Two-storey classroom block within enclosed courtyard site

Off-site construction offers safe, efficient way to install two-storey classroom block within enclosed courtyard site

Ninestiles School is an outstanding ‘convertor' academy in Birmingham. It required six new classrooms to meet increased demand for places and to replace an outdated facility.

This challenging project for Thomas Vale Construction had to be delivered in a tight timescale to meet funding requirements, and had to be built in a completely enclosed courtyard in the centre of the school.

The Portakabin Group was appointed to provide a two-storey classroom building constructed using its Yorkon building solution. Off-site construction was chosen because of the constraints of the courtyard site, which had no vehicular access. It allowed the building structure to be prefabricated and partially fitted out in the factory, before being craned into position over the existing school in just a few days.

“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… The whole construction team on this project has been courteous, professional and willing throughout, making it very easy.”
Christine Quinn, Principal, Ninestiles School

Working in partnership with the project team, the Portakabin Group programmed the lifting operation for the half-term holiday, so there was no safety risk to pupils and no disruption to teaching.

Christine Quinn, Principal of Ninestiles School, says: “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 building features brick cladding to the ground floor with a contrasting white finish to the upper floor, a full-height glazed stairwell and 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 factory to further reduce work on site. This robust floor is used for high-traffic areas and to reduce sound transmission.

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