For over 25 years we have worked on hundreds of school expansion and refurbishment projects. As classroom sizes grow, budgets, space and time are increasingly limited. We know how important it is to work with the right suppliers to create the best learning environment for pupils and teachers alike.
It was recently reported that there will need to be an additional 750,000 secondary school places in England by 2025. This shortfall of places means many schools are faced with the difficult challenge of building new classrooms or extending existing structures. As budgets continue to be threatened, schools must find the most cost-effective and sustainable building products available to meet their individual requirements.
Modular buildings are probably one of the most popular ways to add classroom space to a school. Our X-Clad system is supplied to modular building companies to provide an external brick finish. X-Clad is a popular choice as it is lightweight, quick to install and is very durable. It can be installed either off-site in a factory environment or in-situ once the building has been delivered to site.
For many schools around the UK, shortage of development land is a serious issue. Where land is not readily available, alternative expansion ideas need to be considered, such as upward extensions. Adding floors to existing buildings is fairly common on space restricted sites. Our brick slip cladding systems have been used for this purpose on numerous occasions. Our systems weigh considerably less than conventional masonry, which means that upward extensions can often be built without the need for additional groundworks or strengthening of the existing structure. This has quite significant implications on the overall cost of the project.
We have also worked with several schools whose older buildings struggle with heat loss and in some situations, damp and condensation issues. In these cases, retrofitting external wall insulation is highly effective. This method instantly rejuvenates tired looking buildings, improves internal comfort for students and teachers and reduces energy bills.
Regardless of how the school decides to increase its size, one question that will need to be addressed at some point (and which may be a planning requirement) is the exterior finish of the buildings. Whether the existing school is centuries old or relatively modern, the right finish can complement the surrounding buildings or create a striking contrast to what is already there. With our two ranges of brick slips, offering a wide variety of colours and textures we are confident that the desired look can be achieved.
With so many challenges faced by schools today, we’re pleased to help those looking to find the space they need with a quick and versatile solution that can reduce energy bills whilst also being sympathetic to the aesthetics of the surrounding space.