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Wandsworth school goes modular

London's Granard Primary School is expanding with the aid of a new two-storey modular classroom complex

Posted by Dave Higgitt | April 09, 2015 | Bricks & mortar

As London’s population grows by 2,000 a week so does the number of children attending the capital’s primary schools. In response to this growth, Wandsworth Borough Council is investing £10m into permanently expanding 11 of its primary schools.

Granard Primary, for example, will receive a £1.9m investment in an education facility which will be delivered by Roan Building Solutions. Roan is designing and delivering a sustainable, two-storey, standalone classroom complex comprising seven classrooms, open learning studios, cloakrooms, WCs, kitchen facilities and staffrooms. On-site piling began in January, with a delivery date of mid-June, meaning a timescale from initial design to full completion of 22 weeks.

Cheryl Grigg, headteacher at Granard Primary School, says: “With schools up and down the country looking for economical ways to accommodate their rising pupil numbers, it was clear to us we’d prefer an offsite solution because it’s just as high quality as traditional build but delivered much faster.

“Year on year, Granard Primary School is enrolling more pupils so a permanent, sustainable solution is needed to accommodate that increase. The new building will form a special project on the pupils’ curriculum using Roan’s regular step-by-step progress reports and, once complete, the new build will provide high-quality learning space.”

With a structural design life of up to 60 years, the new facility is Roan’s first building information modelling (BIM) project – a process covering the entire life cycle of a building from conception to demolition in a 3D digital model of its physical and functional characteristics.

“By July 2015, BIM will be fully implemented within Roan to not only provide a smoother construction process but also to reduce costs and waste of products by identifying potential clashes before they arise,” says the company’s sales director Matthew Goff. “Roan took the design initiative and created a 3D animation which allowed Granard Primary School to see their ideas formed into a realistic fly-through of their building before construction starts on site and to see how it would add to the school’s existing landscape.

“There is always the need for a speedy construction method which causes minimal disruption to everyday schooling activities. Because of this, modular build is becoming increasingly favoured in education.”

Designed to pass sustainability targets and to achieve BREEAM ‘excellent’ standards, Granard’s new building will include mono-crystalline PV panels to reduce energy costs, wind catchers to increase ventilation and sun pipes to use more natural light.

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