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Ripon Grammar School, Ripon

New Build Classrooms

The Challenge

Ripon Grammar School is ranked Outstanding by Ofsted. Their popularity has led to a great demand for places across all years, particularly at Sixth Form level.

The school knew it had to grow their offer to cater for this demand, yet only had capacity within outdated temporary classroom units.

The school had utilised the most obvious site areas already and had neighbours backing onto other potential sites restricting this opportunity.

Additionally the school sits on an area affected by gypsum dissolution with part of the building already listed. Piling was initially assessed as the most likely solution, but potentially very costly.

The client also wanted a cost effective and quickly delivered route to deliver the additional accommodation required.


Several visits were made to site to facilitate an Option Appraisal exercise identifying the opportunities and constraints available.

We also carried out a thorough geological analysis of the site to try and determine the best part of the site to build upon.

A preferred accessible site was agreed upon even though building was close to a listed building and involved the removal of some trees and temporary classrooms.

In order to reduce disruption on site we recommended a modular building approach. The 720 m2 two-storey building was delivered in 28 modules over one weekend from the access road.

The ability to mix and match a palette of finishes on the modular system prior to planning enabled us to derive a solution that satisfied the planners and neighbours.

Early engagement with Building Control enabled a more cost effective solution than the suggested piling to be devised via a raft solution.


Outdated accommodation has been replaced by a modern functioning purpose-built classroom block.

Achieved savings of up to 40% of time on-site as opposed to “traditional build”.

Disruption to the school was minimised and was delivered within budget. The adjoining teaching block was unaffected by the works.

No on-site accidents or near misses reported.

Careful consideration and cost analysis of foundation options enabled the best value for money solution to be derived.

The project also received a BREEAM “Very Good” accreditation demonstrating the school’s and client’s commitment to sustainability.

The new accommodation has been hugely successful since its opening.

Very pleased – excellent outcome. Very smooth process.

Martin Pearman – Headteacher, Ripon Grammar School. 

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