesn’t mean poor performance and a return to poorly insulated and badly designed prefabricated schools. The pre-cast concrete design allows for good energy efficiency once the school is complete. With a high thermal mass, schools built using this solution are very energy efficient. They secure BREEAM ‘very good” as a minimum and each build includes a minimum 10% local renewable energy target. Radical reductions in operating costs through reduced energy consumption and less need for regular maintenance and repair means the energy efficient designs can lead to significant school savings. During operations it is estimated that the costs saved every year are over £70,000 per school and this is a commitment made by Laing O’Rourke and Atkins for the first ten years of a buildings life.


DESIGNS FOR THE FUTURE So what does this mean for the future of school design? While undoubtedly there will always be a requirement from schools and local authorities to have “unique” or “customised” schools, a key priority now has to be to deliver better, faster for less and respond to the needs of


the Government, Local Authorities and most importantly, children – who need great places to learn and develop. Standardisation, learning from one project to another, using modern manufacturing design and construction approaches will provide the country with high quality and sustainable schools of the future.


CASE STUDY: HOLEGATE KINGSTONE The new Advanced Learning Centre brings together Holgate School and Sports College and Kingstone and will have joint specialisms of sport and creativity. On the existing Holgate site, the aim is to develop an Advanced Learning Centre that is recognised regionally, nationally and internationally, building on the heritage of the local area. The school had worked closely with the design team to develop a modern, flexible learning environment to support this goal. Key features include state of the art ICT, flexible spaces for conference facilities, one-to-one interviews, lecture facilities, theatre and performance spaces, high quality sports facilities and catering spaces. Using the standardised solution a flexible design has been created that can then also be mirrored across other schools in the Barnsley BSF programme to ensure maximum efficient, sustainability and cost reduction. www.laingorourke.com


PUBLIC SECTOR SUSTAINABILITY • VOLUME 1 ISSUE 5 41


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