Off-Site Solutions Recognised by Department of Education

The Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, announced in 2004 by New Labour, planned on renovating or rebuilding every English secondary school in a £55 billion scheme.

BSF was cancelled due to coalition spending cuts on the 5th of July 2010, and 719 schools that had been in pre-construction stages were left unable to proceed with their plans. A further 706 schools, having already signed contracts with private construction companies, are to go ahead with works, but have been forced to make substantial savings.

The future for the 719 leftover schools looked bleak. However, a leading off-site construction company have offered up a solution using modular and off-site techniques to lower the cost and enable the remaining schools to be built. A company representative spoke with Milton Keynes MP, Iain Stuart in September, explaining the benefits of off-site construction, and the options available for building schools from standardised modules.

Stewart proceeded to put forward this representation to the Department of Education, and received the following response from Lord Hill, who is responsible for schools capital policy:

“The purpose is to ensure that future capital investment represents good value for money and strongly supports the Government’s ambitions to reduce the deficit, raise standards and tackle disadvantage. Off-site construction…is one of the options under consideration by the Capital Review.”

Lord Hill gave his thanks for raising modular construction methods to his attention and has passed it on to the Capital Review team who he was sure would “find it of value”.

Modular construction techniques provide a cost-effective and efficient alternative to traditional building methods, with a wealth of design opportunity available.

The off-site industry is striving to remove the preconceptions of modular buildings – the modern capabilities being a far cry from the portable classrooms of the 50s – and to show the design flexibility off-site construction can offer.

Modular construction offers broad design flexibility contrary to preconceptions of ‘boxy’ prefabricated buildings of the past. The beauty of many off-site buildings is that they have developed tremendously in terms of visual appeal, and it is often impossible to distinguish them from a traditionally constructed building. Essentially, a menu can be created for schools to be built from, that architects can help to visualise and create.

Innovation in modular buildings over the past 10 years has been significant, making off-site construction even more relevant to the education sector. Corner-Loaded Modules are available that increase design flexibility and generate significant cost savings on site and throughout the life of a building. These hybrid buildings are based around a steel frame, which provides greater architectural freedom in an economical and space-efficient building system. This type of system means the building designer can ‘break out of the box’ and specify modules that are non-rectangular or have internal atria or balconies. The design scope is extensive and this also includes the possibility of corner-to-corner glazed walls, a feature that is becoming very popular in schools.

Off-site capabilities also include energy efficient and sustainable building techniques and materials, as well as a range of environmental additions such as sun tubes and rainwater harvesting. The Hybred® is an innovative modular building solution which offers the potential to achieve ‘A’ rated energy performance, an environmental consideration that is becoming an increasingly important target for schools.

Modular building has been proven to reduce programme times by 50% (PSLG Building June 2010 pp48). The reduction of project time and increased speed of construction mean that buildings can be erected in weeks rather than months; there are no weather constraints as units can be made watertight before arriving on site; and cost certainty can be achieved, because the industry and its techniques are far more predictable than tradition building methods. Statistics show that 99% of off-site projects are completed on time and budget (PSLG Building June 2010 pp48).

With off-site starting out with the prefabricated classrooms of the 50s and 60s, the modular industry has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to meeting schools’ needs. Schools lie at the heart of the community, which means they are often located in built-up residential areas, where long term construction work could cause a nuisance to local residents. Similarly, because of where they are located, access is often difficult and normally restricted. Added to this are the tight deadlines which are imposed due to the need for construction works to be carried out mainly during the school holidays, in order to minimise disruption and prevent health and safety issues on site. Six weeks during the summer is a small window of opportunity in the construction world – and even shorter if you are looking at Christmas, Easter or half term breaks. Being able to create a weathertight seal, often in days, means that even during a two-week half term, the building can be in place with work progressing in the internals – and minimal disruption to the day-to-day activities of the school.

Off-site construction has long presented an attractive option to schools and, in many cases…it is the only practical option.

A leading UK provider of off site construction solutions, Terrapin [http://www.terrapin-ltd.co.uk/education.php] has been in the business of permanent and temporary solutions for 60 years. Off site construction delivers fast, accurate and affordable solutions to permanent, temporary and relocatable building requirements for healthcare, education, developer and commercial projects.

