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    Handford Hall Primary School plant room

    Client: Handford Hall Primary School
    Project: Plant room refurbishment
    Value: £100k


    Handford Hall Primary School is a small, friendly primary school in the centre of Ipswich that is part of the Orwell Multi Academy Trust, a group of seven infant and primary schools in Suffolk. It serves over 300 pupils aged 3-11 years and is rated as good by Ofsted. It’s a school that works hard for its students and delivers progress that is well above average in reading and writing and above average in maths.

    Similar to its academy partner, The Willows School, the heating system was approaching the end of its useful life and the potential savings in fuel and carbon costs made it economically advantageous to refurbish the plant room, replace the boilers and ensure the system was more operationally secure going forwards.

    Handford School Plant Room refurbishment

    The challenge

    This project brought a number of significant challenges, in the timescale, the site itself and the location.

    As with many of these school boiler room refurbishments, they need to be completed during the summer shutdown, so pupils are unaffected and external temporary boilers don’t need to be deployed. This gave us a limited timeframe to deliver the work. The site was very tight indeed and meant some clever thinking and good engineering. The most visible of these were the pressurisation units being mounted on the back of the boilers, rather than floor-mounted as we would normally prefer to do. The third challenge was the location in Ipswich, a long way from our working base. We countered this by taking a team of four engineers, including one with the required welding skills, to work across this project and the Willows School, being run simultaneously. The teams moved between sites as their specific skills were required, allowing two jobs to be delivered within a tight time frame.

    The work

    The work itself began with disconnecting and removal of the existing redundant boilers and pumps with associated pipework modifications to local point. We then removed the existing flue and replaced with a new one, following the same route to minimise the impact of builders work required.

    We then supplied and installed three Ideal EvoMax II 120kW gas-fired condensing boilers, complete with a new cascade mounting system and ancillaries. The existing pumps and associated valves were all replaced for new ones with with equal specifications and duties, before making good all existing pipework and electrical control connections to give a fully compliant and operational system.

    The final work before handover was to replace and make good existing thermal insulation, fill, vent, test and commission the system. That is a lot of work in four weeks and you can see by the CGI illustration (below) the size and the scale of the pipework involved.

    CGI showing pipework for Handford School

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