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Thursday 31st January 2019

The advantages & disadvantages of modular education design



Venue: RICS, Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AD

Time; 7.45 - 10.15am


The use of modular construction for education buildings is not new, with many examples in existence in our schools and colleges as temporary or permanent solutions. However the recent drive for off-site manufacture and compliance has generated a new interest in these type of buildings, but with this has come greater scrutiny in terms of their performance. 

Come and join us for the first ECN breakfast of 2019 where our panel will discuss:

  • What are we classing as modular?

  • Has modular lost its reputation as being only a temporary solution?

  • Is it as flexible and adaptable as we are lead to believe?

  • Is there an economy of scale where modular is more appropriate than other forms of construction?

  • Why is there a different Output Specification being used for the DfE Modular Framework?


Emily King


Emily is a construction and education professional. She joined Portakabin as the company’s Education Specialist and has worked extensively with the ESFA; including leading all of Portakabin’s work on the Priority School Building Programmes.

With a Masters degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Emily has previously held roles for leading construction consultants, including Arup and Mott MacDonald. Earlier in her career she taught physics and was Head of Science and Technology at a secondary school, giving her exceptional practical insight into teaching and learning.

She has particular expertise in pre-construction management, detailed engineering design, design team management and project management.

Andrew Shepherd
Mid Group

Andrew has several years of experience in funding and delivering construction projects, having worked for an international contractor, FTSE 100 developer and “Big 4” accountancy firm. In 2014 Andrew set up the Mid Group, which in less than 4 years has grown to become a top 50 construction business in the UK, according to independent Glenigan’s data, based on securing turnover of over £175m in the last 12 months.

Mid Group is a main contractor, who focuses on deploying offsite solutions to a range of project types. This specialism has seen Mid Group being named “Contractor of the Year” in the 2018 Offsite Awards.  The Mid Group approach is to purchase offsite products from a range of manufacturers, identifying the best product for each individual project.  

Andrew has been a guest lecturer at Cambridge University on its Construction Engineering Masters programme since 2011. 

Andrew worked closely with HM Government in writing its Industrial Strategy for Construction, “Construction 2025”.  He has also worked directly with Governments in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, working on innovative delivery strategies for infrastructure.

Claire Jackson
Galliford Try

Claire Jackson is education sector strategy lead at Galliford Try, where education work is the biggest single sector across the country for the Building Division. 


Claire is a Chartered Building Surveyor with over 30 years’ experience in construction, working client side, in a consultant role and now for a main contractor.  For the last 12 years Claire has specialised in education, delivering new and refurbished schools through Building Schools for the Future (BSF), Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP) and Free schools programmes.


At Galliford Try, Claire leads the national education team who are responsible for driving innovation and collaboration across the company, ensuring the delivery of high quality education buildings.

Rafael Marks
Penoyre & Prasad

Rafael joined Penoyre & Prasad in 2004, becoming an Associate in 2008 and Associate Partner in 2017. He has worked on a diverse portfolio of education projects, both in the UK and abroad, and has led a number of award winning school projects. He recently completed the Bobby Moore Academy secondary school, an exemplar high-rise school in the heart of the Olympic Park.  He brings a wealth of experience in designing learning environments as well as expertise in client engagement, project management and sustainability.


He has taught and lectured at a number of different architectural schools including the University of Cape Town, London Metropolitan University, South Bank University and Cambridge University and is a Design Think Tank Leader at the London School of Architecture.  He is also a Trustee of the Dulwich Hamlet Educational Trust which completed a free school in Peckham, south London.

Mark Hargreaves
DLA Architecture

Mark has considerable experience leading education sector projects particularly developing design solutions for schools under DfE Frameworks. Mark has overseen the successful design development of the recent component based Mod A primary school schemes. He represents the need to transform the education sector using off-site technologies leading DLA to design over 5000 school places over the past 18 months. This has included a national programme of varying form entry size primary schools based on a highly flexible approach to component design to meet the DfE’s output spec.


In recent years Mark has developed standardised school solutions for various clients and contractors across the UK to support a variety of projects and frameworks contributing to the design of over 15,000 school places in the education sector.

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