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New performing arts building completed after just 9 weeks on site – and a highly sustainable solution

Foremans Relocatable Building Systems, the UK’s largest supplier of recycled and refurbished modular buildings, has completed a new performing arts centre at Swanshurst School in Birmingham after only nine weeks on site. 

Because the building is constructed from pre-owned building modules, it is also a highly sustainable construction solution.

Swanshurst School is a specialist science college for girls, with 1,800 students and 250 pupils in its mixed sixth form.  Designed by Bournville Architects, the new centre was required to support music, drama and dance across the school, replacing outdated temporary classrooms which had been in use for the past 20 years.

The scheme is clad in silver aluminium composite panels to provide an attractive yet robust finish which also complements the school sports hall. 

New performing arts building completed after just 9 weeks on site - and a highly sustainable solution

The pre-owned modular building was fully refurbished and reconfigured to the school’s exact requirements.  It provides a dance classroom, two drama rooms, an ensemble room, two music classrooms and two individual music practice rooms.  Special requirements included blackout facilities, lighting rigs and extensive acoustic protection between rooms.

Commenting on the choice of construction method, David Clarke, Senior Architectural Technician at Bournville Architects, said, “We have worked with Foremans on three other projects and are confident in their ability to deliver on programme and on cost.  They have a fantastic product – fast installation, high quality workmanship, and a high degree of flexibility.”

New performing arts building completed after just 9 weeks on site - and a highly sustainable solution

“Because Foremans provides a second use for buildings, their solutions offer tremendous value, which enables us to meet client requirements to the available budget.  On this project we were able to give the building a more contemporary appearance with the use of a cladding system and used high specification internal partitions to provide the necessary sound proofing.”

“The team hit the programme comfortably despite the tight programme and handed it over after only nine weeks on site.”

Annette Tyler, Bursar at Swanshurst School, said, “This is the second Foremans building at the school and we are delighted with it.  The quality is excellent and it was delivered with no disturbance to the school whatsoever.”                              

“Sustainability is also important to the school and all our staff and students are committed to recycling so the Foremans solution was a great example of that in practice.”

The music and drama building follows Foremans’ completion of a 12-module single storey teaching block at the school.  It is also their third education scheme with Bournville Architects.

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 highly cost-effective alternative to new build
  • Programme times for high quality temporary or permanent school buildings are reduced by up to 70 per cent.
  • Off-site working is maximised for safer, quieter and cleaner sites and reduced disruption to teaching
  • The buildings can be easily expanded, reconfigured or removed if education 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.

Editor’s Notes

  1. The use of recycled modular buildings is one of the most environmentally sound methods of construction:
    • 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: MPBA/Arup).
    • It is highly thermally efficient.  In England, tests for air permeability on pre-owned modular buildings are not compulsory.  However, in independent tests, Foremans recycled modular buildings have performed up to 80 per cent better than Building Regulations requirements.  This means reduced energy consumption, and lower running costs and carbon emissions.
  1. Foremans offers the UK’s largest selection of refurbished Portakabin buildings available from stock.  It provides a nationwide service from its 30,000 sqm production centre in East Yorkshire, and its southern regional office in Dunstable. 

The company offers a full range of construction services, including planning, finance, design, space planning, project management, groundworks, fitting out, delivery, site installation, testing and commissioning.  

Tel: 01964 544344.


For further PRESS information, please contact:                                           F/09/49a

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

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