Not all buildings need to be constructed from scratch, in many cases part demolition of an existing block and upgrading sections of the original structure, can provide an adequate solution with far less disruption. This was the preferred approach for Meadows Primary School in Northfields, Birmingham, where cross laminated timber (CLT) was used as the core structural component.
Educating children up to the age of 11, with 469 pupils in total, Meadows Primary was already a larger than an average sized primary school. Additional facilities were required to cater for pupils with special educational needs - largely focusing on speech and language requirements. The development plans would enable the school to increase intake to 630 pupils, over a seven-year period.
The expansion incorporated a single story and a two story extension, both connect to the original buildings and are made up of cross laminated timber, glulam beams and structural steel. By specifying CLT, Meadows Primary School has become one of a growing number of schools in the City of Birmingham, to select timber as its preferred structural choice. Cross laminated timber structures are not only sustainable and adaptable for school buildings - the exposed timber delivers a natural and calming environment, providing a peaceful space for teaching and learning.
Our Lady & St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School is a new educational facility, designed to provide an exceptional, fun learning environment for the children of Poplar - a historic and mainly residential area of East London. The school was formed following a merger between Holy Family Catholic School and Our Lady Catholic Primary School. Construction commenced at the start of February 2014, whilst the existing school on the site remained fully operational. As a result of this restriction, a rapid prefabricated solution was required to prevent any excessive disruptions. The Diocese of Westminster - the charity which funded the school – decided the solution was to create a new state-of-the-art cross laminated timber (CLT) school building. CLT was selected as the core structural component because of the speed of construction that could be achieved through maximising offsite manufacturing techniques - resulting in minimal disruption onsite.
Due to a boost in the Burton Upon Trent population and the current site being outgrown, a new educational facility was urgently required by St Modwen’s Catholic Primary School to accommodate the expanding pupil numbers. The main contractors Seddon Construction, appointed the X-LAM Alliance as the structural frame contractor for the project and their challenge was to erect the frame in an extremely tight schedule of just nine weeks. Being a largely prefabricated offsite solution, engineered timber provided the solution. As cross laminated timber panels (CLT) and glulam beams are factory manufactured to exceptional levels of accuracy, ensuring minimal defects, this improves project delivery timescales, reduces costs and maximises efficiency on all levels.
The work at Preston Manor School has been carried out for the London Borough of Brent, on a design and build basis by Kier Construction (London). Kier opted to utilise an engineered timber solution of cross laminated timber panels (X-LAM) and awarded the contract for its design, supply and installation to B & K Structures. The construction combines B & K Structures’ X-LAM, produced in a range of dimensions, with Glulam beams providing some of the long span supports.
St Saviours School
Main Contractor- Kier Construction,
Client- London Borough of Waltham Forest,
Engineer- B & K Structures,
Materials- Cross Laminated Timber, Glulam and Steel
Located in South Cambridgeshire, Cherry Hinton Junior School had a requirement to increase the capacity of the school from 210 to 420 pupils. The School was a predominantly single storey cross laminated timber building with hipped roofs and a central flat roof form, with part of the building being used as a Children’s Centre with its own entrance. The solution was to create a two-storey building with a footprint of 35m x 31m, linked to the existing school by a 12m long corridor. The new development was designed with a contemporary external finish incorporating a combination of brick, glazing and timber with the main classrooms being arranged on both storeys around a central atrium activity space.
To achieve the required build timescale and deliver a highly sustainable development, Orpington based Neilcott Construction opted to use an X-LAM cross laminated timber panel system for the walls, floors and roof of a new school development - the Manor Longbridge Primary School for the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham. The project, completed in time for the start of the 2011 autumn term, surpassed the standard of BREEAM ‘Excellent’ with ease by utilising over 10,000m2 of X-LAM panels and 100m3 of Glulam supplied by the X-LAM Alliance.
The Project Manager for Neilcott Construction, Mr John Rookyard, comments saying: “This was an exceedingly tight build programme and speed was therefore the key consideration in choosing to utilise a cross-laminated timber construction, though it does offer other benefits as well. “Good dimensional tolerances are achieved together with improved insulation values, while if the timber is from sustainable sources, you can offset the carbon capture against future carbon emissions from the facility. Post construction, we have actually amassed 77 credit points under BREEAM, with the target for an excellent rating being 70.”
St Marys School
Main Contractor- Wates Construction,
Client- Birmingham City Council,
Architect- CPMG Architects,
Engineer- Couch Consulting Engineers,
Sector- Primary Education,
Materials- Cross Laminated Timber and Glulam
Holy Trinity Primary School has had its capacity doubled under a contract carried out for the London Borough of Richmond by Apollo Education; with B & K Structures supplying and erecting cross-laminated timber and steel elements to create 11 new classrooms as well as a new staff room and other facilities.While Apollo Education used Shepheard Epstein Hunter as its architect during the delivery stage, London based sustainable design specialist, Architype was involved from the outset of the £4.3 million redevelopment, and was responsible for the original concepts, the re-modelling of the school’s layout, and for the choice of a hybrid timber and steel structure as the design solution.
James Todd of Architype recounts: “For us the use of timber as a renewable resource was also important, with the cross-laminated timber panels making it straightforward to achieve very good airtightness. This was crucial because we were working to near Passivhaus standards and designing in mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, as well as a network of ground tubes to pre-warm or pre-cool the air coming in.”