A revolutionary construction technique developed in Epping Forest has helped a primary school build a new arts and science block.

Coppice Primary School in Manford Way, Chigwell, used the AcerMetric building system to construct the two-storey, 460sqm block.

It was built in two weeks by four men assembling precision factory-made panels using a tool called a panel key.

The school’s headteacher Joanne Coton said:”We are thrilled to have a fully functioning and heavily discounted building that meets our needs.

“I think because they built the block as a showcase we got a good £200,000 of extra value.

“The rooms are very well insulated so don’t require heating or air conditioning and there was very little disruption to the school because all the panels were manufactured off site.”

The construction method was invented and developed by David Appleford, who was born in High beech and now lives inOngar, who unveiled his initial two-storey demonstration building in March 2007.

He said: “With the housing and schools shortage that the country faces, innovative new methods of construction such as this are needed.”

AcerMetric, which charges around £1,400 per sqm for the buildings, designs the structures at an office in Fyfield Business and Research Park, Ongar, and manufacture them at a factory in Raven Road, South Woodford.

The Coppice School unit was built as a research and development project which gave the company the opportunity to identify and resolve any problems with the new system.

The block consists of three classrooms on the ground floor and a fully equipped art studio with storage room, a large classroom, two smaller tutorial rooms and toilets on the first floor.