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01 July 2016

Portakabin Expands Services to Schools with Launch of Design Service for Interim Science Laboratories


Portakabin, the UK's leading modular building specialist, has launched a new design and planning service for interim science, design and technology classrooms.

Portakabin has supplied science laboratories for short-term use for the past four years and has now expanded its services to offer further assistance to schools and colleges. Its specialist classrooms for hire are designed to academy standards and Department for Education guidelines for space, layout, safety and fittings.

Bespoke designs can now be provided to meet each school's specific requirements, as well as standard layouts which can be adapted to reduce procurement time. The Portakabin design team will work in close collaboration with teaching staff to develop the best solution for the school and the site.

Specialist equipment, including furniture, can be provided for short-term use or Portakabin can fit out the teaching spaces with the school's own equipment if required, for maximum flexibility.

According to Robert Snook, Director and General Manager at Portakabin, "The design of learning spaces plays such an important role in children's education.  There should be no compromise on the quality of the teaching accommodation, whether the classrooms are for permanent or interim use. Our aim is to provide learning environments that encourage pupils and teaching staff to engage and interact. Science laboratories are also the most hazardous of all classrooms so it is vital that safety precautions and devices are designed in, to significantly reduce risk."

Levels of fitting out can be varied according to the type of laboratory - classrooms for chemistry, for example, require more specialist services and equipment. Options include: 

-       Science laboratories for biology, physics and chemistry - benching, gas taps supplied from mains or LPG bottled gas, double electric points, non-slip vinyl flooring, air extraction and ventilation, hard-wearing work tops, stools, emergency eye wash stations, fume cupboards, docking stations and preparation rooms

-       Design and technology rooms - work benches with vices for metal or woodwork, extraction fans, laser cutting equipment, store rooms, pillar drills, 3D printers and interactive white boards

-       Food technology - hobs and ovens, sinks and drainers, fully-fitted cabinets and cupboards, microwaves, fridges, fume extraction, washing machines, dishwashers, tumble dryers, freezers and durable work tops.

Newman Catholic School in Cumbria recently used the new Portakabin design and planning service and now has a full range of interim specialist classrooms in place. The teaching spaces include design and technology, ICT, food technology and science, which will be in use until a long-term solution is developed for the school's flood-damaged buildings. 

Lisa Love, Head of Science at Newman Catholic School said, "The space in the science classrooms is incredible. The design of the laboratories makes it really easy for teaching staff to supervise and interact with students during lessons. The layout has been configured to make the teaching space really accessible so we can help students with their work and provide one-to-one guidance." 

"From a safety perspective we really like the way the gas, electricity and water supplies have been separated in all of the rooms. We have more gas taps than before which makes lesson planning easier and students can now work in pairs. There is more storage space in the preparation rooms and the smart boards are very well used for interactive learning."

"The service from Portakabin has been exceptional from start to finish and has definitely exceeded our expectations. The students love their classrooms and we would absolutely recommend their services and buildings to other schools needing emergency accommodation or specialist teaching spaces for short-term use."        


For further information about interim education buildings for primary and secondary schools and colleges, visit www.portakabin.co.uk, email information@portakabin.co.uk or call 0845 401 0010.

Editor's Notes

1.    Accommodation solutions for schools from Portakabin provide:

  • Buildings delivered with much less disruption to teaching
  • A wide variety of aesthetic and fitting out options to reduce procurement time and improve the learning environment
  • Spacious and light classrooms
  • Programme times reduced by up to 50 per cent
  • Enhanced quality and a robust steel-framed construction suitable for the most demanding school situation
  • A sustainable alternative to site-based building methods - less waste, improved building performance and fewer vehicle movements to site
  • An even wider range of architectural options and amenities such as free-standing canopies and shelters, vinyl wraps, covered walkways, outdoor classrooms, cycle storage, street furniture and play equipment.

2.    Portakabin is a registered trademark which must only be used to refer to modular buildings that are known to have been manufactured by the Portakabin Group. Please note, Portakabin is not a generic term.

3.    The Portakabin Group is part of the Shepherd Group.