Lyons O'Neill

Topping out the Royal Greenwich Trust School

The final beam was placed on The Royal Greenwich Trust School on Wednesday 21 January in a commemorative topping out ceremony, to mark the completion of the school’s new extension. The multi million pound project will enable the school – which was founded in 2016 – to accommodate a higher number of students, and make way for brand new facilities. These include a drama and dance studio, atrium, sports hall, science labs and additional classrooms.

We were appointed as Civil & Structural engineers on the project, overcoming a number of challenges, largely in part due to the site’s limited accessibility issues and historic development. It’s not uncommon for a school to remain in operation throughout a construction sequence, but the unique constraints of the site meant the team were also required to work around an existing tube train and over a go-kart track.

To provide solutions, and utilising the latest in 3D modelling technology, the team modelled both the site’s existing and proposed services. This enabled all disciplines involved to insert each stage of their designs carefully and accurately, whilst ensuring that all services were live at all times; effectively meeting the demands of the school’s live and busy site.

Lending their years of experience with education projects, we adapted our designs to consider all stages of the building’s life cycle; envisaging the way in which the building would operate well into the future. Working closely with the design team, we developed schemes which utilised the structural frame to help thermally regulate the building, helping the school cut down on running costs and lessen its impact on the environment.

Raking columns were also used to support the elevated sports hall and lecture theatre, whilst also creating a self-stabilising deck during construction. Precast planks with ultra-slim floor beams additionally enabled the team to create a flat slab which could be quickly and accurately erected when required.

Lyons O’Neill Director, Kevin Lyons, commented:

“Education projects are always a significant undertaking, and tend to reap many rewards for those involved, including, above all, the local community. For this reason, we were delighted to join the project as Civil & Structural engineers, which challenged and motivated us throughout the design and construction sequence. In overcoming numerous challenges, I credit the creativity and innovative thinking amongst our team for the ways in which they approached the project, helping drive the high standard to which it was completed. 

“We were also very fortunate to have collaborated with a number of impressive firms on this project, and would also like to extend a huge thank you to the project architects A Studio, Willmott Dixon Construction and mechanical and electrical engineers Skelly & Couch for their close collaboration. The topping out ceremony is a great way to celebrate this.”