The Friars Primary School modular classroom extension Salford, Manchester Education Building Development

The Friars Primary School modular classroom extension

27 Oct 2020

The Friars Primary School modular classroom extension is an exciting project that reveals the potential for modular construction methods in education. The project awarded to MTX involved the installation of a bespoke facility, designed to help deliver the educational potential of the Friars Primary School in Salford Manchester.

What was required?

The school needed additional classrooms for increasing student numbers. The building needed to be suitable for successful learning, arrive promptly and within a tight budget. Although briefed in April, the school required use of the facilities by September and the council only had finite funds.

The proposal laid out the needs for these classrooms. It was to be an extension to the existing school premises. The school needed to accommodate growing numbers of primary-school-age students. Capital build projects are difficult for primary schools to plan for, as the demographics can change quickly. Therefore, a school may only know of the need for additional space at the start of the year, when buildings will be needed by the Autumn term.

The new extension was to be a six-bay modular building sited on the school’s playing fields. This new building would be situated at the front of the school site.

The work began in May, the modular building was delivered in July, and the M and E fit-out started straight away.

What MTX delivered

MTX has an inhouse design team who were able to offer a solution that added more than extra space. The effective single-story facility was spacious enough to occupy the required classroom space, washrooms and breakout area. It also delivered on some impressive environmental points too. The air permeability of the extension was less than 4.75m3, which as well as being compliant with Building Bulletin regulations also lessened energy needs.

The module had controlled roof lights in all the classrooms, which were teacher controlled but also linked to a CO2 and rain sensor. With the mental wellbeing of natural light so essential to the experience of young people in schools, it is crucial to enhance this within the school’s rooms. LED lighting was also used throughout the project with PIR detection.

While the environmental credentials of the project were essential to sit within the eco-friendly ethos of the school, it was also important the internal and external finishing was just right. The school were able to request the colour and ensure it matched the existing buildings.

What MTX considered

Successful delivery of a brief is more than just meeting requirements. How you go about the project is similarly important. If the project budget, which is always tight in educational projects, was to be met then it required excellent programme planning and execution. Working to meet Salford Council’s strict outline within the timeframe was made possible by first-class communication and understanding of how to deliver the groundworks and the super-structure construction in parallel.

The client was complimentary of MTX’s proactive approach to the project and the level of responsiveness. From design through manufacture to installation, the council and school were delighted with the level of engagement.

It is also vital to deliver the project safely while the school was still being used. Therefore, as most of the construction was undertaken offsite, the safety of the children and staff was secured. As the main building was delivering in July, the disruption to the ongoing life of the school was limited and the amount of construction traffic reduced.

A great success

The Friars Primary School modular classroom extension project was a huge success and once again proves why modular construction is such an exciting option for schools. First, the school can commission a large extension project at short notice without it being too difficult to deliver. Modular construction is far quicker than traditional construction methods. In turn, this speed and work offsite reduces the disruption to the education of young people while the site is being developed.

More than this, though, modular construction allows MTX to deliver to a tight budget. Traditional construction is often constrained by the weather, and there is generally a need for contingency both within the timeline and the money allocated. As MTX is so sure of the processes and can control the supply chain so easily, while building indoors, it was no problem to deliver in September when work started in May.

Better quality buildings delivered quickly and with higher environmental credentials – this is why modular building methods are perfect for education.

Comments on The Friars Primary School modular classroom extension advice article are welcome.

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