Ministry of Education
Careful planning expedites a new breed of prefabricated classroom.
Te Aro School’s new Reading Recovery Centre dispels the myth that prefabricated buildings are generic and poor quality. This is a particularly strong sentiment in New Zealand schools, where relocatable prefabricated classrooms have often outstayed their welcome. This building was carefully tailored for the Reading Recovery programme’s needs while making the most of the prefabricated system. It exceeds the building code in many respects, particularly in terms of insulation, airtightness and moisture control, and surpasses Ministry of Education standards for acoustic design.
The building is made up of prefabricated floor, roof and wall panels, with LVL timber framing and RAB Board installed to the exterior and plasterboard linings installed to the interior face. The panels were placed in cradles to minimise damage and transported on trucks from the Christchurch factory to the site.
Careful planning before the arrival of panels, including inground services, piles and bearers, allowed for a speedy build. The panels were erected with the structural connections, then we connected the services. Sarking on the roof minimised the need for safety nets and made the roofing installation quicker than normal. Once we’d finished the interior and exterior finishes, we followed with landscaping, including decks, a ramp, stairs, paving and gardens.
The Centre is both as a training facility for Reading Recovery teachers from all over Wellington and a case study for the benefits of modern prefabrication methods in schools.