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Yorkon completes new highly sustainable building for York’s newest secondary school

Award-winning off-site construction specialist and Portakabin subsidiary, Yorkon, has completed a purpose-designed and highly sustainable education building for York High School – York’s newest secondary school.

The £2m project was part of a £10m contract awarded to Clugston Construction to refurbish and extend the site of the former Oaklands School, and create a new, larger campus for York High School following the merger of two schools.

Yorkon sustainable school building

The modular building, which comprises 52 steel-framed units in three different sizes, was manufactured by Yorkon and craned into position in just six days, reducing disruption and time on site by around 50 per cent.

Completed in only six months, the new two-storey 1,900sqm scheme has replaced a number of sub-standard teaching buildings with state-of-the-art education facilities, and accommodates the Communications Faculty for English and Modern Languages, and the Inclusion Faculty.

Architectural features include a barrel-vaulted roof with central light wells, an impressive oversailing roof which forms an entrance canopy, and a range of external claddings to create a statement building – cedar and terracotta, with metal rainscreen panels to the upper floor on each elevation. There are also a number of sustainable elements to reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions and running costs:

• Biomass heating
• Passive ventilation
• The use of light wells and a high level of glazing to maximise natural light and reduce the reliance on artificial lighting
• Rainwater harvesting for toilet flushing
• Timber cladding from sustainable sources.

Alan Thomas, Architect, City of York Council, said, “This is the first time we have used off-site construction for a new school building, and we are very impressed. The construction process, management of the site, and the liaison with the main contractor, all worked very well, and Yorkon’s design resources were beneficial to the Council’s own architectural team.”

“The use of off-site construction gave us certainty of completion on time despite the challenging programme for the whole campus, and it allowed us to take this building off the critical path. It reduced time on site and disruption, allowing the adjacent sports centre to remain fully operational throughout the construction programme and ensuring the safety of the general public. We would have no hesitation in recommending the approach, and Yorkon, to other schools and local authorities.”

Tony Clohesy, Project Manager at Clugston Construction, said, “This contract went very well, and Yorkon and Clugston had an excellent working relationship. Yorkon took responsibility for the construction of this building, which reduced our management time, and allowed us to focus on the other elements of this major school redevelopment.”

“I am pleased to report we delivered it on time and on budget, and we would definitely use off-site construction, and Yorkon, again.”

The building comprises seven general classrooms and four language laboratories, a new science laboratory, dining and social facilities, offices, behaviour management rooms, a hygiene suite and toilets for staff and pupils.

It has also been designed to be flexible and adaptable to change. The internal walls are non load-bearing and there are clear internal spans of up to 12m, so the teaching spaces can easily be reconfigured to meet the school’s changing requirements over time.


Editor’s Notes

1. Yorkon has an extensive track record in the education sector, having completed a wide variety of projects ranging from self-contained teaching buildings and classroom extensions for both primary and secondary schools, to a purpose-designed adult education centre, and schemes for independent schools.

2. The Yorkon steel-framed modular building system is a highly sustainable alternative to traditional site-based construction. It offers:

• Improved thermal efficiency. Yorkon steel-framed modular buildings are more thermally efficient than traditional site-based construction and consistently perform up to 70 per cent better than Building Regulations requirements (Part L2A) in full-scale independent tests for air permeability.
• Reduced energy consumption. Up to 67 per cent less energy is required to produce a modular building compared to an equivalent traditionally-built project (source: Arup)
• Reducing congestion and carbon emissions. The Yorkon off-site approach generates up to 90 per cent fewer vehicle movements to site (source: Mtech)
• Environmental policy. Yorkon is one of the first modular manufacturers to achieve ISO 14001 accreditation – the internationally-recognised standard for reducing impact on the environment.
• New greener design options. Yorkon has introduced a series of new design options for ‘greener’ modular buildings, to encourage the use of renewable sources of energy, reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, and promote recyclability.
• Waste reduction. Off-site construction reduces on-site waste by up to 90 per cent (source: WRAP). Over the past three years, Yorkon has achieved a 50 per cent reduction in the volume of waste sent to landfill over the last three years.
• Recycling. Yorkon now recycles 78 per cent of all waste and targets are in place to further improve recycling and waste management.

3. If you wish to publish a telephone number for further information, the number for Yorkon is 01904 610990. Please do not print the agency’s number.

For further PRESS information, please contact:

Joanne Bridges, PRO – Yorkon
Bridges Communications
Tel: 01489 570898
Fax: 01489 570888

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