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Foremans completes construction of highly sustainable school building in London


Foremans Relocatable Building SystemsForemans Relocatable Building Systems, the UK’s largest supplier of recycled modular buildings, has completed construction of a highly sustainable new school building in the London Borough of Brent, after only seven weeks on site.

Designed by architects, Sampson Associates, the new £1m sixth form centre at Alperton Community School was constructed by Foremans from recycled and refurbished building modules. This approach reduced the build programme by around 70 per cent and the construction budget by half compared to traditional site-based building methods. It has also dramatically reduced the building’s carbon footprint.

Other environmental features of the scheme include pre-installed timber cladding from sustainable sources, natural ventilation, energy efficient lighting, brise soleil sunshading and water conservation devices.

Built by Foremans to a challenging timescale in just five months from receipt of order, ready for the start of the new academic year, the two-storey building comprises 46 pre-owned steel modules. The units were fully refurbished and pre-fitted out off site, significantly reducing the programme time, and were craned into position during the school holidays to minimise any disruption to teaching.

The purpose-designed facilities include seven general classrooms, a fully equipped IT suite, study and social areas, and faculty offices, replacing a dilapidated and sub-standard ‘temporary’ teaching block which had been in use for the past 35 years.

Commenting on the new building, Maggie Rafee, Head Teacher at Alperton Community School, said, “Feedback about the new building from students, staff and governors has been consistently excellent, and it has had a very positive effect on morale. It is fantastic to have one dedicated building for the sixth form, rather than having to share facilities as previously.”

She added, “We felt Foremans demonstrated the best experience and resources to undertake this project, and the sustainability benefits of pre-owned modular buildings were a key factor in our choice of the approach. We aim to educate all our students about the importance of recycling, and this is an excellent way of demonstrating how the school is helping to meet the green agenda with its own actions.”

“Foremans managed the project very well, with no disruption to the school, despite working on a very constrained site and to a challenging programme, and completed the scheme and the high level of fitting out to time and on budget.”

Colin Sampson, Principal Architect at Sampson Associates, said, “We are very pleased with this building. Initially we were sceptical about whether the pre-owned approach could deliver the quality we aspired to. In reality, you cannot tell the difference between this and new build.”

“The project also demonstrates how the addition of architectural elements such as timber cladding, brise soleil and an entrance canopy can enhance a building, successfully satisfying planning requirements as well as the needs of the school and the community.”

“The new sixth form centre has been delivered at half the cost of traditional new build and with a miniscule carbon footprint. We would definitely use the Foremans approach again.”

The use of pre-owned modular buildings is one of the most environmentally friendly methods of construction, and a highly sustainable alternative to new build and to the demolition and disposal of buildings in landfill sites. It generates less than 10 per cent of the carbon emissions and uses less than 3 per cent of the energy during construction, compared to a newly manufactured building of equivalent size (source: Modular and Portable Building Association/Arup).


For further information about Foremans and the recycling, refurbishment and re-use of modular buildings, call 01964 544344, email or visit

For further PRESS information, please contact:

Joanne Bridges, Bridges Communications
Tel: 01489 570898
Fax: 01489 570888

Editor’s Notes

1.Foremans specialises in the supply of quality recycled and refurbished modular buildings, designed to individual project requirements. In addition to its sustainability benefits, the approach offers a range of other advantages:

-A cost-effective alternative to new build
-Programme times for high quality temporary or permanent accommodation reduced by up to 70 per cent.
-Off-site working is maximised for safer, quieter and cleaner sites and reduced disruption
-The buildings can be easily expanded, reconfigured or removed if space requirements change
-High quality steel-framed modular buildings are built to last and require fewer groundworks than traditional site-based construction – further reducing cost, disruption and programme times.

2.Foremans modular buildings are suitable for a wide range of applications in the education sector, including school extensions, classroom blocks, offices, dining facilities, lecture theatres, pre-school nurseries and laboratories.

3.Foremans provides a nationwide service from its 24,000 sqm production centre in East Yorkshire, and its southern regional office in Dunstable. It offers a full range of construction services, including planning, finance, design and space planning, project management, groundworks, fitting out, delivery and site installation, testing and commissioning.


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