Modular Classroom Buildings: Key Considerations

In recent years, schools across the UK have faced increasing pressure to accommodate growing student populations while grappling with ageing infrastructure. The discovery of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in many school buildings has further exacerbated these challenges, leading to the urgent need for safe, flexible learning spaces. 

For institutions looking to eradicate buildings with RAAC in their construction (a material which is now considered unsafe), there is a time-limited development right that enables schools to install temporary buildings without submitting a planning application to the local planning authority.

With the countdown on to remove RAAC-affected structures, modular classroom buildings have become a practical and efficient option. In this blog, we will explore the options for expansion and the uses and benefits of temporary facilities.

What are the Options for School Expansion?

When faced with the need to expand or renovate, schools have several options to consider:

Interim solutions: Their quick installation and removal make them ideal for immediate needs or during renovations. 

Long-term solutions: These offer more stability and customisation options while maintaining flexibility. This includes high-end fit-out.

Modular Classroom Buildings vs Traditional Cabin-style Solutions

Unlike traditional cabin-style solutions, modular classroom buildings give schools complete control over the building aesthetics, size and layout, enabling them to maximise their available space and create a completely fit-for-purpose building.

They’re also built with modern materials and techniques, offering superior insulation and energy-efficient systems. Cabin-style buildings, on the other hand, are less well-insulated, leading to higher heating and cooling costs. When working with Mar-Key Group, you can be assured of the longevity of your additional structures, with the deliverance of Part L buildings, approved by Building Control. The main objective of Part L compliance is to reduce the amount of carbon emissions produced by buildings.

Modernity is also important when it comes to the various functions and technologies a new school facility may need. Older buildings, by contrast, may need retrofitting, and this can be lengthy and expensive. We take care of all internal components, with optional extras including:

  • Temperature control
  • Wi-Fi and data 
  • Furniture
  • Electrical packages
  • Soundproof acoustic walling
  • Dividing walls
  • Lighting 
  • Building control approval 
  • Planning permission support

What can Modular Classroom Buildings be Used for? 

Modular buildings have revolutionised the educational space by providing versatile solutions for various needs. Classrooms may be the obvious choice, providing additional general-purpose or specialised teaching space (i.e. science labs or art studios), but there are plenty more facilities they can be developed into, such as:

  • Lecture halls
  • Administrative offices
  • Student health services
  • Canteens 
  • Sports and exam halls
  • Tennis court covers
  • Graduation venues

Mar-Key Group was recently chosen to deliver a short-term solution to house students at school while they navigated the RAAC crisis. The building needed to provide a suitable teaching and learning environment, with the flexibility to reconfigure and remove. A short while after being used as a classroom, it was turned into a sports hall, with the Mar-Key team on hand to help with the transition by removing all internal walls and equipment.

Why Choose a Temporary Classroom Over a Permanent One?

Temporary structures provide a streamlined process, with many benefits including:

Speed of construction: The reason why schools tend to reach out to us, is because they need something fast. Modular buildings can be constructed and delivered much faster than their traditional, permanent counterparts, minimising disruption to learning. Our typical quoted manufacture lead time from the point of order is 4 weeks, however, depending on the urgency of projects we may have the flexibility to deliver sooner. 

Cost-effectiveness: You may not think it, but modular buildings typically cost less, both in terms of initial investment and long-term maintenance. Their energy efficiency can also lead to reduced operational costs, with Mar-Key Group offering insulated roof and wall panels for a more functional and comfortable teaching environment.

Flexibility and scalability: Temporary structures can easily be expanded, reduced, or reconfigured to meet different needs. This allows schools to respond quickly to changes in student numbers, curriculum requirements, or unforeseen circumstances. 

Sustainability: Modular buildings are designed with sustainability in mind, using eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient systems. Their reusable nature also reduces waste compared to traditional construction methods – not to mention they are less intrusive to local habitats with the reduction of noise levels and the number of heavy vehicles needed to complete the project.

Classroom Hire vs Lease vs Purchase Options

At Mar-Key Group, we make it as easy as possible to get what you need, when you need it.

That’s why we have a range of payment options to suit all budgets: 

Hire: Looking for a flexible way to spread the costs of your structure? Hire from us on a month-to-month basis, for as long as you need it.

Lease: For larger projects, leasing your structure allows you to spread the costs, with an option to buy. 

Purchase: If you know what you need and want to buy the structure outright, or need something bespoke, we offer competitive prices. We also have maintenance packages available to ensure you keep your assets in great condition.

Why Work With Mar-Key Group for my School Expansion?

Our modular building solutions are designed and manufactured in Britain, and are deployable anywhere!

We have been trusted partners and suppliers for over thirty years, with significant experience in the education sector, and can turn projects around fast. For this school, we went from enquiry to delivery in just ten days. The end-result was a 10m x 25m clearspan structure, split into four teaching areas. Each classroom was required to accommodate a class of 32 students.

All structures are built with the end-user in mind and are competitive in price with other fabricated buildings.
Is your institution in need of some extra space? Reach our friendly team to discuss your requirements by calling us on 01202 577 111. You can also submit your enquiry to team@mar-key.com or use our online contact form to get in touch.