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Something Seismic is happening to school construction


FINALLY, there is real momentum in the offsite school construction movement.


After years of being discussed at conferences, debated in Whitehall and then given the seal of approval by DfE last year, offsite/modern methods of construction – call it what you will – has received a massive boost with the launch of a universal connection solution and standardised structural frame for schools built offsite.


Self-funding delivers replacement academy


Three Rivers Academy in Hersham, Surrey, turned to Building Schools for Nothing to deliver replacement school buildings without direct public funding.


Story pages 18-19


The new framing system opens the way for the increased use of standardisation, which reduces components and removes the need for welded joints, reducing labour costs and improving efficiency in a production environment. It promises to drive down school build costs, reduce lead times and radically improve productivity in the delivery of outstanding primary schools.


Up until now, offsite manufacturers have been using different structural systems so schools have had to be redesigned every time to suit each system – even though the frames are typically sourced from the same supplier. However, with a standardised connector, one steel-framed system can be connected to an offsite system from another manufacturer – without being reliant on a single supplier.


Alongside this, the design process can now be simplified through a digital version of the standardised school clusters which allows designers and teaching professionals to assess if a compliant school building can fit on a specific site.


Editor Andrew Pring


Sales director Julian Walter


Production Gina Mitchell Design


Sandra Cid


Managing director Toby Filby


So, many congratulations to the bold consortium behind the new offsite initiative. The Seismic Consortium, as it’s named, comprises construction consultants Blacc, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), technology-led design practice Bryden Wood and two of the UK’s leading offsite manufacturers, Elliott and The McAvoy Group. With strong Government backing, they’ve pooled their resources to collaborate on carrying out extensive research and development into the increased use of standardisation. The degree of openness between Elliott and McAvoy has been truly remarkable, given their day to day rivalry in the rough and tumble world of construction. But they both see the bigger picture, and all involved in schools delivery should thank them for their enlightened approach.


Publishers


Stable Publishing Limited, SBC House, Restmor Way, Wallington, Surrey SM6 7AH, England. t. 020 8288 1080 f. 020 8288 1099


e. sales@educationdab.co.uk


Andrew Pring Editor


andrew@stable-media.co.uk


The publishers do not necessarily agree with views expressed by contributors and cannot accept responsibility for claims made by manufacturers and authors, nor do they accept any responsibility for any errors in the subject matter of this publication.


No doubt Seismic’s breakthrough will be one of the many hot topics on the lips of delegates to our education building forum at Whittlebury Hall Hotel, Northants on October 3-4. This year’s seminar theme is "Healthy and sustainable schools - the key to better learning”, and offsite construction is a subject that is bound to keep cropping up.


I hope you’ll be joining us there too to add your voice to our debates.


educationdab.co.uk 3


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