‘School of the future’ showcased by offsite specialist
Leading figures from the worlds of education, construction and architecture were given a glimpse into the future of school buildings by 21st century innovators and offsite modular specialists The McAvoy Group.
The pioneering construction firm hosted a special pre-launch event at the Lynch Hill Enterprise Academy, in Slough, to showcase the cutting-edge technological approach that went into its creation.
The £20m school, situated at the town’s Stoke Road, just a mile and a half outside Slough town centre, will accommodate 1140 pupils when it opens this month. It was completed 17 weeks ahead of schedule.
The school, located on a 2.87 hectares site, was commissioned by The Learning Alliance Academy Trust. The contract was awarded through the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Framework for Modular Building Systems which is funded through the Education Funding Agency (EFA).
The three-story secondary school development includes a four-court sports hall, a multi-use games area as well as a playing field, car parking areas and extensive landscaping.
Key McAvoy representatives including Executive Chairperson Orla Corr and Managing Director Eugene Lynch hosted a school tour on April 5, presenting the trail-blazing school building to members of the EFA, local authorities, architects and other prospective customers.
The day’s events included a virtual reality demonstration where visitors learned first-hand about the benefits that offsite technology brings to clients when combined with BIM (Building Information Modelling).
The innovative use of BIM in its offsite manufacturing processes is key in allowing McAvoy to make faster and more informed decisions at the very earliest in the design stage.
It therefore allows McAvoy to accelerate the design phase of the project with greater confidence in the overall design, whatever its nature.
To prepare for the development, buildings previously occupying the site – namely the West Wing Art Centre and the Arbour Vale School – first had to be partially demolished.
Among the challenges presented by the site was the need to facilitate access to neighbouring third parties lining the boundary, including a primary school and a secondary school.
The Lynch Hill development has exceeded client expectations in terms of build-time, adherence to agreed budget and overall value for money.
Gerard Donnelly, Contracts Manager with The McAvoy Group said the specialist type of construction offered by the firm facilitated a swift completion as required by the client.
“As with other projects, The McAvoy Group was able to reduce construction lead times for the Lynch Hill school by using a modular build. The company considers this method to be the future of construction.
“The UK government’s 2025 vision for construction sector has set targets of 33 per cent lower costs, 50 per cent faster delivery timescales, 50 per cent lower emissions and 50 per cent improvement in exports. To achieve this, modular construction will be at the forefront of this change,” Mr Donnelly added.
McAvoy has also been commissioned to undertake the associated highway works for the scheme which have still to commence.