Highly sustainable teaching complex

Advanced modular building solution used to deliver highly sustainable teaching complex in just 22 weeks 

Worcestershire County Council needed to expand accommodation at Bewdley High School and Sixth Form Centre as part of a major reorganisation of education provision in the county, which resulted in an additional 360 pupils joining the school.

A two-storey building was manufactured by the Portakabin Group using its off-site Portakabin Design and Build solution. This reduced the programme time for such a challenging project to just 22 weeks.

The new facility was the first modular education building to be heated using biomass fuel and the first to accommodate a complex passive, low-energy ventilation system – making it one of the UK’s most sustainable modular school buildings.

“The new building has provided us with spacious accommodation and room sizes that are appropriate for our learning and teaching needs. It is visually pleasing from the outside and fits in well with the locality. Our students have been impressed with the design of the building and it has helped develop a strong sense of pride in our school and working environment.”

Julie Reilly, Head Teacher, Bewdley High School and Sixth Form Centre 

Dermot Galvin, Project Architect at Worcestershire County Council, says: “The primary driver for the decision to use off-site construction for this project was time, which was critical to ensure the new facility would be ready in time to take the additional intake of pupils.

“The Portakabin Group offers a superior quality building system and has a keen interest in design, attention to detail and quality of finish, bringing skills to the project that are not always associated with modular construction.”

The building is constructed from 60 steel-framed modules with clear internal spans of up to 12m, which provide complete flexibility for internal space planning. The modules were manufactured off site and craned into position complete with windows and partitions pre-installed in the factory.

The building incorporates 12 general classrooms for the school’s English, Modern Languages and Humanities faculties, two science laboratories, a creative area and administrative centre. It is linked to a traditionally-constructed drama and dance studio, demonstrating how conventional building methods can be integrated with off-site construction.

Building Location


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