Global University Technical College

Building Use


Project Duration

12 months

Procurement Method


Why buy from portakabin

Project Features

  • Four-storey 8,700m2 school with forward-thinking design
  • Roof-lit central atrium and sculptural feature staircase
  • Bold and expressive colour palette with strong graphics
  • Specialist acoustic levels for broadcast areas
  • Triple glazing and specially-engineered air conditioning
  • Media and lighting which can be illuminated during live broadcasts
  • State-of-the-art TV and radio studios
  • Flexible teaching spaces
  • Informal learning zones
  • Dining area
  1. The Requirements

    Global approached Portakabin to engineer and build a school within a year, which by 2020 would teach over 800 students every year. More than just a learning environment, the building was designed in partnership with architects Surface to Air.

    Built on the site of the Old Vinyl Factory, once the EMI headquarters, in Hayes in West London, Global is an 8,700m2 school with a forward-thinking design which reflects its creative ethos.

  2. The Solution

    Advanced offsite technology seamlessly integrates both modular and site-based building solutions.

    The Global Academy has an iconic, futuristic design which has created an inspiring environment for learning. A spectacular roof-lit central atrium provides a dynamic circulation space and focal point for the college. There is a sculptural feature staircase and a high level of glazing to the classrooms. The colour pallete is bold and expressive with strong graphics. Anodised aluminium mesh cladding encloses the north and south elevations from first floor to roof level with areas of full height glazing around the ground floor.

    This technically-complex building was designed to deliver specialist acoustic levels for the broadcast areas, with triple glazing and specially-engineered air conditioning.

Media and lighting were integrated into the highly glazed west façade which can be illuminated during live broadcasts from the building.

The four-storey purpose built school building combines state-of-the-art TV and radio studios with flexible teaching spaces, informal learning zones, a dining area, a sports hall and a lecture theatre.

By joining traditional and modular construction methods on the Global build, the structure was able to grow at twice the speed of a fully traditional project. It would have taken up to two years to build this academy using traditional methods. Offsite reduced this to just 12 months allowing the school to open in time for enrolment for the new term.

In those 12 months, Portakabin was able to engineer a full turnkey solution and provide a truly inspiring space for the young minds of Global to learn, develop and hone new and exciting skills for the future.

By moving construction into a controlled factory environment, quality of the finished building was superior to an onsite build. Every single Portakabin module goes through an extensive quality control process in the factory which incorporates more than 100 individual operations and creates buildings that are made from over 2,500 precision components, to be manufactured to engineering tolerances of millimetres.

The science behind Global UTC was engineered and precision built to generate 35% less carbon than required by current regulations – a major achievement which meets the requirements of the latest London Plan.

The building makes a real impression on everyone, and the students and teachers very much enjoy the facilities. The design has created a fantastic learning environment for our students.

Will Harding, Chair of Governors, Global University Technical College

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