Stoke & Derby Building Schools for the Future

Stoke & Derby Building Schools for the Future

Project: Stoke and Derby Building Schools for the Future
Category: Education
Products: SFS lightweight steel framing
Scale: £145 million project for 11 new SEN and secondary schools
Client: Local Authorities
Contractor: Balfour Beatty

When Balfour Beatty was appointed to undertake the complete planning, design and construction of eleven schools under the Building Schools for the Future initiative, they knew that success would depend on a concerted team effort involving designers, engineers, contractors and materials suppliers.

The projects, currently being undertaken in the Stoke-on-Trent and Derby areas, comprise a mixture of special educational needs and secondary education establishments of various designs, with a total value of £145 million The emphasis is not only on providing the right facilities to a high standard, but also on delivering value for money for the Local Authorities.

From the very start, Balfour Beatty assembled a team of specialists and preferred suppliers to assure success and maximise benefits in terms of efficiency and cost control. Metsec was appointed during this process not only to manufacture and deliver the steel framing systems required, but also to provide design expertise.

Working with structural engineers, architects and structural steel contractors, Metsec’s designers attended meetings and workshops aimed at developing design solutions which would streamline the construction process to maximise efficiency and, where possible, make cost savings.

The early involvement of Metsec’s in-house design team has not only delivered cost savings across all of the projects completed to date, but has helped to assure the accuracy of the designs. This, in addition to the company’s knowledge of installation techniques and close working relationships with specialist steel contractors has foreseen possible problems in the construction process and eliminated them before they occur.

Colin Harper, Project Director at Balfour Beatty Construction, comments, “As with any project, it is vital to assure accuracy, risk reduction and cost control as well as delivering value for money for the client. Getting Metsec involved at the earliest stages of conceptualisation made them a key part of the design team and has already paid dividends in these crucial areas.

“Thanks to the benefits that have already been realised, we certainly believe that this approach signals a new phase in the development of good practice within Balfour Beatty, and where we lead others are certain to follow.”

Three of the schools in Stoke and two in Derby are due for completion in 2012. A further four schools in Stoke will be completed in 2013 and the two remaining Stoke schools are scheduled for handover the following year.

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