Elliott Hatches New School in Redhill
Construction of the completely new school at Hatchlands Primary School in Redhill, Surrey, in just 32 weeks demonstrates the speed and versatility of Elliott permanent modular building systems on what was a complex, challenging urban brownfield site adjacent to a Conservation Area.
The turnkey scheme required demolition of the existing courthouse building and creation of a new, two-storey primary school using the Elliott modular system, along with parking and external landscaping. The development had to avoid being unduly prominent or detrimental to the character of the Conservation Area and surrounding residential community.
A need for additional school places at Hatchlands arose partly as a result of new residential developments and increasing birth rates in the area.
The site is situated within an urban area where Reigate and Banstead Borough Council have a presumption in favour of sustainable development.
Planning requirements meant that making efficient use of space was a high priority on this development because the 420-place school had to be created on a similar footprint to the existing structure and within the same two storey scale.
The new modular school construction was funded by the DfE and operated by Everychild Trust – a multi-academy trust whose aim is to “Engage, equip and empower every child”.
32 Weeks Completion
Development of the new Hatchland’s Primary School was part of Modular-A Primary School component solution framework. Elliott was in first position on this framework and was awarded the first nine primary schools. Hatchlands Primary School was subsequently secured as a mini-competition through this framework, along with River Mill Primary in Dartford.
The Department for Education’s (DfE) Modular A covers whole primary school buildings.
Elliott was awarded Hatchlands because it demonstrated excellent value for money and was able to provide a full turnkey solution including demolition, externals and landscaping.
The designers were DLA Architects who worked with Elliott to develop a component-centred solution that was based on the Elliott market leading modular system.
As a permanent modular building system, the modules are delivered pre-assembled and ready for final finishing on site. This helped reduce the construction schedule at Hatchlands Primary School by around a half compared to a traditional on-site build.
Hatchlands modular school construction was designed in a contemporary style using brick, cedar cladding, purple panelling to complement the school’s branding, render and significant glazed elements to create light filled teaching spaces.
Working with DLA architects, Elliott devoted considerable effort to siting of the building as well as its scale, height and form in order to satisfy planning and community requirements.
Height and scale of the structure was minimised by incorporating a flat roof design, mitigating its impact on local views.
The completed modular school building is indistinguishable to a traditional on-site build yet delivers all the benefits of offsite construction; a shorter 32 week build schedule, less site traffic, more consistent build quality and reduction of on-site waste.
Allonby House, located within the development’s footprint, was utilised as the school’s temporary facilities whilst the scheme was underway. This meant that Elliott was working within the vicinity of a live teaching environment.
Construction of Hatchlands Primary School commenced on 2nd November 2020, with the school opening on 3rd June and achieved full completion on 14th August in time for the new term. Advancing to a stage of school opening in just 32 weeks demonstrates the speed, efficiency and build quality of the Elliott modular system.
The completed modular school construction was built to high sustainability standards and achieves a BREEAM Very Good rating. This means it is within the top 25% of buildings in terms of sustainability, aligning with the goals of Reigate and Banstead Borough Council.
A large span sports hall was created using the Elliott Hybrid system, providing the school with a valuable space that is now used for assemblies, sports and performances. The Hybrid system allows incorporation of large open atriums and increased ceiling heights and can be fully integrated with the modules to provide greater design scope.
The two-storey, flat roof school achieves a building massing that is sympathetic with the conservation area and avoids ‘overlooking‘ nearby residential properties.
The suspended concrete floor on the modular system helps minimise transmittance of noise, meeting minimum standards set out in The Building Bulletin 93 (BB 93) ‘Acoustic Design of Schools: A Design Guide’.
The Elliott Ibex modular system is fully building regulation compliant with passive ventilation and has a 60-year design life as a minimum.
Overall, the turnkey solution provided by Elliott is considered to be one that balances design, scale and massing, resulting in an appropriate solution for the character of the area.
Graham Stevenson, Construction Manager at Elliott, said: “Completing Hatchlands Primary School in just 32 weeks is testament to the dedication of all project partners and benefits of our offsite systems. The two new school is an important and exciting development for the community and we hope that it will inspire some of the pupils to a career in construction.”
Moira Anderson, Headteacher at Hatchlands Primary School commented
“What a fabulous new school we now have! The children were really excited about moving into their new classroom and it is certainly very different to the temporary teaching areas we have been using. We were all really impressed with the professionalism and considerate approach of the Elliott team.”
If you are considering a modular school building, please don’t hesitate to contact our team who will advise on the most appropriate solution for your project.