Premier Modular has delivered a new £2million special educational needs (SEN) facility at Nethergate Academy in Nottingham – an Ofsted Outstanding special school for children with autism, learning difficulties and disabilities. The school is sponsored by Greenwood Academies Trust.
The main driver for Nottingham City Council’s decision to use offsite was the essential need to reduce noise and disruption to the children by moving construction work into a factory. The building also had to be delivered to a short programme ready for occupation for the start of the new academic year. To achieve this, Premier continued work on the project through the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
Designed and built by Premier with delivery architects Lungfish, the scheme had to be installed on a constrained site within the fully operational school. Careful logistics planning and traffic management ensured access to the school was maintained throughout the construction programme. Cranage of the modules was also timed for the school holidays to further minimise disruption.
Commenting on the project, Sam Simons, Team Leader at Nottingham City Council said: “The children at the school have complex needs and site-based construction was not the best way to proceed because of the noise and vibration levels that would then be generated. Moving work offsite and into NBS the platform for connected construction information, has launched its annual survey with a new direction this year. For over ten years, NBS has been tracking the adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) via its National BIM Survey. The survey, previously known as NBS BIM Survey, will become the Digital Construction Survey from this year onwards. a factory was therefore a huge advantage. The manufacturing processes of modular construction also allowed the building work to continue safely during the COVID-19 lockdown. It is definitely easier to manage and maintain social distancing requirements in a factory environment than on-site.”
Tracey Ydlibi, Executive Principal at Nethergate Academy added: “Premier Modular was sensitive to the need for us to continue the day-to-day operation of the Academy and was able to complete the build with minimum disruption. Their team has produced a wonderful, purpose-built facility which will enable us to continue to provide the best possible educational experience and further meet the needs of autistic children with complex needs.”
Craig Taylor, Associate Director at Lungfish Architects, said: “The demand for offsite construction continues to grow and this project proves why. The Premier building system gives us a high level of design flexibility which ultimately improves the finished building in both aesthetics and functionality, and particularly when creating a learning environment to support SEN. We collaborated on the design with Premier to help deliver a new facility that will undoubtedly prove to be an invaluable addition to the academy and the community.
The 710sq m building was fitted out offsite and has high quality pre-installed concrete floors for a robust finish. Facilities include classrooms for key stages 1 to 4, group therapy rooms with specialist multi-coloured lighting, food technology room, occupational therapy, staff room, and a double-height multi-purpose hall for dining, assemblies and indoor sports – all built using offsite construction. The design of the facility was developed to meet SEND principles.