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Why Speed and Innovation Are Just What School Building Programmes Need

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 modules are assembled offsite and craned into position. These methods are fast and non-disruptive but don’t always deliver the best outcomes for durability, flexibility or the learning environment.

Innovative building methods such as the i-SIP System offer the benefits of speed and lack of disruption, without having to compromise on design and performance. ‘A school in a day’ can be the reality, without having to resort to fully modular buildings.

Shorter Build Times Can Mean 1 Day

Projects that use SIPs benefit because the structure is created in parallel to the site preparation and foundations. This can take weeks out of the programme. Assembling the structure onsite from a pre-manufactured kit of parts is extremely rapid and can be scheduled to take place at weekends or during holidays.

The four-classroom St Michael’s school extension shows what’s possible. The original programme was scheduled to take place within an already ambitious two-week window. Using a highly optimised process, Innovaré managed to compress this into a single weekend.

Works started on Saturday morning. The combination of advanced construction technology and a problem-solving approach saw the external building structure completed and signed off by 6.00pm on Saturday evening. Fit out teams could then start work on Sunday morning leaving a clean, tidy site with no safety risks when students returned on Monday.

To truncate the timing, the crane location, access and build sequence were planned in advance. The structure was manufactured offsite in Innovaré’s production facility and the i-SIP panels were then delivered to the site in a precisely controlled sequence matched to the build schedule.

Unique Requirements

School projects are rarely identical. The location and site layout can bring constraints and the intended purpose for the classrooms can influence the exact design and specification. For example, music suites or facilities for hearing-impaired students will have specific requirements for acoustic performance. This is why fully modular is rarely the ideal answer.

Unique requirements can add time and complexity to a school building project. SIPs, on the other hand, can be configured and engineered to meet almost any situation. Acoustic performance, for example, is designed into the panels so no additional treatments are needed on site.

The i-SIP System is the most flexible way to fast track school construction programmes while still achieving excellent outcomes and delivering bespoke designs.

Find out more about the i-SIP system for Education projects here.