search

MODULAR FIX FOR SCOTLAND’S CHILDCARE CRISIS

MODULAR FIX FOR SCOTLAND’S CHILDCARE CRISIS
21/12/2020

In 2016, the Scottish Government pledged to build and expand 750 nurseries by 2021. At the time of writing, 97 nurseries have been built, extended or refurbished – representing just 13% of the target.

By August 2020, the Scottish Government also intends to increase free childcare from 600 hours to 1,140 hours per year.

These ambitious goals are more than achievable if one of the Scottish Government’s preferred building methods is adopted. The Scottish Government, like the UK Houses of Parliament, endorses modular (otherwise known as offsite or volumetric construction) as an alternative to traditional building methods.

This preferred option cuts the build time in half. While site work is carried out, modules are built in a dedicated facility. They are then transported to site and installed within a matter of days.

However, at present, only a small percentage of new schools and nurseries are modular. In this post, we hope to explain the advantages and clear up some of the myths surrounding this building method.

A GUIDE FOR PROGRESS In 2017 the Scottish Government published ‘A Space to Grow’, a design guide for early learning and childcare and out of school care settings.

In it, they state: ‘Many local authorities have already used off-site manufacturing to develop their education estate and the use of this, where appropriate, is something that would be recommended when planning early learning and childcare and after school care settings.’

It also highlights the many benefits of modular construction including:

Shorter build times Assured quality Minimised disruption Cost and time certainty Future flexibility Reduced waste BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS Despite nudges from the Scottish and UK Government to take the modular route, some Councils seem reluctant to take the leap.

Understandably, procuring a school is a high-pressure activity. Getting the space right for the children and ensuring that funding is well spent are substantial concerns, and it’s not surprising that many decision-makers will stick to what they know i.e. traditional building methods.

Councils and school boards who choose a modular solution, however, rarely look back. Edinburgh and The Highlands Councils procured nineteen new modular buildings from Wernick in 2018 and 2019 is set to be even busier.

Modular school buildings have come a long way from the demountables of the past. Modern modular buildings are not only better insulated and easier to heat but with the right design, can look no different than a traditionally built school or classroom block.

BUILT TO LAST Modular buildings may be quicker to build but at no point is quality compromised. In fact, the opposite is true.

The offsite manufacturing process allows for quality control and strict tolerances at every stage and building ‘offsite’ protects the building from the elements during its manufacture. Wernick’s buildings come with a 25-year structural guarantee (15 years longer than the average guarantee offered for traditional buildings) and a 60+ year design life. Whilst they are relocatable, they are built for permanence and longevity. Schools who choose a modular building gain a permanent asset that could solve future requirements. Buildings can be reconfigured easily: floors can be added or removed or the layout altered according to changing needs. Every Wernick building is bespoke – so even though buildings are supplied as ‘boxes’ there are few limits to the interior or exterior design. Modular buildings are better for the environment too. A recent inquiry by the MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) estimated that modular construction can reduce the energy used in the construction process by 67% and waste produced onsite by between 70% and 90% compared to traditional construction methods. It also estimated that modular buildings require 30% less energy to heat.

Enquiry Form



More News

AN EDUCATION IN MODULAR BUILDINGS

AN EDUCATION IN MODULAR BUILDINGS

With space presently at a premium within UK schools, and pupil numbers forecasted to increase over the coming years, many schools are finding themselv...

Read More
BRIGHT FINISH TO SUMMER MONTHS

BRIGHT FINISH TO SUMMER MONTHS

Over Christmas and the school summer holidays, you can usually expect a downturn in business. The tumbleweed effect of July and August somehow didn’t ...

Read More
WERNICK’S NEW HEAD OFFICE

WERNICK’S NEW HEAD OFFICE

Project name: Wernick Head Office Sector: Offices Location: Wickford, Essex Client name: Wernick Group Supplied by: Wernick Buildings Accommodation ty...

Read More

Read More

Read More

List your business

Would you like to register your company on one of the UK's largest and most effective Trade websites?

Are you looking for a reliable and consistent source of enquiries from your industry sector? Would you like to see why Find the Needle clients come back year after year to use our service? If so then feel free to register using the link 'here'.

Register
Office Address: