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News Time-Lapsing School Builds

15 May 2024 Holly Eckersley

Education facility construction is about more than just building classrooms; it’s about creating environments that inspire learning, foster creativity, and nurture future leaders. It reflects society’s commitment to quality education for all, ensuring every child has access to resources for success. As construction methods evolve, driven by technology and societal needs, the importance of investing in education remains constant.

Initially, school buildings were basic structures, erected quickly to meet the demand for education. Typically made of wood, stone, or brick, these buildings served as the foundation for communities to educate the younger generation. Often, they were one-room schoolhouses where students of various ages gathered to learn from a single teacher. These early schoolhouses doubled as community centres, hosting local events and gatherings. As time passed and educational philosophies evolved, school construction adapted. The industrial revolution led to larger, specialised school buildings to accommodate the growing number of students. Compulsory education laws further increased enrolment, requiring larger facilities. Architects began designing schools with multiple classrooms and libraries, to cater to diverse student needs. In the mid-20th century, modernist architecture influenced school design, emphasising functionality, natural light, and open spaces. Architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier revolutionised school construction, incorporating large windows, open floor plans, and innovative materials like steel and glass. The aim was to create environments conducive to creativity, collaboration, and learning. The latter half of the 20th century witnessed further advancements in school construction, driven by technological innovations and changing educational theories. The integration of computers and the internet led to technology-equipped facilities, including computer labs and multimedia classrooms. Sustainable school design emerged, featuring solar panels, green roofs, and energy-efficient systems.

Recent years have seen a focus on creating flexible learning spaces adaptable to different teaching methods and learning styles. Schools incorporate movable walls, modular furniture, and flexible layouts for versatility. Outdoor learning environments gain recognition, with schools integrating gardens, playgrounds, and outdoor classrooms.

At Time-Lapse Systems we have been trusted throughout the British Isles to capture a range of education facility projects that reflect society’s commitment to providing quality education for all. At Time-Lapse Systems we recognise the importance of investing in education and providing students with the best possible learning environments to help them reach their full potential. Here, we look at some examples of projects that we have been lucky enough to capture:

A student using a notebook and pen. Time-lapsing school builds.

First, Primary and High School Time-Lapse

Many of our clients in the education sector choose to use our time-lapse services as it provides a detailed visual record of the entire construction process, from groundwork to completion. This documentation can be valuable for project management, allowing stakeholders the ability to track progress, identify potential issues, and make informed decisions. Our work can also serve as a marketing tool showcasing their commitment to providing modern facilities. Prospective students and parents can see the transformation of the school site over time, instilling confidence in the quality of the infrastructure.

Additionally, time-lapse photography captures the collaborative effort of construction teams, highlighting the skill and dedication involved in building educational spaces. It also promotes transparency and accountability, as the footage can be reviewed to ensure that the construction adheres to safety standards and regulations. Overall, time-lapse photography offers a practical and effective way to document, promote, and monitor the construction of UK schools at all levels.

A number of First, Middle and Primary Schools throughout the British Isles have used our time-lapse services such as,

Bevington Primary School, in Central London. We documented the construction of the new ‘Bevington Centre’ which now houses a science lab, after school club and music room. Our client Commercial Services Group used our time-lapse photography to show precisely why they are the leading supplier of products and services to the education sector. This building will give students a space that they can put their learning from the classroom into practise and students’ creativity can be explored. We hope that all of the students enjoy this new learning facility.

Hardwick and Cambourne Community Primary School. We have worked closely with Kier on a number of projects all over the country. They asked us to capture the construction of this new school building in Cambridgeshire to showcase the quality of their work. We provided one of our cameras which we installed using our specialist bracketry and scaffolding.

Thorndown Primary School, in St Ives. Our time-lapse cameras recorded the progress of the construction of a new school building. This Ofsted rated ‘Good’ school had state of the art new learning facilities built to accommodate the growing number of pupils. Our camera was installed on the roof of the ‘infant’ building to capture all progress.

Steel erection for Thorndown Primary School. Time-lapsing school builds.

Thorndown Primary School.

Kingsbrook Secondary School, Aylesbury. Our client Morgan Sindall asked us to capture the construction of a new secondary school that they were building in Buckinghamshire. The school was built to provide places for the growing community of Kingsbrook. With sustainability at the heart of this build, this low carbon energy efficient 10,000 sq.ft learning facility has structured insulated panels on the external facade and MMC elements for the service runs.

St Mary’s Primary School. We also documented the construction of a new extension and outdoor learning space at this school in Haringey. We captured work at the Rectory Gardens school site which consisted of a two-storey extension, which provides four new classrooms. Re-modelling work was also carried out on an existing space which will now house a food-tech room, specialist classroom as-well as a ground floor level toilet. The outdoor space was also landscaped to create a bright and functional all weather sports area for children to play.

