Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Tata Steel develops kit of parts for schools

30 July 2020

Tata Steel has teamed up with two offsite manufacturers, Elliott Group and the McAvoy Group, to develop a kit of parts to allow energy efficient schools to be built offsite before being shipped to their final location.

The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-funded project aims to show how standardised components can be mass-produced to deliver better quality, performance and value for sectors including education and healthcare, using a process similar to the car industry.

Other firms in the consortium include offsite building expert Blacc; the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC); the Active Building Centre (ABC); and the National Composite Centre (NCC).

The news comes just weeks after the government announced a scheme to modernise the nation’s schools. The rebuilding programme will start in 2020-21 with the first 50 projects supported by more than £1bn in funding.

The government aims to reduce the construction costs and whole life costs of buildings by a third, while seeing those same buildings delivered in half the time and with a 50% reduction in carbon emissions from the construction sector.

Phil Clements, Tata Steel UK technical director, said: “Traditional building techniques using bricks, mortar and wood can be slow, wasteful and have a significant impact on the environment.

“This project will allow thousands of children to have access to education in buildings which have been designed using the latest technology, constructed off-site to lower emissions and can be repurposed and recycled.”


Very interested to know if this product would be transferrable to other parts of the world.

I am involved in a PPP program in Saudi Arabia (similar to the old BSF schools) and we see modularization as a key to the rapid improvement in schools here.

Would welcome your thoughts.

Andy Thomas

Andrew Thomas, 31 July 2020