A Modulek school building

With the summer holidays now behind us, plans for 2023 and beyond may seem a long way off, but it pays to be ahead of the game when considering your construction method for a new school building. Modular building is fast becoming the construction method of choice for educational establishments for 3 main reasons. 1. The build process is fast and efficient. 2. A fixed cost turnkey solution is preferable for budget purposes 3. There is minimal disruption to site, construction teams are in and out in half the time of traditional built projects. The key for a successful modular project is to plan and engage early with specialist modular construction professionals. Even if you are at concept stage, the advice that modular construction and modular design professionals will give you, can be the most valuable and fun part of the build project. Not only will they be able to guide you with your thought process, but an experienced modular construction professional will also be able to understand the future needs of your school and accommodate these within the design. Having your ideas come to life visually is an important part of the concept design stage, allowing you to see how different layouts work and how different finishes look. By engaging early, it gives you the time to discuss design concepts and consider different options. Looking at different layouts for your new modular building allows you to accommodate space for the best teaching facilities and equipment and how to connect with existing school buildings or utilise space to the outdoors. Interaction with a construction company who specialise in educational modular building design is an exciting part of the process. They will be able to wow you with their ideas and bring to life your vision. They can also bring to the table other ideas and alternative options which you may not have considered. Get ahead of the crowd Whilst modular construction means buildings can be built in any weather, in purpose-built manufacturing facilities, it is still preferred to have good weather, for on-site foundation work. This in turns results in a gold-mine style rush for those in the construction industry, resulting in the summer months being exceptionally busy. This also ties in with the summer holidays being the best time to build whilst pupils are on holidays. Both these combined, result in the summer months being very busy for modular building contractors. It is worth considering starting construction in the early Spring, half term holidays are an ideal time to commence groundworks and Easter allows time for delivery of the building without causing disruption to everyday school. It also means you can avoid competition from other schools! Get your modular contractor of choice Planning your build well in advance also gives you ample time to obtain and compare quotes and have the time to find the modular contractor that is the best fit for you and your school.  Fixed cost projects within the traditional build market are becoming harder to secure due to rising material and labour costs. There have been instances where a project cost has risen by 20% from the initial quote stage to the final order being ready to submit. Keeping to your budget is a very important part of the process and one of the major modular building advantages and early discussions with your modular contractor will allow time for the design to fit within your budget. It is far easier to secure a fixed turnkey project cost with a modular contractor due to the whole offsite build process being more efficient and the timeline between initial enquiry, ordering, delivery, and installation is half the time of a traditional build project. They say that the early bird catches the worm, and by starting to plan early, you will be able to reach key project personnel before they get booked up by everyone else. Modular construction is a fast and efficient way to build, but early engagement is still crucial so that you have the opportunity to take advantage of the concept design stage. It also gives the opportunity for the modular construction professional to provide you with undivided personal attention, site meetings and engage with other key stakeholders who might be involved in the project, resulting in a smoother construction process overall. Get Planning In Construction companies who specialise in modular educational buildings will also be able to advise and complete the planning process on your behalf. They will be able to guide you through the regulations and ensure that the final design will have the best chance of approval and not be subject to any delays or having to resubmit. Give yourself time to get those classrooms ready The most common reason for new educational buildings is to accommodate expanding pupil numbers. This means that you need your modular school building ready to hit the ground running and welcome in pupils and teachers as soon as possible. A fixed price turnkey solution from your chosen modular contractor will provide this for you. From design to planning, delivery and installation, interior fit out and landscaping, all can also be incorporated within a fixed price, giving you peace of mind and financial security for the project cost. James Allen – Beech Hall School said: “The single most important thing that impressed me about my experience with Modulek was the personal attention to detail.”  To view the full case study go to: Charlie Little – Bloxham School, said: “Our school is growing and we needed to look at our capacity and how to accommodate a new Science and Geography block. We are in the middle of a Conservation Area, surrounded by Listed Buildings and it was very difficult, especially in a tight time frame to be able to put in a planning application for a new build and everything that goes with a traditional build. “I put my faith into Dan and his team at Modulek and I was proved correct to do so. “All delivered on

