Low cost schools

Given the economic climate, it is even more important to find ways to ensure that our school buildings are value for money. It's not just about the cost of the bricks and mortar, however. It's critical that the quality of the design is well-considered holistically to create a school that is efficient, robust and sustainable - an asset to its local community that can stand the test of time. Refurbishing existing buildings has many inherent benefits to offering new and additional education space, though they need to be approached carefully to ensure good use of public funding. In assessing school designs across England, we found that it's often the simpler, more rational school designs that deliver optimal spaces and conditions for learning. Good design can, in fact, save money. It's also about finding the right route to get there that embeds issues of cost, design and education from the start. Here are some people who I collaborate with that can offer support and guidance along the way.

Cost advice

Jon De Maria. Jon is a quantity surveyor with over 25 years experience of working in the UK construction sector. He also has significant experience of free Schools as a parent promoter of one of the first 25 DfE pilot projects. As chair of the parent steering group Jon is helping lead the creation of the Bollingbroke Academy, a secondary school for 900 students in south west London, which is due to open in September 2012. Jon has worked closely with ARK, who will be managing the operation of the school. From his work on the Free School he is also pioneering a study on the use of unique 3D hologram technology in schools.

Click here for information about Jon De Maria

Low-cost design examples

Click here for information about low-cost school design

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