New technology building quality schools faster

A partnership with the construction sector is transforming how schools are built.

A pavilion style building under a blue sky
Image: Innovation: The pavilion model at Fern Bay Public School

High-quality schools are set to be built and upgraded faster with the NSW Government rolling out a revolutionary new way of delivering schools.

The NSW Government has partnered with the construction sector to develop the pavilion model, which allows high-quality schools to be delivered in months instead of years.

Pavilions are designed and constructed offsite and assembled in a matter of weeks on the school site, saving time, construction costs and minimising disruption.

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the new model would transform how schools were built in NSW and had been a game changer for students and the building industry.

“Thanks to the NSW Government’s historic $15 billion investment in school building, NSW is leading the way in school design, manufacturing and technology – creating world leading schools for our students and providing a major boost to our construction industry,” Ms Mitchell said.

“By pioneering the pavilion approach, we are ensuring we can provide permanent, high-quality classrooms reducing the need for demountables on our school sites.

“The pavilion approach has the potential to cut construction time by 30 per cent, and construction costs by 20 per cent, by building schools in a more sustainable and efficient way.

“The sheer volume of school building projects has allowed us to push industry to find innovative ways to deliver schools sooner and reduce the impact on local communities while retaining high quality.

“With a mix of traditional school construction and the new pavilion approach, we will create schools that grow naturally with their communities.”

An upgrade at Fern Bay Public School near Newcastle piloted the pavilion model with a total construction time of 12 weeks including just six weeks of on-site assembly.

Lipman delivered the Fern Bay Public School upgrade and Manager – Design & Innovation, Phillip Tondl said the project clearly demonstrated the benefits of this method.

“Works on site were completed in six weeks due to high levels of prefabrication in the large, panelised building components. In spite of COVID and wet weather during construction, a building of high quality was delivered on time at Fern Bay,” Mr Tondl said.

Built is another builder delivering schools via modern methods of construction, including early contractor involvement contracts for the Murwillumbah Education Campus and Wee Waa High School.

Built CEO and managing director Brett Mason said Built’s product not only allowed schools to be constructed faster, more efficiently and safely but also offered design flexibility, high-quality components and strong sustainability outcomes.

“Our fully designed product can be built 50 per cent faster than a conventional build and provides the flexibility to be designed into infinite configurations to meet the needs of different schools, locations and future growth. It really is the future of building schools,” Mr Mason said.

The pavilion model takes the Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) pilot that delivered new primary schools in Jordan Springs, Schofields, Catherine Field, Denham Court and Wagga Wagga to the next level.

The school building program in NSW now totals an investment of $15 billion with $7.9 billion being invested over the next four years in 215 schools, building on $7 billion in infrastructure delivered since 2017.

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