Wates appointed to £7bn schools construction framework

Combe Wood School Croydon - Wates Group £7bn construction framework

Wates maintains long partnership with Department for Education. Wates Group has cemented its long association with the Department for Education (DfE), with the announcement of its appointment to 11 lots of the DfE’s new 2021 Construction Framework (CF21). Under the four-year framework, Wates Construction will continue to deliver projects worth £12m and above in the North and South of England, and for the first time deliver Low Value Band (£500,000 to £6m) projects across the country, alongside Wates Smartspace. Wates has been a key DfE supplier since 2011 and is their first contractor Strategic Supplier Relationship Management partner. Alongside the new framework Wates is currently delivering work via the DfE’s Modern Methods of Construction (MMC-1) framework, which was awarded in January 2020. These framework appointments put Wates at the heart of the Government’s strategy including opening new free schools, and their ambitious 10-year School Rebuilding Programme. Today’s announcement builds on Wates’ heritage as one of the country’s most prolific builders of schools and educational facilities in the country, which dates back over 60 years.   School stats £2bn of Wates delivered schools in the last 15 years 120,000+ pupil places created/supported 244 schools completed, including 75 (£900m) via DfE frameworks £400m+ of school projects currently in preconstruction or on site £15.2m social value generated in 2020, including £7.6m of Social Enterprise spend 2,700 Apprenticeship weeks since 2017 Since Wates built its first school in 1961, it has been at the forefront of innovation in educational design, including its industry leading ‘Adapt’ solution, a component-based school kit which deploys offsite manufacture to provide a more efficient and sustainable method of construction. Now in its third iteration, Adapt has been used successfully to build 64 schools, saving waste and ensuring a consistent, high-quality approach. The Group has also pioneered the development of Net Zero Carbon in Operation (NZCiO) schools, with four Adapt-Zero (NZCiO) schools currently under construction in the North of England via the MMC-1 framework, demonstrating readiness for the CF21 framework NZCiO requirement. Steve Beechey, Group Public Sector Director, said: “We’re proud of our record as one of the country’s leading school builders and excited to be appointed across multiple CF21 lots enabling us to continue and expand upon our long-standing, and successful partnership with the DfE, one of our most important customers. “Over the last ten years, our partnership has been built on the excellent relationships we’ve developed with the DfE, its technical advisers, and the schools themselves. “Our ongoing commitment to delivering the best learning environments has seen us drive innovation in advanced standardisation, delivering the greatest social value and now the smallest environmental footprint – via the NZCiO environments, where our next generation of young people will learn.”    

CopriSystems – sports domes for schools, universities and colleges 

CopriSystems sports hall

MORE SPACE TO PLAY….   CopriSystems design and build bespoke sports structures using natural light and ventilation to create amazing spaces to play in all year round. Available in single spans, both with unlimited length, our installations are suitable for a range of sports including tennis, badminton, 5-a-side football, basketball, netball, cricket, horse riding, swimming pools and many more. They’re also ideal for multi-use sports halls.  CopriSystems has been supplying a full service to schools, colleges and universities across the UK for 30 years, taking care of everything required to cover an existing area or constructing a completely new sports facility. All our structures conform to the relevant building codes and we are SAPCA approved.   FIXED COVERS – NATURAL LIGHT & VENTILATION Our fixed covers provide a striking, contemporary appearance from both inside and out. The covers’ translucent nature means the interior is flooded with natural light in the day, reducing the artificial lighting required and therefore the associated energy costs and carbon footprint. The cover material –high-spec PVC-coated polyester fabric – is self-extinguishing and resistant to abrasion, UV damage and designed to last for more than 20 years. It can be made in variety of contemporary stock colours. Any option of height can be specified to accommodate a huge range of activities and structures can even be joined together to create impressively large playing areas. Whether you’re looking to create a multi-sport or single-use facility, we offer a full turnkey service covering every requirement.    ADDITIONAL FACILITIES & EQUIPMENT To support the use of your new sports area we can incorporate other key facilities such as changing rooms, classrooms, conference halls etc built to your specification. We can also supply additional equipment to easily transform the structure into a spacious events venue.   COUNTLESS OPTIONS All installations are bespoke and we accommodate requirements unique to each client. Previous customisations have included steel-clad walls, available in a variety of colours, which provide enhanced security as well as internal partitions for climbing walls.   PAVILIONS Complete your sports facility with a pavilion designed to match your environment. A covered sports pavilion is a great way to provide a place for people to get ready to play – or enjoy post-game drinks and discussion. Exterior walls can include a brick effect, curtain walling, cedar board or steel cladding while period features such as pillars or porticos can be incorporated. Internally, spaces can be fitted out in any way you require including flooring options such as carpet, vinyl, timber or laminate. You can also choose from a range of wall finishes and even incorporate extras such as a suspended ceiling. LET’S DESIGN & BUILD TOGETHER Call us for a site visit or quote; CopriSystems Ltd Tel: 01380 830 697

