Entries by Mark

Gembuild Classroom Units – in a Class of their Own

Gembuild timber-framed classroom unit

Classroom interior with laminate flooring, double-glazing, points etc.Gembuild has supplied a significant number of exterior classroom units over the years and these are a natural progression from our garden office and outdoor studio ranges. They look great, last a phenomenally long time, require little maintenance and, crucially, can be installed within a very short time frame. They also allow schools, colleges, universities and educational establishments to expand their teaching space without having to build extortionately expensive extensions or pay for highly invasive conversions within existing rooms and spaces. Simply put, they offer a high quality but very low cost alternative to bricks and mortar.

Comfortable

With cavity walls that are nearly 7 inches thick, and insulation levels to floors, walls and ceilings that would rival any residential home, Gembuild’s classroom units are cosy in the winter and comfortable during even the hottest summer. They are actually accommodation grade buildings, employing construction methods used in many modern-day house builds. Flooring comes complete with your choice of either carpet tiles or a modern laminate. Windows and doors are, of course, all double-glazed. We’d also be happy to incorporate additional heating or even air conditioning for those who require it. With Gembuild, your classroom unit will be exactly as you want it, so that it’s perfect for you and your students.

Timber-framed, wooden clad exterior classroom unit featuring a slate roofEconomical

What’s equally important to schools and educational establishments is that our timber classroom units also represent incredible value for money compared to traditional builds and extensions. They also have a very long shelf-life, requiring little maintenance over the years, because we build them to last, unlike the thin, flimsy, flat-pack and ‘kit’ outbuildings one often sees being advertised elsewhere.

Fast

With our timber structures and partly prefabricated approach, our classrooms are much faster to erect on site than traditional brick and mortar buildings. Gembuild is typically on site for just ten days during a classroom build — try comparing that to a traditional build! That’s perfect for quickly adding teaching space to your school or institution, especially if timed to coincide with breaks like half term, the summer holidays etc. — that means zero disruption.

Clean & Tidy

Outdoor classroom unit for a school in Peterborough, by GembuildThere is also much less mess and very little, if any, dust with a Gembuild classroom unit. That’s because we do a lot of the construction off-site in our industrial unit in Surrey, before we ever set foot on site. Our timber construction is naturally cleaner and tidier anyway. After all, there is no sand, cement or plastering with a timber-framed Gembuild unit. Even much of the electrics come pre-assembled.

Flexible

Speaking of which, if you are ordering a classroom unit from Gembuild, you can have as many power points as you like, wherever you want them and at whatever height you require them. That’s perfect for building around your facilities, desks and teaching requirements. We can place windows and doors anywhere you like too. There are also lots of lighting options should you decide you need something specific (e.g. ‘daylight’ bulbs for art blocks). If your classroom is to be used for music of any kind, we can also use special sound boarding and sound insulation and even incorporate sound booths and rooms-within-a-room (RWARs) to aid both recording and sound isolation. Communication and networking cabling can also be built into the walls and ceilings, with telephone and Ethernet points anywhere you want them. Gembuild can even add an intercom system and/or intruder alarm should you need it. We can sub-divide the interior space too. We can incorporate a toilet, shower, kitchenette and storage areas — whatever you like!

A classroom unit featuring timber cladding, security light and double-glazed doors & windowsSpecial Needs

We can also build in access ramps, hand rails/ballet rails, emergency and attention pull chords, CCTV, intercoms, a blended water supply pre-set to a safe temperature – you name it and we can probably build it in for you! Perfect if you need to cater for students or tutors with special needs, allow wheelchair access and help to keep everyone safe.

Happy Teachers, Happy Pupils

Teachers, tutors and school head’s seem to love our classroom units – and so do the pupils! We’ve never heard a bad word said about them and educational professionals often sing their praises. Here’s

Bespoke Garden Music Studios — an Instant Hit!

Bespoke garden music studio

We all love music of one form or another but if you’ve got someone in the house who is regularly playing, practising, singing or composing, a bespoke, stand-alone music space is the absolute ideal. After all, we all have different tastes and you don’t want to disturb other members of the family, or indeed those living next door or nearby, especially when it’s late. More to the point, it’s often more enjoyable as a musician if you can play at a reasonable volume! That’s where a made-to-measure garden music studio really fits the bill. Because it’s bespoke, it’s perfect for playing music on the inside but designed to shield out much of the sound to those outside. So when acoustics have been designed well, you can really rock out without needing to worry about waking the neighbourhood!

Acoustic Insulation Built In

It’s all done with careful acoustic design. Unlike the rooms within a standard domestic home, Gembuild’s garden music rooms feature double-glazed acoustic glass to windows and doors, acoustic sound boarding (very dense, sound-blocking plasterboard) to walls and an unusually generous filling of acoustic insulation within the ceilings and cavity walls. With all this acoustic protection, it’s much harder for sound to escape to the outside. So your family in the main dwelling and the neighbours nearby are less likely to hear children practising their scales repeatedly, teenagers rocking out with their friends or indeed the latest version of your next Top Ten single being played at full volume. A new, acoustically insulated garden music studio can be an oasis of calm from the outside, yet a musical haven on the inside. No longer will musicians or performers have to think twice about turning up the volume another notch.

