How does early engagement benefit your build project?

Early engagement between your chosen design and build contractor and your estate team is vital to ensure the success of your build project. The earlier you engage in conversation will result in a stronger understanding of your project and your estate’s needs. 

The very best early engagement begins with a seed of a building design and a blank piece of paper! 

The best design and build contractors love nothing more than sitting down with you and your team with a blank page. This is the time where they invite you to offload everything that you wish your new building to be, from its teaching purpose, layout, design, teaching equipment and even discussions as to how pupils will integrate from existing buildings to your new building. This is the time to get everything out in the open, even considerations as to how the building could be used in the future, so that it meets your needs now and in years to come. 

At the same time, having your contractor visit your site and look around your environment will pay dividends for your design. An experienced design and build contractor will be able to evaluate and advise on the suitability of the proposed site and any issues that they may foresee with planning. They will be able to give informed advice as to the new building’s orientation, and how it could best fit within your environment. Along with practical issues such as delivery access and how to minimise disruption to your day-to-day school life and neighbours. 

“The great thing about early engagement on a school project is all of the early considerations that are made. Such as the discussions around safeguarding the children within the school environment. Considerations for the wider community, such as neighbours. Logistics of how the materials are going to come into a busy school environment. All of these were considered by Modulek, enabling the build to run as smoothly as possible.” 

Sarah Hickman
Central Liaison Officer
Viking Academy Trust 

The concept design stage allows for ideas to be visually conveyed. You will be able to see how through these early conversations your building design has evolved into everything that you aspired it would be. 

Early engagement also enables you and your stakeholders to have a greater ownership of your project. This collaborative approach gives you the opportunity to view the holistic vision of the build, something that is amazing to share with your pupils and parents. 

It also enables your estate team to be fully involved and understand the operational build logistics and timeframes. 

To Modulek, early engagement is key. Modulek arrange to come and meet with you and your team at the earliest opportunity, eliminating the need to instruct third parties for building consultancy services or design drawings as this all falls under their fixed price turnkey service. 

Modulek offer a complementary site consultation and will bring their blank sheets of paper (or iPad!) and sit with you and your team and listen to your vision of your new building. 

“Modulek provides a full turnkey design and build process. This allows projects to progress to the planning authorities quicker. This is because the fundamentals are developed in the early stages. This avoids multiple dialogues with other trades such as architects and engineers. All of this is reviewed during the commercial process. Once a project is on board, Modulek’s team of experts get to work. With a wealth of experience and knowledge in construction, engineering, and architecture. All areas of expertise work hand in hand to give the client the confidence and ability to watch their vision come true.” 

Chris Moore
Design Manager

Modulek has a wide repertoire of experience working within educational estates. Sensitive to the needs of traditional and historical buildings as well as working with Local Authorities for estates that are in Conservation Areas or have Listed Buildings on site.

If you are looking to discuss a new build project please call to see how we can work with you.

We will be exhibiting at The Society of Heads Annual Conference at the end of February, The Independent Schools Association Conference and The Independent Schools Bursars Association in May. Please do come along and see us if you are attending.

This article was originally published in the Independent Schools Magazine for February 2023.

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