The quality of education in our schools can be a subject of great concern. Many societies worldwide spend an inordinate amount of time and money hoping that children will grow and learn in a harmonious environment. It is very well known that schooling conditions and activities matter most, as these give children’s development, a significant boost. However, can the construction industry significantly contribute to better learning environments?
The answer is easy. Twenty first-century organisations, including those in construction, as part of their sustainable development vision and strategy, invest in improving educational outcomes. This is indeed a key element in the UK’s Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012. With over 20 years of experience in construction, Glenman Corporation has acquired a sizeable educational portfolio that has contributed to our knowledge and understanding of how to build high-quality schools.
Education Projects Coverage Area
Through a considered application of the BREEAM model, we have successfully delivered sustainable, environmentally friendly structures projects which have also provided practical learning resources on environmental/sustainable issues during construction. Over the years, our team has addressed and resolved a wide range of sustainability issues in construction to contribute to BREEAM “Very Good” and “Excellent” outcomes. Achievements include:
• A reduce, reuse and recycle approach applied to all site materials and infrastructure. Outline measures include: On-site reuse of demolition materials where appropriate on garden schemes and improvement projects (e.g. wood, unused paint)
• Use of waste disposal contractors to provide off-site recycling facilities for all categories of waste
• Utilisation of Kingspan’s “Take Back” Scheme for cavity wall insulation. Insulation contractor Kingspan uses trucks that are already on deliveries or returns to collect the bags of off-cuts to reduce vehicle miles
• Utilisation of a similar arrangement for pallets. Abbey Pallets has refurbished over 1000 pallets from Glenman sites over the past year
Kingspan “Take Back” Scheme for Cavity Wall Insulation
Furthermore, our Considerate Constructor Score for Protecting the Environment at St. John XXIII and Plumcroft Primary Schools included an activity to helped youngsters to think creatively, and to express their ideas using a variety of practical materials. For instance, we have stimulated the creative thought process for schoolchildren by introducing a “Design Your Dream School” competition where they were encouraged to integrate sustainable ideas.
“Design Your Dream School” Informative Posters
Many Glenman constructed schools have now been designed and built to deliver high sustainable performance in use and maintenance. In order to achieve excellent sustainable performance across our projects, we make this a key part of our procurement process, including commissioning a sustainability workshop as part of our pre-start activities. Standard agenda items include:
• Preventing pollution
• Reducing carbon dioxide emissions
• Managing construction wastage
• Preserving natural habitats, flora and fauna
• Prefabricating Materials in Controlled Environments
• Considering the effects that our operations may have on the local community
• Working in partnership with the community
• Taking action to eliminate any potentially adverse environmental impacts
• Promoting environmental awareness amongst our staff, suppliers, contractors and partners
• Reviewing our environmental performance regularly so that we achieve continual improvement
The design of schools can have a key impact on the educational performances and well-being. According to National Statistics, the total number of pupils has grown every year since 2009. We have responded by developing responsible ideas which optimise the sustainable performance of the schools.