The Priory Academy is based in Penwortham near Preston, it is a secondary school teaching children between the ages of 11 and 16. Kimpton submitted a competitive tender for a package of works on a new extension block, designed to increase the capacity of the school that was to be built adjoining an existing school building. We were subsequently awarded the contract through the main contractor, Nobles Construction, for the design and installation works associated.
The timescale from the contract award to works commencing on the site was around 6 weeks. This included 3-4 weeks for initial design and iterative process of review and amendment in conjunction with Nobles representatives to ensure that plans were in line with the overall build design and functionality. Once the final design was signed off, the Kimpton team began the mobilization process. From beginning on site to the completion of works, the project ran for a total of nine months.
The package awarded to Kimpton was for the mechanical works and involved the installation of a new boiler plant room in the new extension block. This was connected back via gas pipes already installed to the existing main plant room with the principal school buildings. The installation works then carried out right through to the classroom areas with the installation of, amongst other things, radiant ceiling panels designed to generate heat in the classrooms more efficiently than traditional radiators. We were also responsible for installing a CO2 monitoring system connected to alarms if levels detected got too high, and suitable ventilation to classrooms to ensure that the room temperatures could be properly adjusted based on weather conditions and other factors.
In terms of the materials used on the contract, in addition to the standard copper pipework being installed was Tracpipe gas pipework, a lined protective barrier pipe specific to the application needed to enclose the pipe work in the floor duct.
Our Contract Manager for the Project was Paul Cooper, who has years of experience in managing projects of this and greater levels of complexity. Paul’s oversight of the works was supported by a visiting site supervisor who would be on-site for 2 full days per week, organising a team that reached a maximum of 10 fully qualified, time-served engineers on-site at any given point. The Site Supervisor would liaise with Nobles Site Management regarding progress and scheduling of works and would then organise resource to allow works to continue on track at all times.
Given that the works were effectively taking place in a live school environment throughout much of the project, there was an extra element of risk when compared to projects that begin and complete within the school holiday periods. The presence of children and other members of the public meant that careful attention was paid by all concerned and it was made clear to the workforce on site that Health and Safety was the highest priority on the contract. For this reason, it was specified that all engineers and site staff had to be enhanced DBS checked, something with which Kimpton complied in full. One element of variation to this was for the pipework to and from the existing boiler room, which had been done outside of term time as it would otherwise have involved works within the main school building during term time and potentially caused disruption to the school day.