Cambourne Village College Project Debuts Off Site Building System

    When you think of building something, you typically think of an on-site construction scene from start to finish. UK-based construction company Kier Group plc is changing the rules and achieving amazing results. Instead of starting from scratch on the build site, the company is using a modular construction. This type of constructing is proving to be far more efficient than older methods, and is leading to a decreased construction time.

    Module Development
    Kier Group has reached a construction milestone on the development of the new Cambourne Village College. The completion of the installation of modular units means that the school will be completed on-schedule. The secondary school in Cambridgeshire, UK is the first project in this company's history that is being built off-site. The new construction system is being utilised for the three two-storey curriculum wings of the school. This "Yorkon system" only needs 60 steel-framed modules - a significant reduction over the former method.
    Kier has craned all of the steel modules in just 14 days. This new construction method also adds an element of sustainability to the project since it reduces the number of vehicle movements and the amount of work being done on site.
    Each module is 18 metres long and installed with a concrete floor already poured and set in place. 

    Benefits to the School
    The rapid turnaround time reduces costs compared to normal building construction. Since there is less time on site, there are fewer man-hours being worked and a reduce chance of something going wrong at the construction site. Because there are fewer internal columns, there's more usable space in the school. This will prove to be a long-term benefit since it's easier to reconfigure in the future should local needs change.
    Space isn't the only consideration in the new design. Aesthetics matter too. The finish on the new school will be a combination of wood cladding and dark brick. Finally, a cladding system consisting of a rainscreen and panels of timber will be incorporated for outdoor teaching areas.
    New School Capacity
    The new school is located in the village of Cambourne and will have a capacity for about 750 students. It has a central are with three teaching wings reaching out from the centre mall. Along with the interior space, the school comes with a series of sheltered courtyards to encourage teachers and students to get some much-needed fresh air. Perhaps outdoor classes can become part of the school's new routine.
    The increased space, due to the modular construction, also means that the ends of the curriculum blocks will feature full-height stair towers and a balcony at first-floor level. This will essentially create and additional outdoor space that can be utilised for teaching classes.
    When Can The School Be Used?
    The new school is slated for completion in mid-2013, around summertime. Matthew Chillingsworthm senior project manager at Kier, said, "We were very happy with the cranage operations. The building installation was well planned between Kier and Yorkon and all the modules were installed quickly and efficiently. The use of off-site construction for the curriculum areas is enabling us to reduce the programme time to just 41 weeks and meet the Council’s deadline for completion this summer." If the school is well-received, future schools may be built following the Yorkon system.

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