Offsite: Could schools soon be built in a fortnight?

Seismic offsite feature 26 july 2019 The_McAvoy_Group_049

A consortium of firms aims to create a standardised way to construct hundreds of school buildings a year – and the Department for Education is right behind them

“Who actually goes to the school? It’s mostly children … so why can’t they design it?” That was the question posed by one year five pupil at Shacklewell primary school in Hackney, during a visit from architect and consultant Bryden Wood.

The thought was prompted by an hour playing around on an iPad with an app launched by the Seismic consortium. The program allows users to design a new school for a specific site in just minutes, and the design will be fully compliant with the Department for Education’s (DfE) extensive regulations.

“You could imagine having a competition where everyone designs a school and parents and teachers can vote on the one they like the most,” says Jaimie Johnston, head of global systems at Bryden Wood. “And it wouldn’t really matter who designed it.”

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