Richard Harvey heads up eco buildings specialist TG Escapes, which provides bespoke classrooms, sports facilities, studios and training centres from early years to higher education. We spoke to him about the opportunities and challenges the world of education procurement is experiencing in 2020…
Tell us about your company, products and services.
TG Escapes design and build timber frame eco buildings that help connect students and staff to nature. We specialise in education providing bespoke classrooms, sports facilities, studios and training centres from early years to higher education. We use an offsite modular process which saves time and money.
What have been the biggest challenges the Education Procurement industry has faced over the past 12 months?
In the area of construction, the planning process has been the biggest challenge. Under resourced planning departments have made the application process more challenging and lengthy.
And what have been the biggest opportunities?
Expanding schools need more space and they are increasingly looking for something which adds real value to the site without being disruptive or breaking the bank. Along with a heightened interest in sustainability, this has meant many school leaders are able to be more imaginative in the way they build their new spaces.
What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market going forward?
The role of building design in our overall well-being will be a driving force. Designers are looking to produce spaces that help connect to the outdoors, providing natural light and big views of the world outside.
What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this coming year?
For us it’s all about renewable energy. Our basic structures are built as far as possible with sustainable natural materials and are already highly energy efficient. However, as the cost of renewable energy production and storage comes down it will become far easier for schools to afford a passive building. This will mean the ongoing energy budget can be re-allocated to educational resources.
In 2023 we’ll all be talking about…?
I fear we will still be talking about the deteriorating mental well-being of our society. My hope is that a greater appreciation of the environment and the natural world will help our young people to maintain a balance so they can be better able to juggle the challenges of modern life.
You go to the bar at the Education Forum – what’s your tipple of choice?
My choice would be a ginger beer but I am usually persuaded to a hoppy IPA.
What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
Seeing the excitement on children’s faces when we hear them talking about their new learning spaces.
And what’s the most challenging?
Having to turn projects away.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Be nice to everyone always.
Succession or Stranger Things?
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