Oakmoor School, Bordon. We captured the construction of Oakmoor School which was built on the fomer site of Mill Chase Academy Community School. The architectural design of this build emphasised outdoor learning with a range of teaching areas, open air performance and assembly spaces externally to prioritise students’ need for fresh air and natural light. Sustainability was a priority in this build, and this timber clad £30 million school will be able to offer 900 students a place. Watch this time-lapse video which shows the construction process.

Heath Park School, Wolverhampton. Our client Savesta Construction asked us to document the build of a new 1200 msecondary and further education Arts and Media Centre. This steel frame building with pre-cast concrete floors and staircases and composite panel roofing provides critical additional space for the 1256 pupils currently on roll.

Time-Lapsing Independent School Builds

King’s College School Wimbledon. We captured the construction of a new sports hall which features six courts, a six lane swimming pool, a strength and conditioning suite, an aerobics studio, a viewing gallery and changing facilities. This independent school sits in the leafy surroundings of Motspur Park, and also boasts a number of cricket pitches, aestroturf pitches and tennis courts, ensuring that pupils have a rich variety of sporting activities that they can enjoy.

Bryanston School, Dorset. Our client TVS Group, provided a range of flooring solutions for a new extension on the school’s sports hall. The school already boasts a 25m indoor pool, equestrian centre, 37 tennis courts, all weather playing pitches, 4 indoor squash courts and a large fitness club. This new extension features three new elite performance areas including a three lane 40m sprint track, a new sports hall and a new strength and conditioning area.

St Clare’s College, Oxford. We captured the construction of five individual buildings around a quadrangle which provides 36 new bedrooms for boarders, two common rooms, a wardens lodge and an art studio. The project focused on bringing the outside in, with one part of the build canter-leaving over the lawn.

College Campus Construction

South Essex College Turrock Campus. We were asked to document the £45 million construction of new learning facilities for South Essex College. This 15,000m2 campus uses a range of modern and sustainable building techniques which have granted the project a ‘very good’ BREEAM rating. This is an indicator of building excellence and shows the skill and craftsmanship of the team who created this modern education facility.

Northstowe College Campus Expansion. We time-lapsed the construction of new facilities for the secondary school at this campus. This expansion of Nordstowe has created an additional 600 places for students. The project has also seen new provisions put in place for SEND students creating a more inclusive environment where every student can reach their potential. We provided two of our camera systems which were artfully positioned to capture the entirety of the project.

South Essex College. Time-lapsing school builds.

South Essex College.

University Construction Work Time-Lapse

Queen’s College, Oxford. We documented the £10 million extension to the historic library at Queen’s College, Oxford. This project saw refurbishments to the existing building as-well as 800m2 of newly created space for the college’s Egyptology archive. Situated in the Provost’s Garden the new library has a large roof-light which will allow student’s to enjoy lots of natural light whilst protecting the books.

Queen's College, Oxford. Time-lapsing school builds.

Queen’s College, Oxford.

University of Winchester. We also documented the West Downs development for the University of Winchester. This campus is home to the digital technologies, computer and digital related degree courses as-well as business management programmes. The building features a contemporary design and has a drum shaped 250 seater auditorium, art gallery, cafe and shop.

University of Winchester- time-lapsing school builds.

University of Winchester

Jesus College, Oxford. Our client BAM asked us to capture the construction of the new Northgate project. The Cheng building will accommodate the university’s postgraduate students with 64 en-suite rooms. The building will also house an exhibition and events space and an NHS primary care facility in the basement of the building which will create a healthcare hub for the wider community.

University of Cambridge- Project Capella. Our team also time-lapsed the construction of a new research laboratory at the University of Cambridge‘s bio-medical campus. The space will synthesise collaborative practises between clinicians and scientists where stem cell discoveries will be applied to the patient setting.

City Law School. We time-lapsed the development of a seven-storey building forming the consolidated site and campus for The City Law school which offers 7,200 sq m of space. This build boasts green credentials and a BREEAM accreditation which was a central objective for the architects, Wilkinson Eyre.

These examples of our work show how we have vast experience in delivering quality time-lapse solutions, specifically in the education sector. We have worked on a range of different learning facility projects, ensuring that we always work to our clients’ brief. As can be seen from these examples of our work, each project that we work on is unique and carries its own set of challenges. We have the experience and knowledge to ensure that each job is captured in the best quality possible. Our work stretches all over the UK and we welcome enquiries from any part of the country.

If you would like to hear more about the services we offer please get in touch. We can also share with you more examples of our work in this sector, showing why we are the UK’s leading time-lapse provider for the education sector.

An image of a library bookcase and low-hanging lights that give this room a cosy intimate atmosphere.





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Time-Lapse Systems are a part of Hideaway Media Ltd (est. 2007). World leader in the provision of bespoke time-lapse capture and site monitoring solutions. UK and Worldwide.