Modular construction Case Studies

Ninestiles School, Birmingham

Off-site construction used for educational building

"We really love the new building. Its design is fresh and modern, and the use of glass makes it light and airy. This has been a very positive experience throughout."

The Requirement

A two-storey modular classroom building was required at Ninestiles School - an outstanding ‘convertor' academy in Birmingham.

The overall scheme accommodates six classrooms to help the school meet the increased demand for places and to replace an outdated facility.


The Solution

This challenging project for Thomas Vale Construction had to be delivered in a tight timescale in order to meet funding requirements and was built in a completely enclosed courtyard in the centre of the school. The architects and project managers were Ridge & Partners.
Modular buildings for classrooms

Yorkon's sub-contract involved the use of a large 350-tonne crane to lift the steel-framed modules over the existing school and into the courtyard. By working in partnership with the project team, this operation was programmed for the half term holiday to minimise any disruption to teaching.

Design features include:

  • Brick cladding to the ground floor with a contrasting white finish to the upper floor
  • Windows, doors and aluminium cladding panels in anthracite grey
  • A full height glazed stairwell
  • A glazed link corridor to the main school building.

The facility also has a high performance concrete floor throughout, which was pre-installed in the Yorkon factory to further reduce work on site. This is a robust design option for high traffic areas and to reduce sound transmission.


Modular buildings for schoolsA Constrained Site with Very Little Access

Off-site construction was chosen by the client team for this project because of the site constraints - the building is located in the centre of a courtyard with very little access for materials and equipment. The off-site approach allowed the building structure to be prefabricated and partially fitted out in a factory environment and craned into position over the existing school in just a few days.

With achievements well in excess of national standards, Ninestiles School now has academy status. It is a mixed comprehensive school catering for 1400 pupils with 60 students in the sixth form.

Yorkon has an extensive track record in the primary and secondary education sectors, having completed a wide variety of bespoke modular projects including self-contained teaching buildings, classroom extensions and complete schools, delivering all the advantages of off-site construction.


Modular building for school craned into positionComments from the Project Team

Christine Quinn, Principal of Ninestiles School:

"We really love the new building. Its design is fresh and modern, and the use of glass makes it light and airy. Two of the classrooms on each floor can be opened up into one large flexible space which allows more creative use of the teaching accommodation when we need it."

"We felt the off-site approach was the only solution for this project given the building's location in a totally enclosed courtyard with no vehicular access. The installation phase was exciting and impressive, and whilst we feared a high level of disruption during construction, this actually wasn't the case at all and school life continued unhindered."

"The whole construction team on this project has been courteous, professional and willing throughout, making it very easy. This has been a very positive experience."

Martin Hier, Project Leader, Ridge & Partners:

"The completed building looks great. We worked closely with Yorkon to ensure the highest standard of aesthetics with all the benefits of a standardised and cost-effective building model. There was a strong team ethos throughout, particularly in ensuring the project delivery was achieved to a tight timescale."

"The off-site approach has also delivered greater cost certainty on the project and on a very difficult school site, dramatically reducing any health and safety concerns the client had."

Paul Burchell, Divisional Director, Thomas Vale Construction:

"Our appointment of Yorkon as supply chain partner demonstrated our commitment to ensuring the best possible outcome of the scheme for the end users and stakeholders, in a tight and constrained location. The overall scheme for Ninestiles School is now providing young people and future generations with an innovative and impactful learning environment."

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