Platt Church of England Primary School

New build 1FE Primary School

Considerate Constructors ‘Performance Beyond Compliance’

Project Details

Location

Wrotham, Kent

Client

Kent County Council

Project Manager

Architect

Miller Bourne LLP

Structural Engineer

Evans and Langford LLP

Building Services Consultant

Crofton Design Limited

Baxall Delivery

Programme Period

31 weeks

Contract Value

£2.37m
"The use of Streif's advanced closed panel walls improved installation efficiency, reduced waste and improved the programme"

Platt Church of England Primary School has been in existence since 1846, teaching generations of local children. The School had been in its previous building since 1912 but are now benefitting from a brand new home less than a mile down the road.  The old school was making teaching the national curriculum more challenging for the school and pupils, with intake increasing year on year. The old school had a total area of around 3,170 square metres, the new school site is far more suitably sized at 15,215 square metres.

Platt CofE Primary School, Wrotham, was Baxall Construction’s first Department for Education (DfE) project, with a Kent County Council self-delivery team. The new build 1FE primary school features vaulted ceilings and has been designed to make the most of the natural light. In addition, the students benefit from a dedicated design and technology room, multi-use games area, a full catering kitchen, sports hall, and ‘forest school’. The forest school has been specially developed in the adjacent woodland to give the students an experience outside the classroom and encourages them to learn more about the environment and nature.

The project was procured under a two-stage, design and build contract. During the second stage period we provided early engagement, with the DfE and KCC, to develop a coherent and practical design. The project followed the DfE’s Client Engagement Meetings Schedule (CEM’s), which is a prescribed process for early engagement. During this time, the Baxall team highlighted procurement risks, associated with Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. A procurement tracker was populated, highlighted risks included lead times for bricks, insulation, and timber. The commercial team engaged with the approved supply chain to establish lead time and early procurement, in some case materials were able to be stored on site weeks in advance to minimise disruption to programme.

Under the leadership of the Project Manager, Baxall commenced the works on this brownfield site in October 2020. During the early stage, the site team liaise with Archaeological Consultant, Wessex Archaeology Limited, who performed sample digs to ascertain if the site was of archaeological importance. Following receipt of the report, ground and sub-structure works commenced, however, were hampered by inclement weather. Due to incessant rain the foundation trenches required temporary formwork to be installed prior to concrete being poured.

Following a full design review, Baxall delivered a Modern Method of Construction (MMC) design. A design was developed using a prefabricated off-site system, manufactured by Streif. The use of Streif’s advanced closed panel walls improves installation efficiency, reduces waste, and improves on the programme. The panels came to site pre-insulated, sheathed and with windows and doors installed to maximise quality. The Streif system was erected using a mobile crane, during an 8 week period. This design enabled the project to be finished on time and on budget, much to the delight of the client and students.

The Baxall site team maintained daily contact (in addition to formal weekly review meetings); with the client and KCC Project Manager – Stuart Pryor. This proactive approach to open communication was paramount in maintaining accurate and up-to-date information on both the build process and operational aspects to maximise safety, minimise disruption and properly manage risk.

This project was completed during the Covid 19 pandemic. Baxall worked under the strictest protocols, risk assessments. Baxall and our supply chain members worked under the strictest protocols and risk assessments; this included mandatory lateral flow tests, temperature checks, hand gel points, hand washing, and social distancing. The project was completed with zero covid transmissions.

The project was completed under the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) and achieved a score of 40 – Performance Beyond Compliance. Throughout the project, Site Manager performed a number of tours and provided talks to local students about the construction of their new school.  The new school was opened at the start of the academic year 2021, to the delight of the students, client and staff.

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