Exterior view of the newly built Friary Pre-School in Crawley, West Sussex, constructed off-site using time-saving SIP panels. Interior view of the newly built Friary Pre-School in Crawley, West Sussex, showing the bright learning space and colourful interior.


The Friary Preschool, Crawley, 2016

New-Build Preschool Using Off-Site Construction on the Site of a Large, Occupied Primary School


“We are very pleased with the outcome of this work ... The staff have appreciated the helpful attitude of those involved, they mention in particular Ryan and Grant and, of course, Neil
Deacon, The Friary


Contract Value:£325 000

Completion: September 2016

Budget: Delivered to budget

Time: Delivered on time

H&S: No accidents/incidents


Demolition of existing building and constructing a new-build preschool using prefabricated Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) construction on the edge of an existing occupied primary school facility. Works also included an outdoor learning area and rear canopy.

Key Challenges

  • Minimal disruption to neighbouring primary school.
  • Minimal disruption to local community.
  • Working safely around an occupied primary school.
  • Completion on-time and on-budget


Meeting the Challenge

Minimising disruption to neighbouring primary school.

  • Low-vibration tools kept noise to a minimum, reducing impact on student learning and school clerical functions.
  • Preformation of SIP panels off-site greatly reduced on-site noise.
  • Out of hours working enabled us to perform necessarily disruptive works at times when the school was empty.
  • Temporary cabins were supplied by us for use by the preschool during the works, installed out of hours to further minimise disruption. This was a key objective as the pupils needed to remain at the same postcode for the duration of the works due to Ofsted restrictions.

Minimising disruption to local community.

  • Deliveries were arranged to minimise traffic, especially aiming to avoid large articulated vehicles wherever possible. We delivered materials to our warehouse near Horsham wherever possible so that materials could be stored and delivered by smaller vehicles just-in-time.
  • Access route facilitated large vehicles where necessary for delivery of SIP panels without causing traffic disruption or blocking roads.
  • Prefabrication saw the entire superstructure being completed in under 1 week.

Working safely around an occupied primary school.

  • Segregation. We were given access to the rear playground for site setup, physically segregating the construction materials, equipment and works areas from the children.
  • Access routes. We established safe pedestrian access to the nursery temporary buildings located on the playing field.

Completion on-time and on-budget.

  • Off-site construction of SIP panels enabled us to have the entire superstructure built in under a week.
  • Regular cost reports kept the client apprised of the financial position of the project, and extras (such as the canopy and outdoor learning area) were clearly costed and documented to ensure no overruns.


Did You Know?

Fowlers are experts in occupied working in the educational sector.

Here are just some of the live school projects we have undertaken during 2016-17.

Just some of the live school projects we have carried out:

  • Three Bridges Primary

  • Waterfield School

  • West Green Primary

  • Windmill School

  • St Mary's School

  • Hawthorns School

  • William Penn School

  • Pennthrope School

  • Davison High School

  • Maidenbower Junior

  • Gossops Green School

  • St Peter's School Leatherhead

  • Broadfield Academy

  • Ferring CE Primary


The Friary Pre-School Gallery

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