Hillview School


The shortage of school places in the UK has led the Government’s Education Funding Agency (EFA) to initiate a build programme which attempts to efficiently resolve the crisis. Appointed for three lots on the EFA Regional Framework, Galliford Try turned to SIG Offsite in a bid to develop an off-site blueprint which could expedite the construction process whilst delivering quality school buildings. Using Hillview School for Girls in Kent as a proof of concept site, Galliford Try went on to roll SIG Offsite’s design out across a further five schools in the North East Lincolnshire region.

For Hillview School for Girls, SIG Offsite was challenged to deliver a structurally sound and watertight structure which would allow the architect and main contractor to complete internal works using a traditional package approach. In doing so, the blueprint design aimed to simultaneously address fast track construction whilst allowing flexibility of school design – including the creation of ‘free flow’ and inspiring learning spaces.

Considering the acoustic, thermal and fire performances required for an education project, SIG Offsite designed and installed a structure which took the building from foundation right through to roof level – including external cladding.

Importantly, by using the Insulslab raft foundation system, SIG Offsite could significantly fast track the initial ground works as compared with traditional foundation techniques. The building exterior was subsequently completed using structural 60 minute external wall panels and insulated and waterproofed roof cassettes – all manufactured off-site and delivered using ‘just-in-time’ methodology.

Interfacing closely with the architects, SIG Offsite also ensured that the floor cassettes and internal walls provided the necessary structural support without compromising the learning spaces which could be created.

SIG Offsite managed the complete building structure from design through to installation, which had just a 12 week build time. However, this time saving benefit extended even further as the structural module is 60 minute fire rated without the need for plasterboard, removing the need for follow-on trade work in some areas.

Moreover, from a thermal performance perspective, the system achieves a U-value of 0.1 W/m²K for the roof, ground floors and walls and air tightness below 3.0. Finally, the SIG Offsites’s solution supported the project in meeting BB93 and BB100 standards.

Acting as an extension of the Galliford Try team, SIG Offsite efficiently handed the project over for follow on trades, with the successful completion leading to the design being adopted for five further school sites as part of the North East Lincolnshire build programme.


“Key to the concept was the standardisation of parts, but not designs – and that is exactly what SIG Offsite gave us. The off-site construction approach meant quicker lead times and reduced build costs, but we were still able to deliver a building that not only looked the part, it delivered far better environment performance and air tightness than the original solution.”

Michael Buchanan, Education Director, Galliford Try


“At Hillview we believe in creating a positive, secure and happy learning environment for all our students, and the school buildings themselves play a key part in this. We are delighted with the building we have received which will not only bring significant long-term benefits in reducing our maintenance and energy costs, it will make a real difference to the quality of educational experience we can offer our students.”

Bryan Key, Finance Director, Hillview School for Girls

Download this case study

Make an enquiry