Sound Booths & Rooms-within-a-Room (RWARs)

Sound booths & vocal booths built inFor those who like to record music without having to worry about picking up background noise, sound reflecting back off resonant surfaces and unwelcome white noise ‘hiss’, Gembuild can also incorporate a made-to-measure acoustic sound booth, a kind of acoustic room-within-a-room (RWAR), right there inside the garden music studio. Such a sound booth would usually, of course, also feature an internal communication window, once again featuring double-glazed acoustic glass.

Perfect for Singers, Musicians, DJs, Producers & Tutors

Garden Buildings for Accommodation

Garden buildings make great accommodation annexes

Sometimes there comes a point where there is not enough space in your home and you simply need to expand. Or perhaps you need extra room to accommodate a dependent relative, for example an aging parent who will benefit from living very close by, or a son or daughter who is ready to fly the nest but simply doesn’t have the resources to afford their own property.

So, what are the options?

An extension or loft conversion is an obvious choice, but both are extremely expensive and will also disrupt the home for several months or more. Be prepared for a mess, dust everywhere, perhaps muddy footprints and the company of workmen walking about in your property for a seemingly never-ending period of time. If your extension involves knocking down walls to create access and new openings in load-bearing walls, also be prepared for cracks appearing in nearby walls and ceilings, existing doors suddenly not fitting as well as they used to because they’ve dropped, and an enormous amount of decorating and making good at the end of the process. Then there’s the ‘snagging’ stage, which can sometimes be like getting blood out of a stone, and don’t forget ‘budget creep’ as the extension runs into unforeseen problems and complications that, whichever way you look at them, always seem to cost you extra money.

Is there is an easier way?

Absolutely. Compared to the potential nightmare of traditional extensions and conversions, a timber-framed garden building is plain sailing. Firstly the cost will be a fraction of the price. Moreover, the time for construction will be days rather than months. There will be no walls to knock down, no cracks to make good and no dust to clear off every surface in the entire home. And your ‘visitors’, the workmen, will be gone before you even know it. In fact, most of the build will have happened before they even arrived. With modern timber-framed buildings, custom modules are made up in advance, making the assembly time on site incredibly fast. What’s more, all of the action takes place outside the home, not in it. Companies like Gembuild will do it all for you, right down to painting the fascias and woodwork in the colour or finish of your choosing, so you don’t have to. Such things are all included in the price. Take a look at a few Gembuild examples:

New for 2015: Glamping Barrels

“Glamping: a glamorous form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.”

As well as our contemporary and colourful camping pods, Gembuild now offers a range of superb glamping barrels. Made of light, treated timber, these are rather more rustic than the pods and feature 2 bedroom accommodation for sleeping up to 4 people. Glamping camping barrel - cut away viewThey’re substantial in size and offer adaptable living including the ability to use the 2nd bedroom with either a double bed or twin beds. At the front there is a large open-fronted terrace area with bench seating, which will allow you to enjoy all the benefits of the great outdoors while remaining snuggly undercover. A lockable front door leads to the middle room which can be used as a lounge during the day but is easily converted to a twin bedroom at night. At the far end the second double bedroom features a panoramic window, which can be opened, again allowing you to feel really at one with the natural environment without necessarily being at the mercy of the elements.

The entire glamping barrel has a footprint of 5.4m x 2.24m. The roof is protected by asphalt shingles and any exposed timber is treated with eco-friendly oil-based wood protector. The Glamping barrels - various coloursbody of the glamping barrel is designed and built to sit clear of the ground and as such represents a very durable and easily-maintained structure which, with appropriate maintenance, should last for many years.

At time of writing the flat-packed price is just

Sedum & Wild Flower ‘Green’ Roofing

Here at Gembuild, one of the options we offer is ‘Sedum & wild flower’ roofing, a type of covering which is becoming increasingly popular in the UK — but what’s it all about? Here we give you some insight into its features and benefits. First, some background information:

Skinny Faygate garden room with a sedum roofSedum roofs fall into the category of ‘green’ roofing, which denotes a roof covering which, instead of using traditional roof tiles, slate or shingles, features a ‘living’ roof of growing vegetation and even flowers. This is highly attractive, natural-looking and has many other benefits (more about those below). At Gembuild we use a Sedum & wild flower mix when customers opt to have a ‘green’ roof on their timber garden building, office or studio. Once established this will form a very soft outline to the upper part of the building and, in terms of the garden design as a whole, blur the edges between what’s known as ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ garden landscaping. With a sedum roof, garden rooms will sit within the natural flora and fauna of the garden in a much more natural, organic way — almost becoming part of the garden itself.

Click the following images for a larger view: