Morgan Sindall launches standardised school design

Aaron Morby 10 years ago

Morgan Sindall has launched a standardised school design to help cash-strapped local education authorities upgrade schools.

The builder said it would draw on the expertise of subsidiary Morgan Sindall Investments to unlock funding options to ensure projects are viable.

These will include increasingly prevalent asset backed vehicle and land swap arrangements in addition to leasing and project finance structures.

The Community Plus product is a range of new standard designs based on timber frame structures for primary schools and a shell and core approach and built around a steel frame for secondary schools.

The new designs draw on the firm’s experience of building 261 primary schools, 64 secondary schools and seven academies during the last three years.

Graham Shennan, managing director of Morgan Sindall, said: “We’ve taken the time to look at what’s really important in education and settled upon a two-tier approach, where we can offer development solutions through Community Plus alongside a new range of model schools.”

Nigel Badham, MSIL Director, said: “In today’s budgetary environment for schools, access to funding is more important than ever.

“There is a clear need for innovative thinking which could well include unlocking the value of land assets that local authorities, free schools and academies already own.”

    Standardised designs

    There are five options for primary schools based on a simple grid system and timber-engineered solutions. They cater for one to three form entry and were produced in partnership with Aedas.

    The Morgan Sindall approach splits Key Stage 1 and 2 with separate entrances and exits for children in the respective age groups.

    There is also a classroom flow that means pupils physically move through the building as they progress through the school years.

    All of the primary school designs include a multi-function school hall and, at the centre, a large, flexible space which can be used for a variety of learning and play purposes.

    If required for community groups, this central hub can be zoned-off from the rest of the school to ensure safeguarding.

    Secondary schools are based on a shell and core approach and built around a steel frame.

    These designs, created in partnership with Atkins, are based on two building shapes – cluster and atria – and can cater for schools from 900 pupils to 1350 plus Sixth form.

    Classrooms are 60m2 in area and flexibility is achieved with internal walls that are easy to move by adjusting the length but not depth of the room.

    Jayne Hettle, Morgan Sindall’s director of education, said: “The designs don’t just provide more affordable capital construction but are also energy efficient, costing the schools less to run, and coming with the benefit of reduced lifecycle costs.

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