St Andrews Lower School
to meet this urgent requirement. There are many factors influencing demographic changes - making sure there are enough school places for local children is a major concern for parents and a challenge for government and councils.
Project: St Andrews Lower School
Company: B & K Structures
As the demand for school places across the country increases, the need to build education facilities at a rapid rate calls for innovative building methods to meet this urgent requirement. There are many factors influencing demographic changes - making sure there are enough school places for local children is a major concern for parents and a challenge for government and councils.
B & K Structures were appointed by Willmott Dixon Construction to design, manufacture and construct the structural frame for the build. The supporting form of the build comprised a braced glulam frame; incorporating continuous curved columns and rafters which were a unique design.
The curved columns and rafters were left exposed to create a striking feature within the teaching spaces. Due to the tightness of the curve, and to prevent the glulam splintering the columns were reinforced with screws. The roof was constructed from timber plywood decking, which was supported off softwood rafters and purlins. Concealed bolted steel plate connections were used for the glulam members while structural screwed connections were specified for the roof deck.
There were a number of key drivers for this build, the most important being that it was to be constructed at a fast pace without disrupting the surrounding area. From the early design stages, an offsite manufactured glulam frame was specified as a core structural material for the build. This provided a swift erection programme with minimal onsite disturbance. This project was the first of its kind to use the Paxton design – one of several in the Sunesis range by Wilmott Dixon which creates a flexible and sustainable environment, meeting the latest government BB103 area requirements for schools.
During the build, B & K Structures faced a number of challenges including the creation of the tight radius during the manufacture of the curved glulam beams. This was overcome by B & K Structures being able to engage with the design team and the specialist fabricators to come up with the most suitable radius and supply chain. The team were also unable to place lifting and access equipment on the concrete slabs, therefore meticulous planning on erection sequencing and deliveries were needed to ensure all areas could be accessed.
Outcome / results / success factor
The project used BIM modelling which was integrated throughout the design team to ensure builders work holes were drilled offsite this helped to overcome the challenge of the incorporation of M & E, clash detection software was also used to enable seamless integration.
Due to the standardised design of the building, this project was designed and completed in the rapid time of 12 months.
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