A Foundation School in the London Borough of Brent has taken delivery of a highly sustainable new sixth form centre, constructed from recycled and refurbished building modules.

Completed by Foremans Relocatable Building Systems, the UK’s largest supplier of second-hand portable buildings, the £1m scheme at Alperton Community School was successfully completed after only seven weeks on site.

The Foremans approach to re-using and refurbishing relocatable and modular buildings reduced the programme time by around 70 per cent and the construction budget by 50 per cent compared to conventional site-based building methods. It has also helped to reduce the school’s carbon footprint.

The sixth form centre, which was designed by architects, Sampson Associates, benefits from a number of other environmental features, including energy efficient lighting, brise soleil sunshading to minimise solar gain, water conservation devices, pre-installed timber cladding from sustainable sources and natural ventilation.

The two-storey modular building was constructed by Foremans Relocatable Building Systems in only 20 weeks from receipt of order, ready for the beginning of the new academic year. It comprises 46 second-hand steel-framed building modules, which were fully refurbished and fitted out off site with new fixtures and internal finishes, further reducing the programme time. The units were then installed during school holidays, avoiding any disruption to teaching.

The purpose-designed sixth form facilities accommodate a fully equipped IT centre, seven general classrooms, staff offices, and study and social areas. The modular building replaces a dilapidated and sub-standard ‘temporary’ teaching block which had been in use for more than three decades.

Colin Sampson, Principal Architect at Sampson Associates, commented, “We are very pleased with this building. Initially we were sceptical about whether the pre-owned approach could deliver the quality we aspired to. In reality, you cannot tell the difference between this and new build.”

“The project also demonstrates how the addition of architectural elements such as timber cladding, brise soleil and an entrance canopy can enhance a building, successfully satisfying planning requirements as well as the needs of the school and the community.”

“The new sixth form centre has been delivered at half the cost of traditional new build and with a miniscule carbon footprint. We would definitely use the Foremans approach again.”

Maggie Rafee, Head Teacher at Alperton Community School, added, “Feedback about the new building from students, staff and governors has been consistently excellent, and it has had a very positive effect on morale. It is fantastic to have one dedicated building for the sixth form, rather than having to share facilities as previously.”

“We felt Foremans demonstrated the best experience and resources to undertake this project, and the sustainability benefits of pre-owned modular buildings were a key factor in our choice of the approach. We aim to educate all our students about the importance of recycling, and this is an excellent way of demonstrating how the school is helping to meet the green agenda with its own actions.”

“Foremans managed the project very well, with no disruption to the school, despite working on a very constrained site and to a challenging programme, and completed the scheme and the high level of fitting out to time and on budget.”

The use of second-hand temporary or relocatable modular buildings for schools is one of the most sustainable methods of construction, and an environmentally sound alternative to new build and to the disposal of buildings in landfill sites.

This highly innovative approach to off-site construction generates less than 10 per cent of the carbon emissions and uses less than 3 per cent of the energy during construction, compared to a newly manufactured building of equivalent size (source: MPBA).

For further information about Foremans Relocatable Building Systems and the recycling, refurbishment and re-use of second-hand modular and portable buildings, call 01964 544344, email or visit

For further PRESS information, please contact: F/09/45a

Joanne Bridges, Bridges Communications
Tel: 01489 570898 Fax: 01489 570888

Editor’s Notes

1. Foremans specialises in the supply of quality recycled and refurbished modular buildings, designed to individual project requirements. In addition to its sustainability benefits, the approach offers a range of other advantages:

– A cost-effective alternative to new build
– Programme times for high quality temporary or permanent accommodation reduced by up to 70 per cent.
– Off-site working is maximised for safer, quieter and cleaner sites and reduced disruption
– The buildings can be easily expanded, reconfigured or removed if space requirements change
– High quality steel-framed modular buildings are built to last and require fewer groundworks than traditional site-based construction – further reducing cost, disruption and programme times.

2. Foremans relocatable and portable modular buildings are suitable for a wide range of applications in the education sector, including school extensions, classroom blocks, offices, dining facilities, lecture theatres, pre-school nurseries and laboratories.

3. Foremans provides a nationwide service from its 24,000 sqm production centre in East Yorkshire, and its southern regional office in Dunstable. It offers a full range of construction services, including planning, finance, design and space planning, project management, groundworks, fitting out, delivery and site installation, testing and commissioning.



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