18 August 2016

Wootton Lower School


  • Region: Bedfordshire
  • Client: Persimmon Homes
  • Value: £2,750,000
  • Contract terms: JCT D&B 2011
  • Contract length: 35 weeks
  • Completed: July 2015
  • Customer satisfaction score at PC: 100%
  • Site features and challenges: Changing building requirements / close residential neighbours / varying end user requirements
  • Community: Mi-space optimised opportunities to contribute to the surrounding area’s small but growing community by:
    • assisting an M+E apprentice in preparing for a CITB assessment, highlighting works and areas that would contribute to his learning experience;
    • donating excess timber and pallets to Wootton School to create a new fenced compound; and
    • delivering specialist mask-fitting training to all operatives on the site, including several local labourers and tradesmen.

The project comprised the construction of a school for pre-primary pupils alongside an on-going Persimmon housing development. The building's intended use was changed from a primary to lower school during the construction stage, and works were expanded to enhance facilities for younger children. The Mi-space team was instrumental in coordinating corresponding design developments without adversely affecting the programme.

Mi-space was awarded this, its eighth section 106 school in the last two years, after demonstrating the following:

  • core team of operational manager, senior surveyor and senior design manager who have been delivering Section 106 together for over 10 years – demonstrable lessons learned carried forward; 
  • extensive relevant track record, with the operational manager having delivered over 15 similar schools on time and on budget; and 
  • clear understanding of both the client and end user’s key concerns, and detailed proposals to ensure they were consistently met.

Mi-space liaised with the new school’s headteacher from an early stage, identifying that his key concern was the maintenance and operation of a safe and accommodating site, which could be visited regularly by impending students. The team implemented several corresponding measures, including a code of conduct included in every site induction, with emphasis on the importance of suitable behaviour; regular communication with the school management to identify mutually convenient visiting times; and delivering presentations from an observation deck at the site boundary to allow the pupils to safely observe major works at key points.

The team accommodated the changing building requirements through quick and efficient reprogramming to prioritise works undertaken in the unaffected areas, and allocating extra management resource, both mitigating potential delays. Disturbances to residential neighbours were reduced by all design options being reviewed with noise/dust/delivery mitigation at the forefront – for example a power floated finish was removed from the ground floor slab to reduce associated noise. Varying end user (teacher) finish requirements were met by instilling a sense of importance across the supply chain for accommodating the end user’s wishes and requirements at handover.

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