Government Loans to Finance Education

If you are a student looking for student loans, then you know exactly what Department of Education loans are. If you are not aware or are looking for more information about this loan, then it is advised that you keep reading

The Role Played By US Department Of Education

The United States Department of Education is involved in providing financial aid to those students who have a poor financial background but are really smart. This financial aid is funded by the government and it is very strict when it comes to providing the loans to those needy students. If you want to apply for this loan, it is important that you gather enough information regarding how to get the loan, how you will pay back and so on.

How to Apply?

If you are going to apply for this loan, then you will need to fill in a form. The form that you need to fill in order to apply is called Free Application for Federal Aid Form (FAFSA). In the form you will have to list down all your personal and family expenditure patterns and you will need to attach prove of your current finical situation. All this will be required by the government in order to calculate the amount of loan you can take out. Once you have been provided with the information, then the department that will be giving you the loan will tell you the amount you will have to contribute towards the student loan and how much the government is willing to pay.

What Are The Necessary Requirements?

In order to qualify for the student loan, you will need to approve it by the authorities. You can easily contact the Department of Education in order to do so. The first main requirement in order to get approval is that you are a citizen of the United States. The other requirements are that your social security number is valid, you are in need of financial help, you have the ability to for higher education, you do not have any credit problems and etc. You will be able to get a list of all the things you require in order to get the loan from the department, so you do not have to worry.

Alternatives

The US Department of Education offers you three options. The first are federal grants. Grants are the finest form of financial aid because there’s no point of repayment of such money. You need to be really quick when it comes to apply for grants because they are given to those usually who have applied for it earlier. I-e a first come, first get basis. If you don’t have enough resources to pay for your college fee then you are eligible for such a form of aid.

The second option offered are student loans Student loans are identical to normal loans but the interest rates are quite low and there are different repayments time periods.

Lastly, they also offer student work programs. Student work programs are kind of part jobs which are offered to students so that they could work in a government agency and earn in order to pay for their tuition fee. Usually these jobs are part time but if they are full time then only a small part of it would be utilized in paying the fee.

Department of Education Student Financial Assistance Can Help

The internet continues to prove itself to be one of the most powerful and versatile resources that individuals can use. The search for money for education is no exception to this. The US Department of Education student financial assistance pages are an excellent example of this. You can access the Department of Education’s page and begin planning your educational career now.

There are a number of significant benefits available to those that visit the US Department of Education student financial assistance pages. Among them is concise information about the federal aid that is available. This information will provide you with a basic understanding that prepares you to approach education funding. The US Department of Education student financial assistance goes well beyond the beginning of securing funding though. It provides information that will be useful for managing your education while in school and managing any remaining debt that you may have when you graduate. The result is a comprehensive resource for your entire educational career.

The fact is that no single site can supply you with all the information that may be useful to you. The US Department of Education’s site provides links to other trusted sites to compliment the resources that it does have. In this way the pages work to provide you with more complete information about the topics that you need to know about. The information is not limited to generalities though. If you are ready to get to the details there is a seamless progression to that on the site.

On the US Department of Education student financial assistance pages you can find links that take you directly to the applications that you need to complete to secure financial aid. It removes the questions of what is next. If you need to apply for aid then you can click the apply for aid link and follow the step-by-step. It really is that simple. You do not need to pay for the information. The US Department of Education student financial assistance pages are free to access and the FAFSA is free to complete and submit. You can literally have an estimate of what you will receive in minutes.

It even provides resources that allow you to search for scholarships that are not government-based. All of this is designed to help you get the money that you need for the education that you want. If you are ready to begin your search into the world of money for education you may want to begin with the US Department of Education’s website. The site offers information for students and financial aid professionals. If you work to help other secure financial the site may prove to be an invaluable resource for you as well.

Filing for financial aid as soon as possible is important. It can help you to secure as much funding as possible in some cases. It can also provide you with additional time to make corrections and seek other funding if necessary. From questions to the application, it is all awaiting you at the US Department of Education website now.