School with concrete flooring constructed during coronavirus outbreak

During 12 weeks of the coronavirus outbreak, the main structure of a school in Harlow with concrete flooring was built. The school is scheduled to open in 2021.

Students at Sir Frederick Gibberd College have been taught in temporary accommodation since September 2019. During the lockdown, when the students were not at the college, the temporary buildings were demolished and a new school was built.

The school is constructed from 198 modular sections that were made inside a factory, which significantly reduced onsite construction time. The concrete flooring was added in the factory to each module instead of the normal practice of pouring concrete on site.

The construction was classed as essential work by the government. There has been a concern in the construction industry about the practicality of introducing safety measures to protect workers from the COVID-19 virus. Caledonian Modular, which built the school, worked in accordance with government safety guidelines when making the school modules inside its factory.

Lucia Glynn of BMAT, which operates the school, said:

“The new building we have created is fit for 21st-Century learning. It has been very interesting for us to watch the modules brought onto site like Lego and turned into a building.”

Modular construction has many advantages, including speed, better quality, less waste and simpler onsite logistics. Also, since rain can compromise the floor’s strength during construction, pouring a concrete flooring in a module constructed indoors is something that can be done in any weather.

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