This project meant a lot of homework for our expert team. Upon taking this brief, it had been 10 years since we’d managed a school build, and it involved more than we first thought - but we love a challenge.
The result, however, is an impressive, future-proof building that will support the development of young minds for many years to come.
The main academic building was split into four phases, with multiple floors, a secondary sports building and a swimming pool.
- Macclesfield County Council
- Main Contractor
- VINCI Construction UK Ltd
- Cameron Darroch
- Pick Everards
This brief incorporated many varied building materials and it became clear very early on that the designs did not factor in the level of detail required - such as the need for many more structural steel connections than were highlighted in the architect’s plans.
The wings in the academic building needed joints and different types of bracing within each phase to allow for the movement of the floors. The swimming pool needed a lot more loading into the internal columns to ensure it would contain any noise made within the building. The wet areas of the leisure element also needed corrosion protection. The front of the school required what we call a ‘brise soleil’ - or sunscreen to run the front of the building.
In short, we needed a significant amount more steel than the initial designs suggested, and we didn’t actually start any fabrication for four months. In addition to extra steel needed, we also had to introduce many different connections in order to deliver the requirements of the project. A huge-scale distribution warehouse, something we’re well-used to delivering, may have as many as 300 connections, but this education building required the design and fabrication of over 1,000.
As always, our approach was collaborative, and we worked alongside the architects to ensure that they were onboard with the suggestions and any changes we made. It was testament to the talent and expertise of our various teams that we were able to take such a bare bones brief and transform it into a workable vision.
Through great communication we tackled through the challenges and met the vision of the architects and the school to complete an exciting space for learning - putting us top of the class!