The Business Design Centre - May 2012

Elliott feature at Building Future Education

  • Elliott feature at Building Future Education


Elliott has reported an unprecedented level of interest in its two new building solutions unveiled at this year’s BFE (Building Future Education) show.

Progress and Progression were developed by Elliott specifically to provide a cost effective, design-lead solution for the forecasted 250,000 shortfall in children’s school places by 2015.

Both modular systems provide significant advantages compared to conventional build, and are suitable for new build schools and refurbishments.

Supplied with all M&E aspects complete and ready for connection to services means Elliott’s solutions result in up to 55% less time on site. When combined with the company’s global purchasing for standardised components, it can reduce overall project costs by 35%, whilst ensuring consistently high quality standards.

At £750m², Progress for decant represents a cost effective method of creating school buildings. With full glazing options and state of the art fixtures and fittings the range offers unrivalled specification and design capability - Progress has the same specifications and facilities as any permanent classroom, including IT suite, reception, tea room, toilets and meeting rooms.

For permanent educational buildings, the Progression system, with a build cost of £1,250m², provides a highly cost effective solution for extensions or complete new schools.

Progression creates a high quality, low cost alternative to conventional build that can allow a new-build solution in situations where previously only a refurbishment option was affordable. It therefore offers an effective solution for the Priority School Building Programme, which aims to rebuild schools in the very worst state of disrepair, or where schools face budgetary constraints, yet are experiencing a shortfall of pupil places.

An innovative, flexible building system Progression has a concrete floor and provides full design flexibility, which makes it indistinguishable to a conventional build. It allows the incorporation of a choice of sustainable technologies such as solar PV and ground or air source heat pumps. The range meets all Design Bulletins, has a 60-Year minimum life expectancy and is capable of achieving a BREEAM very good rating.

EC Harris, the leading global Built Asset Consultancy, carried out an independent analysis to verify that the costs of Progression can be replicated as part of a standardised solution. A spokesperson from EC Harris said: “We benchmarked Progression against other systems and believe that it offers significant key areas of difference in terms of design and cost. Being a modular system means that we are confident the costs can be replicated across all new and refurbished school projects.”

As well as launching the two building solutions at BFE, Elliott Group Managing Director Mark Eburne discussed the benefits of modular construction as part of the seminar Refurb & Renewal. He looked at a number of school projects that had undergone refurbishment or modular additions to existing sites, which he presented in conjunction with Mike Peasland of Balfour Beatty.

Mr Eburne’s seminar provided a real-life insight into the benefits of modular systems. For example, demonstrating in detail how a conventional build schedule for a 2FE primary school normally takes 46 weeks, compared to 20 weeks for a modular system such as Progression.

The Winning Schools

The grand finale at the BFE exhibition was Elliott’s announcement of the winners of its national schools competition, which encouraged pupils to design new and refurbished learning spaces.

The two winning schools were Park School in Devon and Lordswood Boys School in Birmingham.  Both schools will receive an Elliott stand-alone classroom approximately 60m², plus a lobby and store facility, constructed using Progression. Competition sponsors include EC Harris, Surface to Air and SMART.

“BFE provided an ideal platform for launching our new building systems, both of which provide a practical solution to the issue of the shortfall in classroom forecasted by 2015,” said Mark Eburne, Managing Director of Elliott Group. “Our new modular solutions build on our long history of providing practical, cost effective solutions for the education sector.”