University refurbishment sees new flooring laid in Peel Hall

university refurbishment – flooring in Peel Hall lecture theatre

Based just one mile west of Manchester, the University of Salford has been established since 1967. Home to over 19,500 students and 2,700 members of staff, the University is made up of two campuses which are part of a £650m regeneration scheme for the local area. The university refurbishment began in 2014, when a number of areas in the main campus of the University of Salford including Peel Hall, a historic Victorian building with original features housing the University’s lecture theatres, were revamped. Despite the extensive refurb, the main entrance to Peel Hall was left untouched. In 2018, the University decided that the beige flooring throughout the hall was not on brand, or of the same high standard as the rest of the building, so turned to Barratt and Hughes flooring specialist to help find a solution. The University provided a clear brief to Barratt and Hughes.  Due to the high volume of traffic in the room, the flooring needed to be hardwearing and able to hide inevitable stains. It also needed to look modern yet still be in keeping with the original period features. In addition, as the flooring was going to run up and down the stairs, the University wanted a flooring that would create a clear walkway for students and staff.  University refurbishment inspired by store fitting Barratt and Hughes selected CFS Precision Txture tiles after using the product in a store refurbishment project and being impressed with the quality. By specifying the flooring in the colour Rioja, they were able complement the Hall’s existing interior design scheme. Due to being single tiles, the carpet can easily be replaced in the event of damage, cutting down potential refurb time and costs for the University in the future. CFS Precision Txture was designed to enhance any room with a modern aesthetic, meaning it fit the brief exactly. The product is also manufactured from recycled yarn with a high tuft density, ensuring that a heavy commercial rating is achieved, making it the perfect fit for a room where heavy footfall is expected. Paul Britton, Building Manager at the University of Salford, said: “We are thrilled with the flooring. The project was completed in record time, with one day to lift and one day to lay. We gave the team a brief of a flooring that would be subtle yet standout, distinguishable yet not garish, and they delivered. We look forward to working with Barrett and Hughes again in the future.” Simon Peers, Director at Barrett and Hughes, discussed the installation, saying: “We have a partnership with the University, and so when they asked me to take on the project, I was more than happy to. The flooring tiles that were previously there were beige, and didn’t suit the room, so we selected the CFS flooring in a colour that matched the seating and colour scheme. “We chose CFS Precision Txture because we had actually recently installed the flooring in a Carpet and Flooring store, after receiving a recommendation. So we knew the carpet looked great and that Carpet and Flooring would be reliable in its delivery.” CFS flooring products are available from specialist flooring supplier Carpet & Flooring, which supplies a range of flooring that covers all performance and aesthetic requirements. For more information or to request samples please call 01527 511860 or contact us at

The role of building consultancy in securing Condition Improvement Funding

Allan Hunt from AHR Building Consultancy is an expert on the Condition Improvement Funding

