One of the problems we are facing in the UK is a shortage of school places for our children as the population continues to grow. And a key problem within this issue is not just creating places for school children but creating space for them – schools can only increase their intake if they have somewhere for those children to receive lessons. One strong solution that has presented itself is the use of modular buildings for schools but what are these and how do they work?
Modular building basics
A modular building is any type of building that is made in a factory and then transported in pieces to a location where it is assembled. It is very different from the mobile homes or old fashion pre-fab buildings that were used in schools around the country for many generations, although the term is still used to describe them in some cases.
The single biggest benefit to modular buildings is that they can be built much quicker than a building made in a location. There are no delays due to the weather, for example, as they are built inside and simply assembled on site. And these buildings still conform to relevant building regulations so aren’t unreliable and flimsy.
Another element that makes modular buildings so popular is that they are easy to construct in a wide range of styles. In schools, where classrooms of different styles and requirements are often needed, this flexibility means that it is simple to have a range of modular buildings added in different styles.
Modular buildings can form into single or two storey configurations as well as into clusters or even for an entire school. As well as classrooms, they can be used to create reception and administration areas, social spaces and even the kitchen and dining facilities. Because they are quicker to make and less prone to weather delays, they are also more cost effective than traditional methods of building while the end result is often classed as a ‘green’ building due to techniques used.
A number of new design styles are already being tried in schools around the country and the combination with modular buildings allow schools to change their set up quickly and easily when new buildings are being constructed. Ideas such as learning clusters, outdoor classrooms and even indoor courtyards where sheltered play and social activities can be undertaken are all perfect matches with modular styles.
As technology comes more and more into the classroom, the use of modular buildings allows this to be integrated easily. New layout styles for classrooms is a big topic of discussion and the use of technology with this is growing.
For example, classrooms are becoming ‘decentralised’ where there is no longer the single place where the teacher stands and all the students line up facing them. Instead, what is called polycentric layouts are being favoured using a range of workstations with five or six children seated around each. Each area has its own whiteboard for students to use as well as areas for central discussions and a projector screen.
Speak To Cotaplan Today
If you’re considering an extension or a new school build and think modular construction could be the way forward for your project, contact Cotaplan today. We’d be happy to discuss your requirements and see how a modular build could be suit your education needs.