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Creating extra space to grow – Edith Borthwick School

Project Brief

The school caters for children with severe and complex learning difficulties, and accommodates 220 pupils aged three to 19. As class sizes grew, the school needed a quick solution to its need for more accommodation.


Essex County Council




Braintree, Essex

A modular classroom and play area at Edith Borthwick School Looking up at the Edith Borthwick modular building

Our Approach

Elite Systems provided a turnkey off-site construction solution including design, manufacture and installation of 190 sq m of classroom space, with a sizeable cold-pour rubber crumb play area, mains services and security fencing.

The modular building comprised an entrance lobby with coat and shoe storage, two classrooms, two toilets plus an accessible wet room and WC, two meeting rooms and four stores.

The design specified cedar larch cladding on the external walls, combining aesthetics with sustainability and durability, while anthracite aluminium windows and doors were selected to co-ordinate with the existing building.

Close up of the windows of a modular classroom A modular classroom at Edith Borthwick School

The Results

Elite’s off-site construction methods meant that the time on site was reduced to just three weeks, including connecting all utilities, installing fire and intruder alarms and the provision of the soft play area. As most work was completed in Elite’s 17,00 sq ft factory in West Yorkshire, disruption on-site was minimal and the health and safety concerns were greatly reduced.

The fully insulated building, manufactured from sustainable timber, significantly improved on the elemental U-values required by building regulations. The use of LED lights and daylight dimming and a highly efficient heat pump system further reduced the modular building’s carbon footprint.