Autumn is officially underway and with it comes the start of the new school term. As thousands of students return to school, college and university, we’d like to take the opportunity to reflect on the education projects we have completed recently. From our experience, we know that the built environment and school facilities has a big impact on student engagement, concentration levels, and even mental health so it’s crucial to get it right. We’re proud of our work on these projects and our whole education sector portfolio, helping inspire and support the learning of the next generation!
Kent and Medway Medical School
The Kent and Medway Medical School is a partnership between the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University, offering a new model of patient-focused medical attention. The three-storey building, situated at the University of Kent, will be the County’s first ever medical school and offers a 150-seat lecture theatre and a number of seminar rooms.
The short construction time of this project saw us design a hybrid cross-laminated timber (CLT) and steel framed solution, which answered the tight time constraints of the brief. This was another project where our use of 3D modelling systems and digital coordination meant we were able to view any below ground obstructions, integrate them into our model and design solutions around them.
Royal Greenwich Trust School
We were fortunate enough to have been the lead structural engineers on this engaging and challenging school extension in Greenwich. The live school site offered complex and unique circumstances that allowed us to express our creative side. This involved working around an existing tube train and over a running/go-kart track!
Together with the design team, we developed a scheme that uses the structural frame of the building to help with its thermal regulation. This design in turn helps reduce the running cost of the school as well as its impact on the environment. Our design also included raking columns which were used to support the elevated sports hall and lecture theatre, in addition to creating a self-stabilising desk during the construction process. Our use of precast planks, with ultra slim floor booms, also helped with the efficiency of construction.
The project at Royal Greenwich Trust School posed an extra logistical challenge as the school had to remain fully operational throughout the entire construction process to avoid disruption of studies. Our use of the latest modelling technology again helped us with this issue as we were able to model both the existing and proposed services and make sure all new designs could be carefully and accurately phased in without affecting any other services.