Portakabin, the UK’s leading modular building supplier, has provided Derby City Council with three new Children’s Centres, as part of phase two of the Government’s Sure Start Children’s Centre initiative.
Having used traditional buildings to complete phase one of the project, the Council opted for the reassurance of a timely delivery of a modular building solution for phase two, citing minimal on-site disruption as another key reason for the switch to modular.
Children Centres provide multi-agency services for families, incorporating everything from childcare and health services to employment support and training. The Council inspected a number of existing Portakabin Lilliput Children’s Centres and was extremely impressed by the high-quality modular buildings which are designed around the needs of children.
Councillor Sara Bolton, Cabinet member for Children and Young People at the Council says: “In Phase one we were under a great deal of pressure to get some major building work finished in a very short timescale, trying to manage all the variables of traditional building projects around the needs of operational school sites.
“For Phase two we wanted to be certain that we could comfortably complete the projects on time. For that reason we decided to create stand-alone buildings, rather than school extensions, and to choose modular buildings, which would give us much more certainty, reduce the risk of unexpected delays and keep disruption on site to a minimum.”
Portakabin worked closely with the architect, Morrison Design, who had been involved in the project from the outset, helping the Council to identify suitable sites and drawing up plans for the three modular Children’s Centres. Working together with the architect, Portakabin was able to adapt original designs to incorporate wrap-around care for three to four-year-olds, training rooms, midwifery rooms, crèches and community rooms.
Additionally, Portakabin liased with Hallam Contracts, the main contractor, to ensure the buildings were delivered and installed on schedule. All three buildings were craned into position and set up in a matter of days, without any disturbance to the nearby schools.
Nigel Herrington, Contracts Manager at Hallam Contracts, says: “We developed a very good working relationship with Portakabin, based on honest and open information sharing. Consequently the project ran very smoothly and won a lot of praise from the Council, who were exceptionally happy.”
Portakabin offers an array of design features, architectural structures and aesthetic finishes, which enable its clients to create modular buildings that meet their precise requirements. Flexible designs include a choice of striking colours to blend in or contrast with existing structures along with a wide choice of canopies and distinctive roofs to either match the profile of the surrounding area or create a stunning design statement.
Utilising the extensive design options available, Derby City Council chose to finish the buildings with a brick skin or rendered blockwork to blend in with the school buildings. Two had stylish bull-nose fascias and one had a pitched roof, to complete its traditional appearance.
The Council opted for a full turn-key package from Portakabin, including everything from groundworks through to service connections and fitting out the building. A Project Manager, supplied by Portakabin was on site at all times to ensure the buildings were completed on time and to the highest of standards. The individual modules were craned into place in a matter of days, minimising disruption to the daily running of the school.
Renowned for exemplary customer service, Portakabin received 100 per cent scores for each of the three projects within the customer satisfaction surveys completed by the Council following the delivery of the projects.
Councillor Bolton adds: “We found it a very easy project to work on, thanks to excellent co-operation from the contractors, architect and Portakabin. Everything was made so straightforward for us and we are extremely happy with the finished buildings. Everyone has been surprised and impressed by the quality of the facilities – and the end users are delighted. It’s the attention to detail and the thought that has gone into the finishing touches that have impressed people the most – details like the finger guards on the doors to protect children’s fingers. The buildings will be operational very soon and we can’t wait to start using them.”
The Portakabin modular buildings were also delivered with a five-year product warranty and 20 year structural warranty¹ as well as the pioneering Portakabin Customer Charter. This states that if Portakabin fails to deliver a project on time and to the agreed contract sum, the customer will be entitled to an additional twelve months product warranty².
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¹All Portakabin buildings that are purchased come with a five-year product warranty, which covers the external fabric of the building and a 20-year structural warranty, which covers the load bearing elements of the building.
² Terms and Conditions apply. A copy is available on request.