sports buildings

The smart way to get active

Paul Lang, CEO of Caledonian, looks at how the education sector is choosing smart offsite construction solutions for their sports and leisure facilities.

THERE is an increase in the number of schools and academies opening managed gyms and sports centres; generating income and providing facilities for members of the local community to keep active. Research commissioned by Sport England,

shows sports facilities located within education sites are key providers nationwide, with over a third (39 per cent) of all facilities and 77 per cent of sports halls located on school, college and university sites. In addition, 62 per cent of school sports facilities across England are now available for some form of community use. The government announced last year that it

would be investing £415m in facilities to support sports, after-school activities and promoting healthy eating, to help secure the future health of young people. With this funding due to become available over the next two years, and the demand for communal gyms rising, we expect to see more schools across the UK begin to follow this increasing trend.

smart choice With many educational establishments located in residential neighbourhoods - where


construction traffic could cause an issue - and the school remaining a live teaching environment, off-site is often the only method of creating new, or extending existing facilities, without causing major disruption to the community or students. In comparison to traditional methods of

construction, many sectors, including education, sports and leisure, benefit enormously from employing modular construction. Often, more than 80 – 90 per cent of the work can be completed in a factory, a quality controlled environment unaffected by the weather. This eliminates the delays associated with traditional construction.

In addition, offsite offers minimal disruption

to both the operation of the facility and the local community, by cutting down the number of deliveries to site. With this modern method of construction,

suitable to more than just sports halls, fitness suites, changing rooms, indoor courts, and offices, amongst others, buildings are designed and built to an exacting specification, with a wide range of finishes and roofing options that fit seamlessly alongside any existing structures. Manufactured offsite also creates a safer

workplace, as it is a more controlled environment requiring less need for working at height. With transportation and onsite trades reduced, there’s less traffic and noise impact. Modular is also more economical and better for the environment, with a dramatic reduction in waste and the consumption of materials such as cement - compared to traditional build methods. It is for these reasons that many industries

recognise and embrace the benefits of offsite construction. Take Ashville College in Harrogate, for instance. For this project, the architects created a seamless link with the existing college campus, with Caledonian

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