Portakabin Group to design and develop UK’s first UTC in London

12 January 2016 (Last Updated January 12th, 2016 18:30)

The UK has awarded a £14m design and build contract to Portakabin Group for the offsite construction of the first university technical college (UTC) in the country.

The UK has awarded a £14m design and build contract to Portakabin Group for the offsite construction of the first university technical college (UTC) in the country.

The UTC, to be termed as the Global Academy, is being developed on the heritage brownfield site of the Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes in the London Borough of Hillingdon.

It is expected to be opened for the students in September this year, and will provide academic and vocational training for those willing to work in broadcast and digital media industries.

Designs to reflect creative vibes of the academy have been created by the Portakabin Group along with architects Surface to Air.

"We are delighted to have been awarded the contract for the UK's first UTC to be built off site."

Groundworks at the site, extensive excavations for district heating, and construction of a new sub-station will also be included in the project.

Portakabin will be implementing advanced off-site technology for the development, including a Yorkon building solution to integrate both modular and site-based construction.

The firm will be carrying out a significant portion of the work off site at its factory in York in order to ensure that the centre can be opened in time for the 2016-17 academic year.

The planned development is expected to deliver an acoustic specification for the broadcast studios, which will include triple glazing and specially-engineered air conditioning.

The developer will construct a sports hall, theatres and a cinema as a part of the project, which will be linked to a four-storey modular building with a central atrium space.

The academy will include extensive facilities for TV and radio broadcasting, including radio studios, TV studios, flexible teaching spaces, informal learning zones to facilitate interaction, a café and dining area.

Portakabin Group director Simon Ambler said: "We are delighted to have been awarded the contract for the UK's first UTC to be built off site.

"This is part of a really exciting regeneration scheme, which will create a landmark education facility to give young people fantastic, practical training for the broadcast and digital media industries.

"This is a hugely significant project for the construction sector. It demonstrates the architectural flexibility of a highly engineered Yorkon off-site solution from the Portakabin Group and how an outstanding building design can successfully integrate different construction methods.

"It also illustrates really well how we can deliver an inspiring, animated and intelligent building in a very short timescale and on a highly complex site."