William Hulme Academy


Mat McNab. Ramboll

Mat McNab

Operational Excellence Director
T: +44 20 7631 5291
We teamed up with our client, education charity United Learning Trust, to transform the first independent grammar school in the country to become a City Academy. New facilities for the school's 700 pupils were built in two phases to minimize disruption to activities on a restricted site.

Work began with the Donner Building — three stories of classrooms and an assembly hall — which is the central hub of the school. Stripped back to its concrete frame and floors, the building, now roughly L-shaped in plan, was wrapped in a steel frame for fast, economically viable construction. Designed in red brick to match the school's Victorian buildings, the walls meet in a double height glazed atrium to form a high-visibility entrance. Aluminium standing-seam roof panels provide watertight longevity while reducing heat loss.

Remodelled for new use, the science block's partition walls have been used to reconfigure interior space. New services have been installed to accommodate changing areas and sports facilities. Where we were unable to locate plant on the ground floor, the first floor structure was strengthened using additional steelwork.

Modifications to the sports hall included the insertion of a first floor viewing mezzanine.

building services

The transformation of a grammar school into a city academy involved the refurbishment and reconfiguration of existing buildings. We surveyed current building services before identifying options for upgrade.

We fitted an improved heating system using high efficiency condensing boilers, which in turn feed an air handling unit (AHU) located on the roof of the Donner Building. Our main challenge was to address the need for mechanical ventilation in the internal offices where natural ventilation was not an option. By installing passive ventilation units, we were able to ensure the flow of fresh air into the 3m high rooms. Surface-mounted radiant ceiling panels provide heating — and energy savings — through heat transfer.

Adding changing facilities in the science block required the installation of a gas fired water heater with space for plant. Two domestic water break tanks serve the block: one to bring the system up to current standards, the other to meet peak demand in the changing area.


240 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8NW
United Kingdom
Tel:+44 20 7631 5291
Fax:+44 845 299 1610

Mail: london@ramboll.co.uk

Company registration

Company registration

Ramboll UK Limited. Registered in England & Wales. Company registration no. 03659970. Registered office: 240 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NW

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