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July 2020
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Using modular building systems to create a new community centre and preschool

When Basildon Council wanted to create a new community centre and preschool facility in Nevendon, they selected modular building systems to successfully fast track a valuable community asset with a tight construction schedule spanning just eight months from April to December 2019.

The new building replaces an existing preschool building and a nearby community centre, creating a multifunctional space located on a popular public park site. The requirement was to construct a multifunctional space, creating a totally new facility providing extended potential for the local community.

This was an open public park site in a residential area with 10 storey flats to one side of the development, presenting a number of practical and logistical challenges. Enviro Building Solutions successfully delivered a purpose-designed modular build, managing all aspects from initial demolition works and access road improvements to mains services upgrades, bringing the project in on time and to budget.

Nevendon Community Centre

The scheme, designed and built by Enviro Building Solutions, called for innovative and creative thinking combined with careful design to achieve the end result using modular construction methods. Featuring an event hall with a ceiling height of almost six metres, the project called for new methods of working including design, manufacture, transport and construction.

This section of the building was cleverly crafted for a ‘flatpack’ delivery method to overcome access issues as well as transportation restrictions. Enviro Building Solutions then used standard modular techniques to build the various sized modular bays in the factory, combining these with adapted systems on site to create varied ceiling heights within the building.

With water, electrics and gas mains upgrades all required to provide appropriate services on site, the company introduced a short time span traffic management system to minimise local disruption.

The attractive and functional construction houses a community event hall, preschool facility, full commercial kitchen, members’ bar and lounge, washrooms and storage space. Externally, Enviro Building Solutions also managed the landscaping works, creating a large car park with overflow ‘grasscrete’ area, upgrades to access roads, fencing, floodlighting, bin stores, cycle shed and a soft play area for the preschool facility. 

A complex and comprehensive specification

Nevendon Community Centre – bar in club members area

Work began in April 2019, with the entire project completed and commissioned by early December 2019. This complex community building project includes a full range of external building features with cedar cladding, contrasting brick slip finishes, aluminium windows and doors in contrasting colours, brise soleil aluminium louvres, roller shutters for security and internal rainwater gutter systems to service the differing roof levels. The hall flooring features a high end finish using Junckers Nordic Oak flooring, specified by the client to provide a hard wearing and practical solution.

In addition to the practical site challenges, the advent of the annual local carnival during the build period meant that the project had to be shut down completely for a long weekend, with a safe access route created right across the active site for heavy vehicles to deliver rides and equipment.

“It has been great working with Enviro Building Solutions Ltd on this challenging project,” stated Hazel Collins, Senior Regeneration Officer for Basildon Borough Council. “They actively engaged with the various project stakeholders effectively which helped the delivery of the project.  They have been professional and supportive at all times, with a drive to finding the best resolution to any issues arising to support the project.  This has resulted in a fantastic building that will benefit the community for many years.”

Enviro Building Solutions were on site for just eight months with this project, constructing a new and modern modular community centre far more quickly and efficiently than traditional building methods, which has been welcomed by local residents who are delighted to have a family-orientated meeting space. Both inside and out, the finished building does not have a modular look and feel; it is a solid structure creating a space where people can enjoy spending time.

This was a JCT Design & Build Contract 2016, which also involved Calford Seaden LLP and Mitton Group, who were responsible for all mechanical and electrical works including heating systems, hot and cold water provision, air conditioning, lighting, intruder alarms and CCTV. Modular building construction methods enabled the Mitton team to complete most works offsite to first fix stage plus some elements of second fix, facilitating accurate planning and scheduling, increasing efficiency and reducing time spent on site.

For further information: Enviro Building Solutions Ltd, Gate 1, Units C&D, The Ridings Business Park, Hopwood Lane, Halifax HX1 3TT.

Tel:  01422 647610

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