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The Learning Escape at Bickley Park Preparatory School

Modular magic

TG Escapes says a modular Eco-classroom could provide the extra space your school needs

Posted by Stephanie Broad | May 03, 2016 | Sustainability

Having become a victim of its own success, your school may well be finding itself oversubscribed and reluctantly turning away potential students for the coming school year.

However, if the existing school buildings are already bursting at the seams the idea of a direct extension, and the disruption it will entail, is likely to give rise to a vigorous shudder! Likewise, a building project can absorb a huge quantity of time and energy, neither of which the busy staff of a school has in surplus supply.

A modular classroom is a timely, quick fix with the added advantages of creating far less mess than a traditional build and costing considerably less. However, this solution does not need to involve an unsightly and uncomfortable prefab block, craned in to the most accessible site. A modular eco-classroom can be an aesthetically pleasing addition to a school’s infrastructure, located on a site specifically chosen to optimise both the outdoor aspect and the links with the main school buildings. As much of the construction occurs off site, the time spent building in the school grounds is minimal, and as the additional classrooms are designed as a standalone unit the day-to-day running of the school can carry on as normal during the construction phase.

Furthermore, an eco-classroom will not only be kind to the environment at all stages of the construction process but should also  be sensitive to its occupants in terms of its air quality and acoustics; its access to views and the penetration of natural light. In addition, the energy efficiency of the finished classroom should be a paramount consideration of the design, resulting in a building that requires a minimal energy input and is highly cost effective to operate.

Choosing the right provider, such as TG Escapes, means that all aspects of the project (from planning permission and design through to construction) will be managed for you, leaving staff to do what they do best. A bespoke approach will ensure that the building is significantly tailored to the specific needs of your school, whether it be an art block, science labs or simply extra classroom space. Or perhaps, like a recent customer, you are finding a baby boom bulge resulting in a proliferation of applications at the younger end of the age spectrum.

After a significant 15% rise in the roll of Bickley Park Preparatory School, predominantly concentrated in the pre-prep age range, the school needed to create three new classrooms offering a huge amount of learning space, inside and out. The school’s headmaster, Patrick Wenham, firmly believes that boys tend to be kinaesthetic learners and need plenty of space and opportunity for hands on learning experiences.

Sam Patel, the school’s Director of School Development, wanted a space that was light, airy and modern with a strong set of eco-credentials as you can read here in the Learning Escape Case Study. He was delighted with the range of eco-friendly options offered by TG Escapes and took advantage of nearly all of them. The new suite of classrooms include a sedum roof, to reduce rainwater runoff and improve insulation, and sun pipes which fill the rooms with natural light and reduce the need for artificial lighting.

The end result, according to the Mr. Wenham, is a fantastic new nursery that aligns very much with the school’s vision to be a world class preparatory school for boys. In addition, it has utilised a space that was previously occupied by a far less attractive old school building. Mr. Patel reports that both the children and staff love learning and working in the building due to the amount of natural light and space and everyone is appreciating the free flow access to a covered deck which allows outdoor learning to take place in all weathers. To top it all, despite what Mr. Patel calls a very aggressive deadline, the project was completed on time and on budget. 

For more information call TG Escapes on 0800 917 7726 or    

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