Leading joinery manufacturer, Scotts of Thrapston, has launched a dedicated range of timber framed education buildings to cater for the increasing demand for additional classroom space in the nation’s schools.

With more than 90 years’ experience in timber buildings, established over four generations, Scotts has used its expertise in equestrian buildings, pavilions, and specialist timber products such as summerhouses and garages, to carefully design a core range of education buildings that meet the needs and requirements of today’s pupils.

Perfectly combining traditional craftsmanship with the latest technology, Scotts’ approach is to tailor each building to every individual customer, whether that be a school, college, nursery or any other educational facility. An expert team will take on the entire project, for peace of mind and a hassle-free experience, with a finished building ready for use within five months of the initial enquiry.

A core range of single and double classrooms has been initially designed with a number of features including a lobby, cloakroom, washroom, store or any combination of these features giving customers the chance to visualise a completed building.

Building for Education

“The core range is just a starting point,” explains Scotts of Thrapston business development manager, Philip Goldstone. “The beauty of Scotts’ education buildings is that they can be completely tailored to suit the proposed setting and will be designed to precisely meet the end user’s specification.

“Whether there are special needs requirements, accessibility issues or existing structures to take into consideration, our dedicated team will work with the education provider to ensure all needs are met resulting in a sustainable, cost-effective and maintenance-free solution.”

 Catering for Demand

Scotts has introduced education buildings to its portfolio of products, recognising the increased demand from academies, free schools and existing over-stretched learning facilities.

Philip continues: “Last year the Office for National Statistics released figures demonstrating that more babies were born in the UK in 2011-12 than any year since 1972. This was set against a backdrop of ever increasing birth rates with numbers increasing 22 per cent from 2001 to 2011*. This is undoubtedly increasing demand for school places, leading to under capacity in schools with many of them desperate for extra classroom space.

 “Our range of education buildings has been designed to meet this need quickly and effectively, whilst delivering a building that will stand the test of time.”

Designed to Inspire

Quashing the memory of the ageing dilapidated modular and demountable classrooms that many of us experienced in our own school years, Philip explains that the buildings have been designed to make the best use of the space available, provide optimum energy efficiency and offer the best possible learning environment.

Philip adds: “We believe that the ideal learning environment begins with a building that inspires and motivates by its architectural form.  To achieve their full potential, pupils need to feel comfortable in their environment and be able to access educational resources effectively and safely. Research has shown that acoustic conditions within schools and nurseries can have a profound impact on both children’s learning and staff performance.

 “The Scotts design service takes into account all elements of the building design including light, ventilation, thermal comfort and acoustics. The right amount of light, both artificial and natural, is crucial. We advise on door and window positions based on a building’s orientation – avoiding light from south facing walls which can result in uncomfortable solar gain in summer and western aspects can lead to unpleasant glare on winter afternoons.

“Space is also a huge consideration and a stand out feature of Scotts’ education buildings is the high mono pitched ceilings that provide a unique feeling of spaciousness. Not only do the buildings meet government guidelines for adequate internal floor area, but the spaciousness offered by the volume of the rooms sets the buildings apart from alternative structures.

“We can advise on internal furnishings, room arrangement and layouts to optimise the space available with an approach that divides space effectively, avoids clutter and takes into account over stimulation. We also consider the exterior space and how the building works in its setting, particularly in nursery accommodation where free flow from indoors to outdoors is required. As much thought and consideration is given to the exterior as the interior.”

Energy Efficient

Energy costs are a big consideration for schools and any new structures or technology must meet strict guidelines for efficiency. The extremely well insulated roofs, walls and floors provide a building ‘envelope’ that is efficient to heat whilst remaining cool in the summer.

Effective ventilation also avoids stuffiness and ensures a comfortable environment for pupils and staff with good indoor air quality.

One Stop Solution

Philip stresses that in choosing a timber frame building from Scotts, the education provider will have a construction partner on board that will work alongside them every step of the way.

He concludes: “Our turnkey service offers complete peace of mind and a hassle free experience from initial design through to completed building handover.

“Our one-stop approach means there is only one person to deal with; we take care of every aspect of design, construction, furnishing and even landscaping. We combine an in-house design team with manufacturing and installation expertise, and work with carefully selected consultants and sub-contractors to provide the finished building.

 “With the manufacture of the building itself taking place at our Northamptonshire facility, disruption on site is kept to an absolute minimum. After completion of groundworks and relevant surface connection, the building itself can be constructed in a matter of weeks.

“All relevant building and planning regulations are adhered to and we take care of every element of this process leaving our customers free to continue with their own jobs safe in the knowledge that we have everything in hand.

“Finally, our involvement does not stop at handover of the building. Our comprehensive aftersales service means we are always on hand to answer any queries, should they arise as customers become accustomed to their new learning environment.”