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Five tips to starting your project

19/01/2018

The beginning of any building project can be daunting, so we’ve pulled together five tips to give you a head start.

1. Anticipate planning permission timescales

Both permanent and interim buildings require planning permission, and a good supplier will be able to help you through the process.

It usually takes up to 12 weeks to be granted planning permission from a validated application, so speak to a supplier at an early stage to make sure your project can be delivered when you need it.

Our expert says: “Planning permission is complex and can be a daunting task, often taking longer than you would like. We work with our customers to ensure the design of your building matches planning regulations, helping to make the approval process smoother.” – Lee Connolly, Design and Engineering Leader.

2. Know your funding options

Knowing how you will fund your project, whether capital or revenue is key to knowing what you can achieve. But you can consider other options that might make it more affordable such as hiring, or buying new or refurbished modular buildings.

Grants, sponsorship or funding streams may also be available to support your project. A great place to start is by speaking to your Local Authority or the Property team of your Multi Academy Trust. More information about the funding options available for your school can be found here.

Our expert says: “Due to our experience and knowledge, we’re happy to guide you through processes that could otherwise seem daunting. This can help assure your project of contract and delivery certainty. ” – Emily King, Education Specialist.

3. Discuss your requirements with the experts

Did you know that the ESFA recommends 2.3m2 per infant pupil, 55-62m2 for 30 primary pupils and 55m2 for 30 secondary pupils?

You might also want to consider that an increase of classroom space will increase the need for other facilities. Modular space is so versatile that it can be used for any application including classrooms, canteens, sports halls and science labs. An interim solution can also provide you with decant space while a permanent solution is being constructed.

Speaking to a designer will also help you think about future-proofing your building so it can change as your requirements do.

Our expert says: “Our team of design and engineering specialists are part of every Portakabin project from conception to completion. This means we can work over every facility and detail that your project involves to make sure your building fits your exact need.” – Stephen Magson, Architectural Technologist.

4. Talk deadlines early on

Construction can take longer than you anticipated when you including planning, design and on-site work.

If you have a tight deadline for completion, modular buildings could be the best solution for you, as they have 50% faster construction programmes in comparison to traditional builds. In some cases, buildings can be installed and ready to use within days.

Modular construction can support your timescales, for example installing a new school building during the holidays, or over a weekend. Speak to the building provider as early as possible to ensure your project is completed, when you need it.

Our expert says: “Our company promise is on time and on budget; whether you need a building in a matter of days or a 25,000m2 state-of-the-art facility. We can work with you to develop a construction programme that fits your timescale and stick to it.” – Nigel Kemp, Operations Manager.

5. Consider all the costs

A project is much more than just the building. It’s important to also consider the cost of ground works, landscaping, security, decorations and furniture. Ensure you have everything planned out for your project. Dealing with just one supplier for the entire project can help with this.

If your project requires high specification design, these fees will increase the cost of construction so make sure you consider all of your options at the earliest point – and set aside a contingency fund just in case.

This is also the time to think about whole life costs of a building and knowing what options are available to keep costs low. Modular construction can be adapted to fit a wide range of energy efficient features.

Don’t forget frameworks that include pre-approved suppliers with agreed rates will help to ensure the cost certainty of your project.

Our expert says: “We work through every cost and make everything transparent so you won’t be shocked with a surprise payment or unseen cost halfway through the project.” – Steph Hughf, Bid Manager.



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