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premier modular builds construction skills centre for hs2.

In a major endorsement of modern building methods, HS2 Ltd has chosen to use modular offsite construction to deliver accommodation for the teams who will be building the new high-speed station at Euston. The scheme can now become a reality after the planning committee of the London Borough of Camden gave its approval.


HS2 Ltd, through its partners/partnership arrangement with Mace Dragados, has appointed the East Yorkshire company, Premier Modular, one of Build Space's partners, to carry out the offsite work, according to plans drawn up by Fraser Brown Mackenna Architects, after detailed consultation with the local community. Premier Modular is one of the oldest offsite specialists in the UK, creating sustainable spaces that enable a better tomorrow for generations to come, since 1956.

The 6-storey building will stand on the site of the old Maria Fidelis School and will incorporate the borough's new Construction Skills Centre. It is to be a temporary structure, designed to last throughout the building of the new station. The building will be installed before the end of 2022. It will cover 60,000 square feet and provide welfare and changing facilities for 2,500 workers.


An adaptable solution

When the work on the new skills centre is complete, the temporary facility currently located at Kings Cross will move the short distance along the Euston Road to the new building. Sited above the worker facilities, it will accommodate 150 students and staff, along with workshops, classrooms, an IT room and advanced technical equipment. The Skills Centre will come under the jurisdiction of Camden Council.

One of the main drivers behind the project is the opportunity it presents to forge close links between the students at the Skills Centre and the HS2 contractors. The plan is to facilitate access to the thousands of job opportunities and apprenticeships that the Euston station project will create. The combination of classroom teaching and practical experience will open up new career pathways. The new station itself will allow HS2 to run 17 trains per hour and is expected to stimulate regeneration in the surrounding area. The project should be complete by 2036 at the latest.

The stakeholders and communities director at Mace Dragados, Jackie Duncan, explained the idea: “Our site accommodation is critical to enable us to provide welfare and desk space for thousands of workers who will be helping us build HS2's Euston station. Having the Skills Centre located within the building means we’ll be able us to develop close links with the students and staff at the centre and provide opportunities for us to share our skills and experience in the sector with the local community.”

HS2 Ltd's commitment to this innovative dual-purpose facility is something of a milestone for partners/partnership schemes between businesses and local government. If the scheme lives up to the expectations of all parties involved, it will set a powerful and positive precedent for the future of collaboration between the commercial sector and council bodies. Instead of being simply facilitators, councils will draw significant benefits, not simply in terms of fixed assets but also by improving educational and employment opportunities.

The choice of the offsite process is particularly appropriate because of the temporary lifespan envisaged for the centre. It delivers on cost and speed while making it easy to remove the building at the end of its life with only minimal environmental impact.

Check out Premier Modular's case study on the HS2 phase one project below to find out more!


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