Allan Hunt is director of education at AHR Building Consultancy, and an expert on the Condition Improvement Funding (CIF) bidding process. Here, he advises on making a successful bid… MATs, both large and small, are acutely aware of the pressing issue of school condition and the shortage of funds to deal with this. For lone Academies and smaller MATs, CIF funding remains fiercely competitive, so that for anything other than the most urgent work (and even then) it is hardly a guaranteed solution. As for larger MATs, formula funding can seem like a drop in the ocean. Yet a new pot of money is unlikely to appear on the horizon – so how to make less go further? It may sound self-evident but the single most important thing that an Academy or small chain can do for the future of their school buildings – and to achieve efficiency savings – is to ensure a full knowledge of all their current condition, and likely deterioration over the near future. This is best achieved through a good-quality, thorough condition survey and development plan, which form far and away the most effective basis for strategic long-term planning. After all, you cannot make coherent plans by working with patchy information, and for smaller MATs and single Academies, who are unlikely to have a dedicated Estates Manager, this can be even more important.  This is not just good practice for the sake of it – although this is certainly the approach recommended by Government in this year’s guidance document Good Estate Management for Schools. The benefits of long-term planning are manifold. For one, not considering the whole picture can create duplication. As a hypothetical example, imagine, say, refurbishing the interior of a school block one year, only to find shortly afterwards that the roof begins to leak, destroying the entire scheme. You have wasted both money and effort. Repeated interventions, necessitated by tackling problems as they come up rather than planning in advance, is not only disruptive of school life but cost inefficient, since bulking like works together can garner savings from contractors. Detailed knowledge of the condition of your campus also stands you in good stead if disaster does strike, since waiting for urgent issues to arise creates added pressure. For example while CIF exists for critical problems (and by and large the more urgent the problem the more likely a bid is going to succeed), a bid put together too hastily can nonetheless scupper your chances. So whilst unexpected issues can arise, the more you know about the condition of your buildings, the better prepared you will be to take appropriate action. Failing to plan, or to consider the bigger picture of how buildings interrelate, has longer-term consequences too. While change appears to be a constant in education, and it is difficult to anticipate shifting future needs, there are ways to head off problems. Isolated thinking creates isolated solutions, so you might, for example, set out to undertake a basic refurbishment of one school block (possibly with CIF funding for critical aspects) only to realise a few years later that curricular changes or new teaching methods make a wholesale rethink necessary. Instead, the expectation of change could have been ‘built-in’ at the same time by designing flexibly, to create a space that can be used in many different ways. Nurturing long-term relationships with consultants, rather than repeatedly drafting in new teams, can also help prevent disconnected decision-making. When under financial pressure (not to mention the time pressures so prevalent in school life), it is tempting to tackle problems as they arise, and forward-planning can feel like yet another burden. Yet this is almost inevitably a false economy. Not only is it the recommended approach, taking a step back and investing in proper planning will ultimately make life easier – and funds go further.  See for more advice on securing Condition Improvement Funding for your school

A team of budding engineers from Bradfield School reach national finals of F1 competition

