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A New Forest pre-school classroom under canvas

preschool yurt new forest

Daniells Harrison project manage the installation of a yurt for a New Forest nursery school

Many organisations and businesses have had to adapt their buildings to provide a safe environment in the pandemic. In the case of Launchpad Pre-School, it involved a major move to a new purpose-built yurt.

Daniells Harrison Building Surveyors and Architects were appointed to make the move happen last autumn, within extremely tight timescales.

Launchpad Pre-school previously used a classroom of William Gilpin CofE Primary School in Boldre, New Forest. When the pandemic hit, the school desperately needed the extra classroom space to ensure they could offer a safe learning environment for their children, but that left the nursery school with a major headache – where to go?

An idea was hatched to put up a structure in the school grounds that would accommodate the twenty-four children and four members of staff. It needed to be rapidly installed, have all the facilities required and of course, be a safe learning and nurturing environment, all year round.  A yurt was proposed – essentially a round canvas-covered structure, shaped by an internal wooden frame.  The school and pre-school governing bodies needed help with sourcing one that was robust enough for the task, and needed to get it built with all health and safety requirements factored in. Daniells Harrison Building Surveying team were perfect for the task.

Our Architecture team drafted the site plans – used for planning approval and construction.  The plans included a separate toilet pod, windows, and fire escape. The specification for the yurt included an additional thermal winter cover.

yurt planning permission new forest

Our building surveying team oversaw the entire project, from select a yurt supplier and building contractors; getting the correct base built; drainage; power supply; heating, ventilation and cooling system (HVAC) – essential to get the specification correct so the yurt could be used all year round in heat and cold; installing a gantry system for the lights and HVAC; and other internal fit-out requirements to enable the pre-school to function fully.

Having been appointed to manage the project in the summer holidays, we were delighted to sign-off the yurt ready for use by the October half term.

With nurseries and pre-schools remaining opening during the lockdowns, the yurt has been put to good use and has passed the rigorous demands of twenty-four pre-school children – no mean feat for any structure!