Hertfordshire County Council predicted a shortage of primary school places beginning in the academic year 2014-15. The council appointed Kier Design and Business Services to identify the most cost-effective way to address the problem. We examined many factors including site access, the capacity of existing services/supplies, car parking, play facilities, costs and locations for modular buildings. Because of our recommendations, the council opted to use modular buildings to increase classroom numbers at six sites for seven academic years from September 2014.

We provided multi-disciplinary design services, including designing the foundations, access arrangements (with stairs and ramps where necessary) and the building services infrastructure. This included project managing the supply and installation of the new modular buildings. Each new building was tailored to suit the school’s requirements and the year group catered for, including internal layouts and the position and style of windows.

Most projects included works to cope with the increase in staff and pupil numbers and the reorganisation of class bases. These included internal alterations to the schools, increases in catering capacity, extra parking provision, playgrounds and play canopies. There were further challenges as one site is within a Scheduled Ancient Monument with Late Iron Age and Roman cemeteries nearby. We liaised with English Heritage and commissioned an archaeological investigation.

To ease concerns over the temporary expansions, our team attended meetings with school governing bodies and presented examples and case studies of similar completed projects. We successfully delivered the modular buildings within budget and either on or ahead of programme. The schools were extremely pleased with the end results and the services provided. The client feedback was extremely complimentary about our team and our services.

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