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Mon September 28 2020

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O’Rourke and Atkins offer cut-price kit schools

23 Sep 11 A collaboration of Laing O’Rourke and Atkins has developed a model for reducing school building costs by using standardised prefab components.

Laing O'Rourke built Lister Community School in Newham, London
Laing O'Rourke built Lister Community School in Newham, London

The Laing O’Rourke/Atkins method claims to be 30% cheaper than traditional on-site building methods. They say that they can design and build a school within 18 months to the standard specifications outlined in the government’s construction strategy.

Contractor Laing O’Rourke and consultant Atkins were involved in the design and delivery of more than a third of schools under the old Building Schools for the Future scheme.

They claim that Laing O’Rourke’s investment in off-site manufacturing capability and Atkins’ technical and management expertise can produce quality school buildings more quickly and cheaply.

This kind of standardisation was one of the key recommendations of the government’s recent James review into school building efficiciency.

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Atkins education director Philip Watson said: “This design and delivery approach is both unique and proven in the market, and is actively honed and refined on major school building programmes underway in the UK right now.

“The blue-print utilises a kit of parts that responds to the needs of the end-user.  This allows us to create a large variety of flexible, customised layouts that deliver huge cost efficiencies at a time when every penny must count”.

Laing O’Rourke’s European CEO Roger Robinson said: “While many of our competitors are simply talking about what’s possible, we are delivering our unique sustainable schools solution in the UK today.  This is possible because of the investment we have made in our state-of-the art manufacturing facility, together with our direct employment model, which gives us the surety and control necessary to build standardised schools better, faster and for less. Our approach complements the government’s recently announced priority school building programme and the wider aims to achieve better buildings and better value”.

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