Sevenoaks Prep School – The Centenary Centre

New Build Teaching Block

Considerate Constructors ‘Certificate Beyond Compliance’

Project Details


Sevenoaks, Kent


Sevenoaks Prep School


Hazle McCormack Young LLP

Building Services Consultant

Sawyer & Fisher

Programme Period

46 weeks

Contract Value

"By mitigating key risk items on the risk and opportunity register at tender stage, Baxall value engineered £500,000 in client cost savings from the initial scheme."
Following a competitive tender Baxall were awarded the contract to build a new bespoke teaching block at Sevenoaks Prep School in rural Godden Green, close to Sevenoaks, to replace outdated mobile classrooms. Named ‘The Centenary Centre’ to commemorate the school’s 100th anniversary, the centrepiece of the new block features a sunken library complete with tiered seating.

Built using traditional methods, the £3.3m project comprises a single-storey steel-frame building with facing brickwork and sustainably sourced Siberian larch cladding, with a single-ply membrane standing seam roof. By taking advantage of opportunities and mitigating key risk items on the risk and opportunity register at tender stage, the Baxall team value engineered £500,000 in client cost savings from the initial scheme.

Working collaboratively with the key stakeholders even before project award, the team agreed site logistics and traffic management strategies to enable the school to remain fully operational and unaffected while works progressed.

To mitigate potential disturbance during exam periods the team planned the works and adjusted the programme accordingly. Delivery instructions and designated holding points for delivery vehicles were strictly enforced to safely control site access and egress points, while site gates were always locked to prevent staff/pupil ingress. Due to school’s lack of parking, the team gave managed access to staff at the beginning and end of the day enabling them to pass through the site itself and park on land adjacent to the maintenance yard.

The project offered numerous challenges for Baxall’s team including excavating around unknown shallow live services and drains; and installing/connecting new gas and water main services without disrupting the school activities. The irregular, faceted shape of the building presented additional complexities which were resolved via early and continuous engagement to ensure the architect’s vision was achieved.

‘Green’ credentials include an external living wall on the south elevation and roof-mounted PV panels with a display panel in the main lobby showing power generated and the amount returned to the grid. Bat boxes along with nesting boxes for hedgehogs, sparrows, house martins and other small birds were also installed outside in the school’s designated nature zone.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were measured throughout the contract with all Baxall targets achieved or exceeded, including an impressive ‘Certificate Beyond Compliance’ from the Considerate Constructors Scheme.

The dedicated efforts and professional management of both programme and resources culminated in the successful delivery of The Centenary Centre on time and to budget.

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