Alderman Knight School Post 16 Centre

Project architect, Quattro Design Architects specified timber frame construction for the Post 16 Centre as speed and ease of construction was crucial.  Main contractor, E G Carter & Co Ltd. appointed tried and trusted sub-contractor, Taylor Lane to manufacture and erect the timber frame kit.

“When selecting a supply chain partner, we consider many factors – an experienced track record, financial security, health and safety performance, training/competence records, insurance cover, environmental awareness and local labour enterprise,” says Andrew Staite, quantity surveyor, E G Carter & Co Ltd.

Curve Appeal

Quattro Design Architects responded to the brief with a soft, light and spacious environment.  However, the architectural design included several challenging features including a curved external wall, curved corridors and large circular rooflights.  Alongside the 140mm timber frame kit, Taylor Lane designed bespoke solutions for the curved and circular details.  Internal square timber panels with filleted joints formed the curved corridors.

For the structural integrity of the timber frame, the curved wall had to be constructed from steel.  Designed and fabricated by Taylor Lane’s dedicated steel department, the steel frame had to carry the load of the floor to ceiling windows and glazing.  The curve was particularly challenging and had to be rollered to the correct radius.

The timber frame achieves a U-value of 0.19W/m2K, in-line with Building Regulations for public use.  Factory-fitted insulated external panels contributed to the building’s energy performance.

“We’ve been delighted to have been involved in what was a truly collaborative project from all involved,” says Mike Court, director for education, Quattro Design Architects Ltd.  “With all our projects undertaken in BIM, Taylor Lane’s timber frame model was of enormous benefit in assisting us co-ordinate the design so quickly.  Delivering the inspiring educational environment you see today.”

Supply success

The timber frame kit was erected in three weeks by Taylor Lane sub-contractor, Darren Gumbley and his team.  In accordance with the contract, traffic movements and deliveries were scheduled around the school’s opening and closing times, as Alderman Knight School and Tewkesbury School remained open throughout the build.  The erecting team adhered to site restrictions – no radio, smoking or profanities.

“The supply and delivery of materials was well-managed and the quality was excellent.  The erection of the frame was carried out promptly and professionally, and completed on programme,” says Jerry Palmer, contracts manager, E G Carter & Co Ltd.

Flexible learning

The new build facility comprises three standard classrooms, two of which can be combined into one; an ICT room; fitness facility; hygiene suite; break-out rooms and offices.  A large, open community space sits within the curve of the building.  The school plans on inviting mainstream pupils from Tewkesbury School to mingle in the communal zone.

“The Post 16 Centre is a seamless addition to the school,” says Matt Peplow, deputy head, Alderman Knight School.  “The design and build is more refined than the main building and is better suited to the age of the cohort.  It has had a positive influence on the children and they are behaving with greater maturity.”