The team at Bradford school celebrating

A team of six Year 10 students from Bradfield School, Sheffield, are to take part in the national finals of the engineering competition ‘F1 in Schools’ after placing 3rd in the Yorkshire and Humber regional final last month. Having received sponsorship in the form of funding, technical assistance and components from a number of organisations, including UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE), Timkem, WNT and Primetals Technologies, team ‘Sheff1 Racing’ designed and manufactured a miniature compressed air powered car to take part in the event. The group is now hoping to continue its successes at the National final – which is to be held at the Airbus A380 Factory, Broughton, in March – where the vehicle will be analysed, tested and raced. If successful at impressing the judges and taking on the competition, the team will then go through to the next stage which is the World finals. Following on from the team’s successes to date, UKSE – a subsidiary of Tata Steel tasked with providing support to communities affected by changes in the steel industry – has awarded £750 as part of its Community Support Scheme with the funding contributing to the creation of a prototype model, components for the car and branding.  The F1 in Schools project is a not-for-profit initiative that aims to change the perceptions of STEM subjects and encourage students to consider careers in engineering. Encompassing a range of disciplines including design, manufacture, branding, graphics and finance, the teams are able to learn and apply the skills in practical, competitive and imaginative ways. Commenting on the project, team member Ben Powell-Wiffen said: “This is our team’s first ever year competing in F1 in Schools and so we’re thrilled to have made it through to the National finals! “The school was offering the project as an extra-curricular activity and, as a GCSE Engineering student, I decided to get involved – it’s been really great fun making and racing the car as well as learning other skills such as finance management and marketing. “We also had the opportunity to visit local businesses including Sheffield Hallam University where we visited Dr John Hart at the Centre for Sports Engineering Research to learn more about the aerodynamics of our car, which was really interesting!” Simon Hamilton, Managing Director of UKSE, added: “I’m delighted that our funding has gone such a long way in helping the team to prepare for the next stage of the competition and have my fingers crossed for a good result! “The immense time and effort that the students have put into the project is testament to their dedication and work ethic, especially having given up their time after school to complete it. They should all be extremely proud of how far they’ve come.” For more information about the team that look part and F1 in Schools click here.

Energys Group say MATs will cut £190,000 off energy bills

An Energys Group project

Energys Group won a competitive tender, worth over £1.7million, to manufacture, supply and install LED lighting to 12 Academies for two Academy Trusts. The Ormiston Academies Trust and Brooke Weston Trust are sponsors of primary and secondary academies. As educational trusts, their aims are for all young people to have access to the highest academic, social and practical skills required to achieve their full potential, whether going on to study at a leading university or entering the world of work. The opportunity With Brooke Weston and Ormiston Trusts spending over £2.7 million a year on energy and needing to spend over £1 million on lighting replacement over the next 5 years, both Trusts urgently needed to put in place energy efficiency programmes which would achieve a number of priorities: reduce the trusts’ energy bills; address the challenge of lighting conditions; reduce the environmental impact in terms of CO2 emissions from the trusts’ estates and deliver a procurement model and benchmark data which would allow the project to be replicated by other Multi-Academy Trusts. The academies within each trust which were part of the project all had old, inefficient lighting throughout their properties, mainly consisting of T8 fluorescent fittings without lighting controls, and also had poor Emergency lighting provision; this needed to be upgraded as part of the scheme, to be fully compliant with BS5266.1.  The entire upgrade programme was funded by the Department for Education MAT (Multi-Academy Trust) Loans Pilot Project and was designed to maximize the benefits of new, energy-efficient lighting and ensure the Academies were fully compliant with emergency lighting regulations. The approach Structured framework Energy saving upgrades in public sector buildings are frequently only achievable with the assistance of Government funding. The key funding available for educational establishments is the Salix scheme.  In May 2017, the Education and Skills Funding Agency launched a MAT Loans Pilot project, to analyse whether interlinking MATs could enable collaborative working to achieve long-term benefits for their estates. The project saw EO Consulting bring together the two trusts on a project to investigate the long-term strategic difference this approach had on their estates. Energys Group was successful with its tender bid, awarded in June 2017 through the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO) framework, to manufacture, supply and install over 15,000 LED light fittings to 12 Academies in the Group, awarded on a mix of price, technical specification, quality and ability to deliver on a very tight timescale. Tight deadlines & no disruption Following the award of the tender each site had a full lighting survey carried out, and proposals were submitted over a two week period to the end of June 2017. A full programme of works upgrading the LED Lighting was commenced in July and completed by November 2017. Where possible, the work was carried out in the summer break or during out of hours in term-time, resulting in no disruption to the operation of the Academies. Proven efficiency A range of Energys Group’s New Vision LED Panels, linear LED, downlights, wall-lights, floodlights, high bays and streetlights was installed. Over 15,000 light fittings were upgraded to LED across the project. The majority of fittings incorporated individual occupancy and daylight harvesting sensors to maximize the potential energy savings. A 10-year warranty was provided on all fittings. Massive energy savings across the 12 Academies are being delivered, amounting to 1.7 million kWh per annum, and equating to £190,000 per annum savings, based on a rate of a minimum of 10.5p per kWh. Useful lessons The pilot project has provided invaluable lessons for the Trusts themselves, EO Consulting and Energys Group across a wide-range of outcomes, including delivering greater energy savings than initially forecast, longer-term warranties, and provided proof that frameworks make the process cost-effective, repeatable and scalable. Matt Isherwood, Brooke Weston Trust’s estates director, said: “This is the first project of its kind where two Academy Trusts have joined forces to submit a joint funding and installation bid, enabling us to get better deals from suppliers as we had more buying power when compared to a single trust. “The project has been so successful that it could be replicated across other multi-academy trusts and we outlined the process, benefits and savings at the Trust Network Conference in April, attended by delegates from more than 100 multi-academy trusts.” Commenting on the project, Kevin Cox Managing Director, Energys Group said, “This was a major, multi-site project for us; one with very tight deadlines and exacting specifications in order to fulfil the requirements of the individual Academies and those of the funding body. The team did a superb job and many of the lessons learned will stand us in good stead for future multi-site, multi-Academy projects.” For more information, see the Energys Group website here.  

