TG Escapes Blog
Five Financial Advantages of a Standalone Eco-classroom.
The budget screws keep tightening and the pupil numbers keep rising. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to create extra classroom space that is not only a fantastic environment in which to learn and teach, but which also adds a boost to your school’s finances? A Learning Escape modular eco-classroom could well be just the solution you are looking for in these cash constrained times.
Cheaper to Build
Traditional bricks and mortar extensions are not only massively disruptive to the day-to-day running of a busy school, they are also considerably more expensive than a standalone building tucked away in an underutilised area of the school’s grounds. Without compromising on the desire to create a learning space that is inspirational and a building that pleases aesthetically, an eco-classroom can be built for as little as £1200 per sqm. Further details regarding pricing can be found on the TG Escapes’ website.
Cheaper to Run
As energy prices spiral ever upwards, the future running cost of any new teaching space is going to be a significant factor when considering your options. When developing our buildings, the environment has always been at the heart of our design process. We use modern, eco-friendly materials, methods and technologies to create ecologically sound and sustainable buildings. A significant consequence of the way in which our buildings are constructed, is that they are highly energy efficient to run, resulting in an A rated EPC. The efficiency can be further enhanced by the inclusion of additional features such as solar panels, sun pipes and wind power.
Income Generation from a separate building
One of the advantages of a standalone building is that it can be used for before or after school activities without the need to keep the main school buildings lit, heated and open. Not only does this make for greater security, but it will also serve to create bigger savings on the fuel bill. Indeed, given that the building has its own entrance and independent power supply, it could be hired out to third party suppliers of after and pre-school club facilities, as well as community groups in the evenings, holidays or weekends. Given the low running costs of the building, it could become a useful generator of income for the school.
If you only have sufficient funds to build a small classroom now, but are mindful of a growing pipeline of place applications, it is a relatively simple process to extend a standalone building in the future, as and when needs and means arise. It will almost certainly cost a fraction of a more traditional, piece-meal extension of the main school structure and removes the risk of persistent periods of disruption.
Pay As You Go with an Operating Lease
If you are in desperate need of space immediately, but have no recourse to capital funding in the short term, there is no need to opt for renting temporary classrooms. An operating lease (which under current regulations is not classed as borrowing and does not require EFA approval) allows a school to shift the cost of additional classroom capacity from the capital to the revenue budget. In addition to allowing the school to quickly procure much needed, quality classroom space, this method tends to offer a much better value for money alternative to either outright purchase or a straight forward rental. The leasing period (up to 5 years) can be chosen to suit your school’s budget and forecast pupil numbers and the monthly outlay will be fixed allowing for transparent budgeting.
Not forgetting that as well as making financial sense, an eco-building can improve learning outcomes. Bathed in natural light and featuring Activ Air technology for a better learning environment, the views of nature through the floor to ceiling windows will inspire students for years to come.
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