With an education system that has been ranked second best in the world, the UK is constantly striving to be at the forefront of innovative and world-class teaching and learning. The design of learning environments plays a pivotal role in creating transformative and collaborative spaces where students can thrive. Considering the interior space, the layout, and the flexibility and functionality of the FF&E helps to foster independence, creativity, and social interaction between students, creating a shared sense of community, improving well-being, and nurturing an environment where every student can grow.
So, what is FF&E Design Consultancy?
Furniture, Fittings and Equipment (FF&E) has a substantial impact on how a space looks and feels. It is also a significant aspect of a project’s budget. FF&E design consultancy is a process that takes a holistic view of the entire project, considering budget, specification, project deliverables and the needs of the end users. Through design consultancy the client achieves a procurement strategy that will deliver best value, maximise return on investment, and provides a visual representation of how the space will function to ensure the right product specification is curated, keeping the project on track and within budget.
One of the key priority outcomes for the Department of Education is to level up education standards so that children and young people in every part of the country are prepared with the knowledge, skills and qualifications they need, however rising pupil intake numbers, combined with the struggle to retain teaching staff within the sector and the rise of student absenteeism is placing increased pressure on delivering this.
Ageing school estates and complex building infrastructure can also create challenges for schools when embarking on large-scale refurbishment programmes.
There is increasing demand for new, purpose-built and cost-effective solutions for schools, to ensure the UK continues to deliver high standards of education through the provision of enabling and inclusive learning spaces that inspire teaching and learning.
Key Benefits of Using an FF&E Design Consultant
An FF&E design consultant serves the main purpose of bringing together all stakeholders involved in an education project to offer their expertise in education interior design, specification, project management, cost control, knowledge of products suitable for education environments, procurement strategy and onsite installation. This differs from just working with an architect and a furniture manufacturer, as the FF&E consultant plays an integral role in managing all aspects of the project to take full ownership of the design, supply, and delivery.
Developing an FF&E strategy ensures cohesion between the architecture, FF&E, MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing), and ICT. This offers the client a fully coordinated scheme, where all stakeholders are collaborating to achieve a workable solution, particularly for specialist areas such as Science, DT and ICT suites, and delivers real-term cost and time savings throughout the project lifecycle.
FF&E can often be one of the last components to consider within the project timeline, however it is arguably an area that has the most impact on how a school functions, how effectively pedagogy is delivered, and learning is facilitated, and how flexible and inclusive spaces are.
The Morleys Advantage
Our approach to FF&E design consultancy combines our 90 years of experience supplying quality furniture to schools across the UK, with our own in-house team of skilled education FF&E designers who are fully compliant with BIM Level 2 and Revit software.
We believe that design and furniture have a crucial role in creating learning spaces where students can learn, create, discover, connect and grow.
By partnering with us, as your FF&E design consultants we offer the following key benefits:
We meet the client’s vision and deliver best value: we have access to a global supply chain, ensuring we use our well-established relationships with suppliers and our product knowledge to deliver the client’s vision through project specification unique to the client, furniture and equipment suitable for the space and student needs, and ensuring best value for money to maximise return on investment.
We ensure compliance and advise on British standards: we work with a supply chain that shares our ethos for quality and sustainability, meaning not only can we offer our clients more choice, we also have secondary supply chains to ensure we keep projects on track, and we are able to meet any compliance standards specified for the project. Our consultants will advise on BS EN standards for student furniture and FR ratings to meet current regulations for display equipment.
Procurement strategy and product selection: when it comes to furniture for education spaces, we are the experts. We have built a reputation as market leaders because of our passion and dedication to driving innovation in schools through the provision of quality furniture balanced with space planning and interior design. We use our buying power to secure the best value for our clients, and even have Morleys exclusive ranges, designed to deliver the perfect solution for any budget.
A sustainable approach: we are not only considerate of how FF&E impacts a space, but how it impacts our planet. Sustainability and looking at ways to reduce our carbon footprint are key priorities for Morleys. The United Nations brought into sharp focus that we must act now to prevent irreversible damage from climate change and it has put decarbonisation at the forefront of the agenda for most responsible organisations. The extreme weather we experience across the world and the fluctuation in the Earth’s temperature is causing global-warming at such an alarming rate that 69% of species populations have declined in the past fifty years alone. We have a collective responsibility to be more aware of our human impact, our energy consumption and our depleting natural resources, to protect and preserve our natural habitat for future generations.
We work with a supply chain that shares our commitment to sustainability and use only timber that has been sustainably sourced carrying the FSC trademark, as well as many manufacturers using recycled and recyclable materials.
As part of our FF&E design consultancy service, we offer legacy surveys. These specialist audits use bespoke technology that integrates with Revit software to conduct a full analysis of existing FF&E to understand what can be re-purposed and what is end of life. Almost 50% of the education sector’s Co2 emissions come from the procurement decisions made by schools. By identifying, assessing and repurposing FF&E items to prevent the unnecessary manufacture and transportation of new products, our FF&E legacy surveys play an important role in helping our clients reduce cost and reduce waste. We support our clients to achieve their sustainability objectives by producing detailed reports that accurately detail the amount of carbon saved by preventing the manufacture of new FF&E and the cost-savings realised as a result of reusing furniture that is still fit for purpose.
If you have an education project in the pipeline and would like to know more about the benefits of working with Morleys and the service we offer as FF&E design consultants, please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.