Offsite Answers the on-going school place crisis

11th April, 2019

Manchester City Council engaged Premier Modular via its framework partner, ISG, to deliver eight schools over two phases in less than fourteen months.

A collaborative partnership between ISG, Premier Modular and a full complement of design team partners from the outset of the tendering stage generated much greater cost and design efficiencies than if we had been brought in later. The benefits realised through knowledge sharing and collaboration resulted in reduced timescales in design and on-site.

This solution-focused approach meant Premier Modular and ISG were successful in delivering the whole package of works within the required timescale and budget of £25m. Contracts were awarded for the six schools in the second phase of these works in August 2017, all of which were delivered in time for the start of the new school year in September 2018 - a critical driver for using offsite construction; up to 75% of the buildings were manufactured offsite, greatly reducing the risk of accidents on site. Disruption is minimised, with reduced transport to site and waste reduced as materials are cut to size.

The scheme was Manchester City Council's first scheme to be delivered with a fully integrated BIM Level 2 Asset Information Model, and all schools achieved BREEAM Very Good. Early engagement with the supply chain was crucial to ensuring all data required for this was captured smoothly and efficiently.

Although one base model was developed for the overall scheme, using offsite manufacturing has meant that design changes could be accommodated to incorporate the differing end-user requirements of the various schools. Repeatable component designs were used at each with internal and external finishes being adapted to suit planners and match the new buildings in with existing buildings on the different sites.

The partnership has truly gained from the understanding that comes from working together. Benefits have been realised through aligning working practices and improved communication; providing commercial and programme savings as well as improved quality and minimised defects. The success of the scheme has a whole has been evidenced by two of the schools being successful in top Industry Awards.

St Margaret's CofE School won the Digital Construction Category in the North West Regional Construction Awards 2018. Beaver Road Primary School was named Education Project of the Year in the 2019 Offsite Awards; whilst the full scheme of eight schools saw ISG and Premier Modular receive a Highly Commended award in the Digital Construction category also in the 2019 Offsite Awards.

Having delivered award-winning offsite solutions throughout the UK for more than 60 years, Premier Modular prides itself on its ability to provide the highest quality buildings, for temporary and permanent applications, offering a skilled and knowledgeable turnkey design and build service. Part of a large multi-national industrial group, Waco International, Premier has the strong financial backing provided by the Group, which has enabled it to build a substantial modular hire fleet. With a strong commitment to research and development, Premier ensures they bring the most innovative products to market, for both hire and sale.

Premier Modular's 25-acre site with five factories can deliver a minimum of 1800m2 of buildings per week, equating to a 2FE primary school every two weeks. Modules are constructed to exacting quality levels in a controlled environment, U-Values are higher than building regulations and exceptional airtightness ratings can be achieved. In a market requiring an increased rate of build, building standards are increasing and sustainability is of growing importance, Premier Modular's offsite construction has to be the only the solution.

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