Construction frameworks are now being used as a teaching tool

Construction frameworks ensure the procurement and delivery of building projects in schools and colleges – bringing together clients, contractors, designers and now even students! Throughout the design and build process, construction frameworks ensure efficient communication and collaboration. And there are also opportunities to support local suppliers and even get students and staff involved in the project via training and visits. Here, Clugston Construction's marketing director Paul Gouland explores a recent development at Leeds College of Building and explains the benefits which the approach has delivered.

The pressure on schools to accommodate growing pupil numbers is mounting. In fact, the Government’s latest Department for Education (DfE) national pupil projections show that both state primary and secondary pupil numbers are expected to continue to grow over the coming years, with the number of full-time equivalent pupils aged up to 15 years projected to increase by 320,000 (11.4%) by 2021 and to continue to grow until 2025. The number of primary pupils is also anticipated to see a small increase of 1.9% between 2017 and 2021.

Faced with such figures, education providers and local authorities are increasingly looking for innovative ways to upgrade their existing facilities – whether that is through refurbishment and retrofit of current buildings or by constructing new classrooms and amenities.

One such solution that has come to the forefront in recent years is the introduction of regional procurement frameworks such as the ESFA’s multi-regional approach and YORbuild2, which covers education projects within Yorkshire, Humber, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and the North East. Such frameworks centre on encouraging collaboration between the client, design team and the pool of contractors working on the project, in order to improve project delivery and cost.

Increasingly, however, such frameworks are also being employed by educational establishments and public bodies to incentivise contractors to support social value initiatives. What this means, for the education sector in particular, is that public bodies are increasingly looking for contractors to not only deliver projects, but also support local supply chains and learning and skills programmes within schools and colleges.

Clugston team on site Construction Frameworks

One project highlighting this commitment to the community is Leeds College of Building’s brand-new £13m campus development in Leeds’s South Bank, being delivered by Clugston Construction under the YORbuild2 construction framework. The state-of-the-art campus, located alongside the college’s existing South Bank campus, will include a 5,200-square metre, four-storey building with a range of classrooms, workshops and an impressive central atrium once constructed. 

Using the YORbuild2 Contractors Framework to quickly procure its delivery team, Clugston Construction and architectural practice Fuse Studios were appointed and immediately set about planning the complex logistics and timetable to deliver the whole project. 

Construction frameworks have evolved to include students and staff

In order to achieve the high standards that Leeds College of Building required, Clugston recognised that a collaborative approach with the college was key to the success of the project. Building on countless construction projects completed over its 80-year history, Clugston Construction engaged with the client and design team from a very early stage, establishing a close relationship with the college and ensuring effective communication was maintained throughout the scheme. 

Leeds College of Building has been providing specialist further education on construction since 1960, and offers more than 200 courses across a huge range of disciplines. The college has built a reputation for first-class education and training. In order to maintain this commitment to unrivalled training, and in addition to the project delivery, Clugston is also adding value by supporting the college’s students and organising visits to other construction sites and technical presentations on subjects such as building services and health and safety planning – proving that construction frameworks really do build communities.

Clugston Construction has extensive experience in education, having constructed a number of high-profile projects during its 80-year history. During that time, the company’s construction team has delivered several high-quality schemes across the UK. For more information, visit