A Brief Guide to School Toilet Regs

When planning washroom facilities for school premises, there are various best practice design guides to point you in the right direction, such as how to choose the perfect urinals for your school or college.  However, when it comes to swotting up on the rules and regulations that must be followed when installing amenities, it can be difficult to find the right information, with many people pointing out inconsistencies between varying versions of government guidelines. Much of the confusion arises from the disbandment of the DfES (Department for Education and Skills), which was dissolved in 2007 and has since been replaced by the more succinct Department for Education. However, the DfES ‘Toilets in schools’ report still features prominently when conducting online searches, despite the directives being a decade out of date.  In 2015, the Department for Education published its refined Advice for Standards on School Premises, which supersedes the outdated instructions of the previous body.  Notably, the content is much less restrictive, with the intention of giving schools increased flexibility in how buildings are designed. The contemporary document outlines ISS Regulation 23A, which simply advises: Handwash facilities must be placed in close proximity to every toilet, while blocks must be properly ventilated and well lit. Washrooms must be easily accessible for pupils and allow for passive staff supervision, without impacting on privacy. Separate facilities should be provided for boys and girls over the age of eight, except for individual cubicles that can be locked from the inside and are intended for the use of one person at a time. For children over the age of 11, suitable changing facilities with showers should be provided for PE lessons. Staff toilets should be independent from those used by pupils, although disabled toilets may be accessed by both staff, pupils, volunteers and visitors. The key regulation, however, is BS 6465-1:2006+A12009, which details the most suitable number of units for different age groups: Disabled facilities should be located away from staircases, with doors opening outwards onto a minimum circulation space of 750mm. Where there are four or more cubicles to a block, at least one should be enlarged to a diameter of 1,200mm, with both horizontal and vertical grab rails. Standard cubicles, by comparison, must have a minimum width of 450mm maneuvering space clear of the door.  Furthermore, it is imperative that disabled facilities are finished to the same design quality and design standards of other amenities. School Toilet Tips Despite the fact that the 2007 DfES report is now obsolete, it contained some salient advice that still rings true today. As such, you’d be wise to also bear the following in mind when planning school toilet facilities:   Wash troughs are preferable to individual sinks because they’re more aesthetically pleasing, easier to clean, and have dramatically less risk of flooding.  The theory goes that pupils take pride in amenities that look nice, lowering the potential for anti-social behaviour, while the inherent robustness of troughs makes them virtually vandal-resistant.  Temperature-limiting devices should be fitted to reduce the risk of scalding, while tamper-proof mixer taps that stop running after a litre of water should also be considered. Alternatively, infrared tsps are becoming increasingly popular. Locks must be easy to operate in a single action, and doors must be accessible for emergency services should people become trapped.   The overall design of school washrooms can have a significant impact on the wellbeing of pupils, so every aspect should be taken seriously. This extends to the adequate provision of drinking fountains, which are both environmentally-friendly and cost-effective. Furthermore, the Children’s Bowel and Bladder charity, ERIC, has launched a nationwide campaign to help advise primary and secondary school staff on how to support children with medical conditions such as incontinence. More details can be found here. Paul Thorn is Managing Director of, a leading supplier of school washroom facilities.

