TG Escapes modular eco-buildings have provided more than 300 education buildings in various settings UK wide. Over the past few years there has been a significant increase in demand from special schools and for SEND provision in mainstream schools.
Those working in SEND and SEMH report that a timber frame building using natural materials, with floor to ceiling windows and glass doors, also providing easy access to the outdoors with covered walkways, provide a particularly suitable environment.
Each TG Escapes building is architect designed with specific needs in mind. Small rooms can be included for breakout spaces while treatment rooms and sensory rooms can be easily accommodated, as can accessible toilets, ramps and kitchens.
The natural materials and excellent acoustics provide calming spaces which have a significant and positive impact on student and staff well-being.
Two recent projects have seen the provision of a building to connect to a SEND garden at Chichester College which provides further and higher education, and a multi-purpose building at Mountfield Heath SEMH school for students aged 5-11 with complex and challenging needs.
We asked Executive Head at Mountfield Heath, Lyndsey Jefferies about the process and the building.
How did you find the construction service?
“I think the most important thing to share from my experience was the actual build. We were quite a small site and the space the team had to work in was tight but they were fantastic. They were so respectful of the fact they were working on a site with special needs children. They kept us up to date with what plant was coming on-site and knew that many of our children were very excited to see it. They let us know what machinery was coming and when so that the kids could be very involved and watch what was happening. Also, in terms of their conduct, we have previously had workmen here smoking, using foul language and playing loud radios. The TG Escapes team were just so respectful.
Timing was tight but every delivery came in spot on schedule. This really helped with us to be able to let our neighbours know when big deliveries were due which made the build less stressful. Dealing with complaints from neighbours can be tricky, but we could give them advance warning of large deliveries and noisy building work. It also meant I could move children to other parts of the school when needed.”
How is the eco-building working out?
“The first thing is it feels lovely. It feels very bright and airy and because we are in quite a rural area it really is in keeping with the woodland, the trees and the fields. It doesn’t look out of place with our environment.
The natural materials change the feel of it and I think for a modular build it feels really solid and robust. The other thing is all the rooms have got lots of light, but there has been careful consideration about it. The kitchen area is a long galley with floor to ceiling windows that maximise the natural light.
The height of the ceilings is another massive plus. Often the ceilings in modular builds are very low so you feel very enclosed, but our ceilings are of a really good height which gives a feeling of space. A lot of our children suffer from sensory processing issues and so the lighting and the feel of a space are very important, as are the acoustics. The acoustics in our building are very good. Although many modular builds are very echoey ours is not because of the ceiling tiles which are different to the rest of the school. We also have adaptive ventilation, due to our concerns about Covid, and air conditioning which are also great. The insulation is phenomenal and the building heats up very quickly then holds the heat. It’s very efficient.
What works very well are the verandas. Having the decking coming straight off the front, that indoor/outdoor space works very well with our children. TG Escapes took full consideration of the school environment and maintained excellent communication.”
Robert Kay, Director of Estates at Chichester College says “TG Escapes provide a real ‘turn key’ solution, and take care of everything, from design to planning and final installation.”
TG Escapes modular eco-buildings offer a complete design and build service.
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