Council buys Willmott Dixon cut-price schools

Grant Prior 12 years ago
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Southampton City Council is the latest local authority to sign-up with Willmott Dixon and Scape’s off-the-shelf school designs which can cut construction costs by up to 50%.

Southampton has ordered three new schools worth £13m from the Sunesis range of standardised designs.

Sunesis pre-designed primary and secondary schools aim to achieve a build cost per pupil of £8,500 – £10,000 against a typical school cost per pupil range of £15,000 – £20,000.

The trio of Southampton schools will all complete within a year compared with a previous build time of between 18 and 24 months from initial planning and procurement stage.

Oliver Gill, strategy & capital programme manager from Southampton City Council said: “Adopting this approach has served to significantly reduce the time that the authority has spent in design and procurement, thereby expediting the delivery of the buildings and reducing the associated cost.

“As a consequence, we have been able to deliver new build solutions for schools where this had previously been thought impossible within the available funding. Simply put, it’s a far better way of doing business.”

Warwickshire County Council has already adopted Sunesis and Willmott Dixon said inquiries worth £120m are currently in the pipeline.

Mark Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of the public procurement organisation Scape, said: “It’s fantastic that Southampton has recognised the potential of Sunesis, and we look forward to working closely with Willmott Dixon and all partners to deliver an improved environment for pupils and staff alike.”

John Frankiewicz, CEO for Willmott Dixon Capital Works said: “The schools will be thermally efficient to reduce running costs, combining a well designed, quality product with high energy efficiency in operation.

“Willmott Dixon and Scape are committed to providing real, workable solutions to councils who want their budgets, already under much pressure, to go even further.”

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