11 August 2016

Cranbrook Education Campus


  • Region: Devon
  • Client: Persimmon Homes
  • Value: £13,300,000
  • Contract terms: JCT D&B 2011
  • Contract duration: 84 weeks
  • Completed: September 2015
  • Client score - 'keeping promises and commitments': 10/10
  • Site features and challenges: Restricted site access / adjacent to Network Rail line
  • Community: The client awarded Mi-space 10/10 for ‘Providing tangible community benefits to the surrounding area’. Contributing elements included a charity contractor logo board – £1,000 raised for a local church community support group; waste timber used to create bird and bat boxes that were distributed in local parks; and a catering supplier provided equipment for a local community kitchen.

The project comprised the construction of a through school, the first in the Southwest, to support Devon's new self-sufficient and low-carbon community. The BREEAM Very Good building is heated by E.ON Energy's District Heating Network, an energy solution that feeds the entire community via sustainable sources.

Mi-space was selected from the Construction Framework South West for a proven ability to deliver BREEAM through innovative and cost-effective design including a detailed protection plan for the ecologically sensitive site. Persimmon further appreciated the team's proposed design solutions for key services packages, which offered early resolution and guaranteeing quality, and their accurate identification and mitigation of risks, improving programme and budget certainty.

Persimmon’s key objective was achieving on-time completion and allowing occupation prior to the start of the new school year. Mi-space achieved this by first liaising with the client and end user to accurately define the building's operational requirements, consequently omitting ceilings, simplifying natural ventilation and the scope of works. The team also amended the design to reduce amount of brickwork, thereby mitigating potential delays due to resource shortages, and re-sequencing the programme to allow commencement of the internal fit-out prior to completion of the superstructure.

Challenges were overcome by negotiating the use of a neighbour's land to create a new construction access road; amending the groundwork plan to seal the site with recycled stone and allow continued use through inclement weather; and extensive liaison with Network Rail at the preconstruction stage to collectively agree suitable and effective RAMS.

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