How much does a modular classroom cost?

Schools throughout the UK are facing increasing pressures in terms of pupil numbers, limited space and ever-decreasing budgets. Adding space to an existing school site can be extremely challenging; time, money, space, site access and working around the school calendar are all important considerations.

As a general guide, modular classrooms cost somewhere in the region of £750.00 per square metre (sqm) depending on exact specifications, with total costs for a double classroom modular building ranging between £85,000 and £100,000.

Associated Benefits Of Modular Design


Certainly if you’re thinking of a traditional build then all of the above are potentially extremely problematic but if you’re short on space or time then a modular design could be the right solution for you as approximately 90% of the construction takes place at the factory, minimising time on site and potential disruption. Often school expansion projects need to be delivered by the start of the new academic year and this puts increased pressure on traditional building contractors working in the education sector and timings can slip as they juggle multiple projects, and inclement weather causes previously unforeseen delays.


When you think of a mobile classroom it probably conjures up images of metal portable buildings like shipping containers but today’s modern portable buildings are available in a whole range of styles, finishes and cladding options to blend into any traditional or contemporary surrounding.


A modular school building can be installed and ready-to-go in a matter of weeks, so could easily be craned into position during one of the school holiday periods as the construction and fit out can all be carried out offsite prior to the install. This reduces the impact to school operations and any other scheduled site activities, minimising disruption for both school and pupils.

Future proof

Flexibility is a key consideration for many schools and portable classroom buildings can be configured to suit any current requirement such as science block, drama studio or IT suite, and be reconfigured at a later date as demand changes. Each classroom is moveable, stackable and can be repurposed, making it the ultimate in flexible, future-proof school infrastructure. Modern modular classrooms are also highly durable, designed to last for up to 50 years.

Energy efficient

Using the latest technology and materials, modular classroom buildings are also highly energy efficient, keeping pupils warm and energy bills low for the long term.

Interior of completed modular school classroom

Bottom Line

According to an article on the cost model of primary schools in 2013, an example ‘low cost’ 4000sqm primary school built on a greenfield site in the South East of England, had predicted costs of £1497.50/sqm for construction (building) only with a projected construction period of 56 weeks.

In terms of modular portable classrooms, buildings can be hired or purchased outright as either new or refurbished so there are lots of different ways to maximise stretched budgets. It’s worth bearing in mind that mobile classrooms can be fully customised to meet your requirements for space and amenities so costs will vary depending on the exact specification required. However, it is likely to be around 50% cheaper than a traditional build, and at least 70% quicker to complete.

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