‘The fastest school ever built’

Customer Name

Portakabin Total Solutions

Who was the client?

Kensington Aldridge Academy (KAA), a school that was at the foot of the Grenfell Tower, had to close its doors in June 2017 due to the damage from the fire.

Portakabin engaged with the Remark Group to install high voltage and low voltage electrical supplies for the school.

What were the clients needs and issues?

  • We had 11 weeks to turn wasteland into a fully functioning modern school for over 1,000 pupils.
  • With no existing electrical supply available at the site Remark had to start from scratch
  • There were 200+ contractors on site at any one time, so timings and planning were crucial.
  • Long lead times which needed to be planned accordingly to ensure the smooth running of the entire site.

How did Remark help?

The Remark Group was tasked with installing and connecting underground mains electricity to the new buildings.

A process which can typically take up to 11 months from application to completion was installed inside 3 weeks with the help of UK Power Networks who understood the importance of the project.

The Remark Group completed the full electrical sub- distribution to the buildings and installation of door entry systems while working alongside 100+ other contractors on a daily basis to ensure the 960 pupils at KAA were able to start the new school year in September.

To support the Portakabin Buildings designed Electrical demand, over 2000 meters of Sub-Mains Distribution cabling was installed. A total weight of Sub-Mains cabling installed was over 18.5 tonnes in weight.


The project was finished in a record breaking 9 weeks, earning the project title of ‘the fastest school ever built’ by the media. It hosts the same state-of-the-art facilities as the building on Silchester Road, including:

  • 8 x Science labs
  • 2 x IT Suites
  • 2 x Libraries
  • 1 x Drama Studio
  • 1 x Dance Studio
  • 1 x Autism Centre

Meaning the academy can deliver the same high-quality curriculum to students while helping the students to feel confident and ready to learn in their new surroundings.

Customer Testimony

Head of Building Services at Portakabin, the principle contractor for the project said:

“Our Sub Contractor network have been the real heroes of the day – to build a school of this size, in these particularly difficult and emotional circumstances has been outstanding, and the warm praise we have received from our final Customer – the school itself – is recognition of a job exceptionally well done.”

On Monday 18th September KAA2 opened the doors to its new temporary school. Kensington Aldridge Academy said:

“There was a very positive atmosphere around the school as students were keen to get back to their learning after the summer holiday”