Flat Pack Schools – Is there a better solution?

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Flat Pack Schools Update

Since the posting below was put on the website back in 2011 Cabinco construction services to schools has gone from strength to strength with our clients valuing our bespoke service.  Our design system ensuring that the best is taken from the economy of using a “flat pack” system and the good sense of individual design ensuring that the school gets the best building for their money.

Now with Cabinco offering a Kingspan TEK system as well as  our traditional Machine Profile Log system, potential clients have even more scope for creating an individually designed “flat pack” school building within budget.

Flat Pack School Construction

Flat Pack Schools

As suggested by the Michael Gove, The Education Secretary and covered in an editorial item in the Times on Monday 28th January 2011 and a variety of other publications (links below blog). There are clearly benefits to this proposal: the idea of reducing costs, construction time and improving sustainability are obvious to all. Cabinco have widely covered these benefits with our blog on the benefits of Off-Site/Modular construction http://cabinco.co.uk/the-advantages-of-using-conventional-modular-and-off-site-modular-construction-for-school-building-projects/ However, there are also some disadvantages with the proposal as it is outlined in the Times newspaper, specifically the intention to create a fixed template of designs for schools to choose from. This removes the opportunity for schools to create a building which meets their needs and forces them into the “best fit” scenario. The article itself flagged a comment by Ty Goddard that “sacrificing details such as light, acoustics or comfort can be absolutely proven to have a direct impact on supporting teachers and learners”. Details such as light, acoustics and comfort can only be well managed when making use of site specific conditions. This could be as simple as positioning windows to make the most of an enjoyable view, or having specific roof or wall coverings to ensure that the building matches in with the surrounding environment: both would have a profound effect on either the users of the building or those who live with it in their neighbourhood. It may well be that a template driven design will jeopardise our push for comfort, sustainability and our ability to complement our environment. However, there is a way to make the best of both options. By using off-site modular construction such as that offered by Cabinco, you can reap all the rewards of reduced costs and fast construction but retain the flexibility to adapt the overall design to suit the specific conditions of the individual school site. Thereby the school can choose the size of its rooms to match its requirements, it can choose to direct budget towards those features which are of greatest value to them and ensure that the building which has had so much money and time invested in it will last the school and the larger community for the foreseeable future. One size does not fit all, and it is not always necessary to sacrifice performance and comfort for cost: only companies like Cabinco can bring you the best of both worlds: sustainable off-site manufacture, fast build time, high performance, AND REDUCED COST combined with all the benefits of individual design. http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/8821032.Flat_pack_schools_plan/ http://www.bdonline.co.uk/news/flat-pack-schools-will-make-architects-redundant/5012481.article