Case Study

Sir Frederick Gibberd College, Harlow


Sir Frederick Gibberd College, a 1,700 place school, is the first project to be allocated by direct award by the Department for Education through their modular frameworks and the largest free school ever to be awarded.

The College accommodates an 8-form entry with 500 place sixth form, with a Main Hall and a Sports Hall available for community use.

The College was built with 198 large modules, each 18m x 3.5m – see time lapse video below. The modules come with factory-installed concrete floors, internal fit-out and external cladding, giving the classrooms a premanufactured value (PMV) of 91%.


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Michael Farrant
Project Manager


A20 were asked to do the setting out, based on the Module dimensions given by the client and to elaborate the detailed design.

Modular fabrication of bracketry shaved months off the overall programme. The largest challenge was the timber tolerances and alignment of the timber. 

Protruding timber fins were a feature detail of the main hall and sport hall elevations.


A20’s designers laid out the modules on the setting out drawings for all the elevations, working out the details for every interface.

A20 identified and made any adjustments required to the modules and backing structure, working to the highest quality for the completed building.

A20’s skilled carpenter shaped the fins on site, enlivening the façade with the rhythmic design.

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Scope of Work



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