Laurence Calvert

Algeco offsite completes new Leeds school


The growing pressure for secondary school places in south Leeds created a need for new and enlarged teaching spaces. Up until recently, the shortfall of places was addressed in part through the use of temporary bulge classrooms.

The new Cockburn Laurence Calvert Academy (LCA) was therefore initiated under Leeds City Council’s Learning Places Programme to provide sufficient permanent school places.

It was envisaged that the new school will accommodate 1,050 students across Years 7-11. The site for the new school previously contained a complex of buildings used as Leeds City Council offices. These were demolished leaving a cleared site.

During construction of the new LCA, pupils were taught in temporary facilities.

The school is operated by the Cockburn Multi-Academy Trust (Cockburn MAT), and known as Cockburn Laurence Calvert Academy. It is named after Sergeant Laurence Calvert who was a former student and was awarded a Victoria Cross in 1918.

The works involved construction of the whole school block and associated external works.



Acting as Principal Contractor, Algeco provided a full turnkey solution at Laurence Calvert Academy involving construction of a three-storey whole school block and associated external works. Work began on site in June 2022 and was completed on schedule in August 2023, ready for the new term.

In order to meet the strict construction programme at LCA, we utilised our platform design solution. Whilst this innovative platform is designed in line with the government’s Construction 2025 strategy, it exceeds the targets in a number of important ways; Ultimately, that meant the new school could be completed sooner than a conventional modular build, whilst offering significantly lower carbon impact and much better value than traditional construction.

A total of 192 modules were required at LCA, along with a hybrid build for the sports hall areas.

Our full turnkey solution at LCA including:

  • Classroom provision
  • Office accommodation
  • Group rooms, storage
  • Conference room
  • Meeting room
  • ICT suite
  • Main hall
  • Kitchen and welfare facilities
  • Car parking and pupil drop off area.

Prior to being awarded the contract to build LCA, we had to demonstrate a robust Waste Management Plan, and be registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme. In addition, we had to be sympathetic to the ‘Leeds Talent and Skills Plan’ by seeking to employ local trades where possible thus reducing the impact of extended travel.



Using our revolutionary platform based approach, which leverages DfMA and Lean Manufacturing, we handed over a school that achieves rigorous energy efficiency and sustainability standards. Department for Education output specification will see the new school achieve an equivalent of a Very Good BREEAM rating.

Our platform based approach meant that the school was delivered much more effectively than traditional on-site construction and even existing modular techniques.

Analysis shows that the platform based modules comprise 581.3 kgCO2e per m2, well below Construction 2025’s target of 1,300 kgCO2e per m2. In addition, because the modules can be reused, either by relocating modules to other sites or by refurbishing individual components and cassettes, it adds a 234 kgCO2e per m2 clawback. This brings the modules used at LCA well beyond even the lowest stretch targets being discussed in construction today.

The Algeco modular and offsite construction system used at LCA is fully building regulation compliant with passive ventilation and has a 60-year design life as a minimum.

A large span sports hall is being created that will provide a useful multi-purpose space. The Algeco hybrid steel frame system is being used for this because it allows incorporation of large open atriums and increased ceiling heights. It can be fully integrated with our platform based modules to provide greater design scope.

The suspended concrete floor used in the modules reduces transmittance of noise, meeting minimum standards set out in The Building Bulletin 93 (BB 93) ‘Acoustic Design of Schools: A Design Guide’.

LCA was registered by Algeco under the Considerate Constructors Scheme, meaning it underwent ongoing monitoring against a code of considerate practice, designed to encourage best practice beyond statutory requirements. The main areas of focus are: the environment, the workforce, and the general public.

Algeco appointed two local apprentices at LCA, meeting client expectations that local trades would be employed where possible.



Utilising the platform design approach at LCA conveyed important benefits to this project. It was faster at every stage, starting at design phase, through to manufacturing, assembly and fitout. Along with enhanced quality and value, plus a dramatically lower carbon impact, this approach has set a new benchmark for construction in the education sector.

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