London and the South East is faced with the need to cope with the growing number of students due to population growth and a schools shortage gap. Mayfield School, located in Dagenham Kent, is no exception, requiring an 8,000m2 expansion to increase the schools capacity from eight to twelve form entry classes. Designed by David Miller Architects, with Ramboll supplying structural, geotechnical and services engineering expertise, the project had a tight budget and had to be complete within an incredibly tight 18 months.
Mayfield School’s Vision
Prior to expansion, Mayfield School was a large secondary school with circa 1,000 pupils. The project to increase the schools capacity would see this almost double with additional facilities for a further 800 students and 80 staff. As well as providing facilities for high quality learning, the school wanted to promote general health and wellbeing within the wider Mayfield community with a brand new fully equipped sports hall and dance studio.
Redbridge Council collaborated with staff and students of the school to develop the design of the redevelopment which resulted in a clear vision for the expansion with the aim to create a “culture of aspiration”.
Integrated design and construction
A number of key factors in the project ensured its timely delivery, one of these key factors was the fully integrated BIM approach, aligned to level 2 BIM. This approach ensured a fully coordinated design and a high level of quality management throughout the design process. Point cloud scanning of buildings that were to be retained was done to accurately design interfaces between old and new assets and a virtual 3D model of the final building was created. This gave stakeholders the confidence to make clear and timely decisions to meet the tight programme and highlighted any concerns regarding the build, cost and performance to ensure that the construction ran smoothly without any delays.
Environmental performance was also developed within the BIM model to ensure the as-built design achieved its BREEAM “excellent” target rating.
“We saved 3 months on the pre-construction programme to get into planning early and shortened the construction period by 6 months via a combination of the build methodology and associated faster procurement process using scheduling and co-ordination benefits of BIM.” - Brian Spencer, Senior Design Manager, Bouygues UK
A dynamic construction material – Cross Laminated Timber
Furthermore, the selection of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) as its main construction material was a key factor in the success of the construction plan. The lightweight timber shortened fit-out times and significantly reduced substructure works. All the walls and floors are primarily formed of CLT, with steel elements inserted if needed. Where possible, large areas of the timber structure are exposed to create striking architectural features which, not only has a great aesthetic value to the building, but has also yielded many savings in interior wet trades as the large timber panels eliminated the need for a significant quantity of interior blockwork partitioning and plastering.Combining the use of BIM and CLT construction material drove down the programme time. Using BIM, the fabrication information for the CLT panels were designed with the manufacturer so that the timber panels could be directly CNC cut from the model data. This not only saved time on site but the “flat pack” panels were guaranteed to fit with all structural and services openings “right first time”. The CLT superstructure was completed in just 12 weeks.
A winning combinationThe Mayfield School redevelopment has won a number of accolades including: ‘BIM Project of the Year’ at the regional London and the South East Constructing Excellence Awards and ‘Education Project of the Year’ at the Structural Timber Awards. For a full list of award wins, visit the awards page.
‘‘Mayfield showed how an ambitious project could be carried out on a tight site with significant time and cost savings – as well as the achievement of a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating – by exploiting all the opportunities offered by Level 2 BIM’’. - Constructing Excellence judges