LED lighting for schools – a bursar’s guide

LED lighting in a school sports hall

According to the Carbon Trust, getting lighting right is essential for both energy efficiency and the bank balance of a school, and as importantly for the wellbeing of its occupants.  In the third of this special series of lighting in education guides, Energys will explore how LED upgrades can create multiple financial opportunities. It can also improve site health and safety, maintenance, and deliver infrastructure gains for bursars. Many bursars know the basics; energy efficient LEDs save on bills and the environment. But, the right level and the best quality of light is crucial to alertness, accuracy and the overall enjoyment of those working and learning in schools too. And, LED retrofit technologies can minimise work on school estates, and hike up other gains on the ledger too. Energy and cost savings  Overall, The Carbon Trust says UK schools could reduce energy costs by around £44 million per year which would prevent 625,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Lighting, says the Trust, represents 20% of school’s energy costs, and 8% of their energy use. ‘Currently LED upgrades use at least 80% less electricity than an equivalent tungsten halogen source,’ it continues.  So, the energy and cost-saving potential for bursars and their schools is clear. Further, ‘A properly engineered LED light has a comparatively long life, typically in the order of 50,000 hours. This can reduce maintenance costs significantly depending on the light source they are replacing,’ the Trust reveals.  The Trust says making the business case for such low energy lighting is quite straightforward in terms of electricity saved vs investment required. Calculating the potential savings is based on identifying: a) The current lighting load (Watts or kiloWatts). b) The hours of use per annum. c) The new LED lighting load. d) The unit rate you pay for each kWh of electricity.  “It is important to establish this cost-benefit analysis in schools nationwide,” says Kevin Cox, Managing Director, Energys. “When that analysis is done, the financial pathway to energy efficient, cost-saving installation is clear.” Health and safety (H&S) In schools, H&S is key. Today’s bursar’s aren’t just financiers, they are operations managers too. LED retrofit technologies are advantageous from this viewpoint. For a start, LED bulbs are more durable than traditional bulbs, and they have fewer fragile parts.  Also, they are mercury free, compared with other bulbs which, if shattered during routine maintenance, require special care and removal, to say nothing of risk to operatives. Further, LED bulbs generate very little heat, so they can’t burn staff or children, and they make for a more comfortable teaching environment.  Together, it all adds up to lowered H&S risk, and lower H&S costs. “We are right up to the minute on H&S,” says Cox. “We will install to the highest H&S standards and beyond, adding to the overall, lifetime H&S benefits LED offers to school bursars.”  Funding options and capital expenditure For many bursars, even when the cash and environmental rationale stacks up, financing is still a key challenge.   “It is wise to consider financing arrangements to suit your needs and more importantly, ensure you are saving money from the outset,” says Cox. “There are many schemes out there, and it’s crucial to research this intelligently and pick the right one. “Energys, in partnership with Utility Rentals and Smart Eco Energy, offers a financing scheme tailored to the needs of schools and colleges.” Such an approach is likely winto  favour with boards of governors, tasked with myriad, competing demands for financing. And, you can also use your LED financing plan as evidence of the school’s cash-savvy, energy-intelligent approach in marketing materials and branding. Furthermore, LED lighting can even be included in schools’ lessons plans on sustainability, increasingly a key part of the curriculum. In so doing, another dual benefit arises, with further financial gains and teaching benefits.  The shift to LED lighting Energys has a number of case studies on LED upgrades for schools and colleges available. These will help you learn more, and consider the best way to embed sustainable, futurist and beneficial lights in your environment.