As a long-standing Client for Baxall, these latest two contracts at Eaton House School comprised the construction of a modern new two storey theatre and classrooms followed by the transformation of a void area constructing administration offices, nursery classrooms, music rooms and a kitchen. A sustainable development, the project was BREEAM assessed and monitored under the Construct CO² initiative and included installations of LED lighting and a recycling programme. A rainwater harvesting attenuation tank was installed to drain and re-use excessive water and feed the sedum roof plantations and impressive Envirowall (living wall) to the front of the Administration Building.
Taking place in the heart of a busy occupied school environment and located within a land-locked site, the projects proved to be another logistical challenge for the team. Working with a small crane within the school grounds and tower crane in the external car park, materials were transferred and the steel frame erected in tandem, carefully manouevring the components over the school. As storage space was extremely limited, roofs were utilised to safely store materials coupled with a just-in-time delivery approach.
With the school remaining occupied and housing a range of age groups, the planning, co-ordination and management of the works was paramount to maximise safety and minimise disruption. Close daily liaison with the school and proactive planning ensured that disruptive works took place at convenient times and away from activities such as exam and study periods.
Eaton House School is located in the busy and desirable London district of Clapham Common, set amongst various residential and business neighbours. In addition to minimising disruption to the school, it was important to consider all stakeholders and maintain positive community relations. Prior to the works commencing, the Site Manager carried out letterdrops and personal visits to each neighbour to introduce himself as the main point of contact and to advise of the forthcoming works programme. These personal visits enabled residents and business-owners to raise questions and discuss how the works could be managed to accommodate their day to day operations, for example, the timing of deliveries and noisy/ dusty works. In parallel to this and as a good will gesture, Baxall provided a window cleaning service to all neighbours.
Open and regular communication was maintained throughout the works programme with the provision of updates and proactive warnings, for example, the planned delivery and erection of the cranes. An open-door policy was maintained, with all neighbours issued with the contact details of the Site Manager and encouraged to make contact or visit with regard to questions or concerns. The Site Manager further hosted ‘open nights’ for parents.
The Baxall team worked closely with the school and maintained excellent relations including support to the school’s favoured charities and educational initiatives with the children. Under the guidance of the Site Manager, the school were awarded ‘Runners Up’ in the national Considerate Constructors Scheme Ivor Goodsite Hoarding Competition, following the design and decoration of the external hoardings by the children.
The team excelled in delivering both projects safely and to exceptional standards, reflective in an impressive high score (42/50) on the Considerate Constructors Scheme and subsequent Performance Beyond Compliance award.