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Education building projects are extremely demanding. Expectations for thermal performance are high – not just to save energy but also to maintain a comfortable ambient temperature all year round. Excellent acoustic performance is also essential to shut out noise that could disrupt learning. On top of this budgets are tight and projects need to be…

In 2017 the percentage of female employees in scientific, technical and engineering industries was 24%. Looking into the figures in more detail reveals that 12% of the construction workforce and 25% of the manufacturing workforce were women. At the same time women filled 35% of professional, scientific and technical occupations across all STEM industries. For…

To be more productive and improve both quality and building performance the construction industry needs to innovate. To rise to this challenge the increasing use of offsite construction has been identified as one of the key areas of innovation. Recognising the need to build differently, the Government has a presumption in favour of offsite on…

The Generic Design Brief for school buildings lays down clear guidelines for how much natural lighting should be provided in classrooms. This is an important aspect of complying with the Facilities Output Specification. The guidelines emphasize the importance of natural light in promoting wellbeing and learning progression. The beneficial effects of daylight on learning have…

New school buildings are often needed urgently to meet growing demand. Additionally, building programmes that can be compressed to restrict major onsite works to evenings and holidays are particularly welcome. Fast-track construction, and the need to avoid disrupted learning, sometimes lead to compromises such as fully modular or volumetric offsite construction. Complete classrooms or building…

Affordability is a key concern when we buy anything of significant value. Construction projects can run into hundreds of thousands or millions of pounds, and affordability has to be top on the list of priorities. With large projects, it isn’t just the direct cost of the build that counts. There can be financing costs that…

Recognising the importance of the construction sector to the UK economy, the Government set the industry a series of stiff challenges – the backdrop to which is stagnant productivity and enduring issues over quality, building performance and carbon emissions. The challenge came in the form of the Construction Sector Deal. Just how much of a…

Talk to some people about modular building or offsite construction, and bold imaginative architecture may not be what comes to mind. Unless, that is, they have experience of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) used within an integrated design-to-delivery process. Particularly in education, the history and perceptions around modular buildings have mainly been about classrooms that are…