Tata Steel claims it is creating the next generation of schools in the United Kingdom (UK) which will give thousands of children access to education in safe, purpose-designed environmentally efficient buildings.
The company, working with construction industry experts in the UK, is developing a kit of parts allowing highly energy-efficient schools to be built off-site and then shipped to their final location. This will reduce waste created during traditional building as well as allowing the buildings to be quick to build, offer good value for taxpayers and be 100% recycled at the end of their life.
The news comes weeks after the UK Government announced a scheme to modernise the nation’s schools. The rebuilding programme will start in 2020-21 with the first 50 projects supported by funding in excess of £1 billion. Further details of the new 10-year construction programme will be set out at the British Government’s next Spending Review.
The aim is to reduce construction costs and whole life costs of buildings by a third, while seeing those same buildings delivered in half the time and with a 50% reduction in carbon emissions from the construction sector.
The entirely UK-designed and built solution will allow schools to grow and adapt as required. In addition, the standardised off-site construction approach can be used to create emergency health care facilities in times of crisis.
Phil Clements, Tata Steel UK Technical Director, said: “Traditional building techniques using bricks, mortar and wood can be slow, wasteful and have a significant impact on the environment.
“This project will allow thousands of children to have access to education in buildings which have been designed using the latest technology, constructed off-site to lower emissions and can be repurposed and recycled.”
By using a similar technique to carmakers who build a number of different models on the same chassis, the consortium-led project will set the blueprint for the future of construction.
The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-funded project will show how standardised components can be mass-produced to deliver better quality, performance and value for sectors including education and healthcare.
The consortium behind the project is made up of: off-site building experts Blacc; the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC); two off-site manufacturers, Elliott Group and the McAvoy Group; Tata Steel; the Active Building Centre (ABC); and the National Composite Centre (NCC).