The new Skinners’ Kent Primary School has been delivered to time and budget, providing a 1600m² state-of -the-art education facility for the client. Designed and built on behalf of Kent County Council, this new sustainable school development hosts a 2-storey state-of the-art teaching facility and outdoor space with scope for development at a later date to accommodate increased student numbers. The school is a particularly innovative and sustainable exemplar for the town and county which has demonstrated cost, programme and sustainability efficiencies.
With budget limitations in the early stages, Baxall’s winning bid offered KCC a value engineered solution using ‘modern methods of construction’ which specifically encompassed a STREIF off-site fabricated approach as opposed to a traditional build on site. The thinking behind this tried and tested approach was to achieve a high quality solution within budget with the added benefit of significant programme savings and reduced impact of the construction process on the local environment and Tunbridge Wells community.
The very nature of this off-site design and manufacture solution within a stringent factory-controlled environment meant that production and assembly were rigidly controlled leading to improved air tightness and thermal performance. This, coupled with further sustainable design features such as photovoltaic panels created an energy efficient building which will generate whole life cost savings for the school.
In addition to the benefits realised through an advanced timber solution, the early-stage value engineering exercise highlighted a number of potential savings on prelims and foundations against a steel frame/ masonry approach. On site, efficiencies were achieved as the nature of the installation meant the building was naturally divisible, thus enabling a phased handover of the right and left hand sides.
Part-constructed over the winter period, a key challenge faced by the site team was high winds and bad weather which hindered the use of the crane and incurred delays. This time was reclaimed as a result of using the STREIF System; with the early weatherproofing of the lower ground floor (first floor slab), trades were able to commence early beneath.
The project was designed and delivered using BIM (Building Information Modelling). The use of 3D technology enabled delivery to be significantly more efficient in comparison to a traditional 2D approach. A collective team approach generated numerous efficiencies including notable reductions in waste (both in process and delivery) and overall far greater programme certainty.
The school was successfully delivered to a significantly reduced programme (8 weeks) enabling a Pre-Handover Tour to be hosted to a delighted client team, school and children who took early occupancy in July.