CPC, the partnership between LHC and Northern Housing Consortium, has provided a solution for the construction of Northumberland County Council’s first-ever building project utilising the latest offsite construction innovation

The result is a stunning 450m2 extension to Horton Grange Primary School in Blyth. Three new classrooms, plus facilities required to support the influx of 105 additional pupils feature high-quality finishes and are built to rigorous standards. The main corridor features a continuous full-length skylight – unique in modular building design – that floods this pivotal area in natural light, creating a welcoming learning environment. The contract was completed early in a breath-taking 14-week programme and below the allocated budget.

Faced with short timescales, the council entrusted the project to experienced Newcastle-upon-Tyne project management consultants Faithful+Gould. The company’s project manager, Mark Chicken, said: “The council’s brief was to deliver a high-quality modular building and achieve best value for money, but also that the result ‘should not look like a modular building’. As this was a pioneering MMC project, we engaged the procurement support of CPC. From their wide range of frameworks, one specifically introduced for Modular Buildings was selected.

“Suppliers are appointed to this framework based on price, quality and compliance, saving precious time and providing both us and the council with the necessary confidence. CPC client support manager Ian Brown’s help and guidance through the framework was invaluable, making the whole process smooth and seamless.”

The contract was awarded to M-AR Offsite. Groundworks started on 16 April, whilst construction of the building commenced in parallel at M-AR’s East Yorkshire facility.

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Delivery of the building was made exactly on time 6 weeks later to coincide with the late spring half-term break, for pupil safety and to avoid any disruption. In an amazing feat of organisation, all 13 modules comprising the building were delivered and fixed in position with millimetre precision in just 24 hours.

Now on-site, M-AR’s experienced site team started the final phase. Bricks used to clad the new building were carefully matched to the existing adjacent classroom brickwork. Module interfaces were taped and jointed prior to full decoration of the interior, whilst final connections to power, data and plumbing services were made.

Finishing touches included the installation of furniture and whiteboards – all part of M-AR’s turn-key project solution. On 19 July the project was handed over, ahead of programme and in ample time for the new school term.

Faithful+Gould’s project manager, Mark Chicken, added: “There has been no compromise to any of the 3 key elements of any construction project – Time, Cost and Quality. In fact, all have exceeded expectations, creating a perfect balance. The school and community have a new building in which they can be justifiably proud, now and for many years to come. For me personally, the experience has been nothing but positive.”

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