As demand for school places increases, the need to build education facilities at a rapid rate calls for innovative building methods. There are many factors influencing demographic changes – ensuring there are enough school places for local children is a major concern for parents and a challenge for government and councils. A large-scale housing development at Beaulieu Park in Chelmsford, Essex, encompassing 3,700 homes created such a demand. The upsurge in local inhabitants requiring schooling had to be quickly accommodated – offsite manufacturer EOS provided the solution. As the first all-through school in the county of Essex, Beaulieu Park had to cater for children of all ages in an efficient, safe and an age-appropriate manner.
DESIGN & VISION
The decision was made to provide over 1,600 new school places through the provision of new primary and secondary school facilities, with a nursery and sixth form centre. The buildings’ size and scale reflect the developmental stages of the children, with a single storey block for early years, flowing into a two-storey primary environment and a separate three-storey block at the opposite end of the site for older students.
Programmes and budgets were tight, meaning that a rapid design and construction strategy was required. EOS provided full BIM level 2 collaboration with the architect and main contactor Kier to provide infill steel framing systems (SFS) to all exterior walls and parapet envelopes. The finishes consist of hard-wearing masonry and cladding in keeping with the new development nearby – the contemporary facade delivers a robust solution for the high-traffic environment.
With approval prior to manufacture and a pre-agreed schedule of works – despite the complexities of the steel framed superstructure – the project was brought in on programme and budget. EOS were able to overcome all buildability issues with non-standard products and expert detailing skills. All the ancillaries and bracketry products were manufactured by EOS, providing a seamless one-stop shop supply solution for installers, Eden Facades.
EOS’s core objective was to design and manufacture a cost-effective offsite solution to help deliver the project on time and within budget. The steel frame building, with all the complexities this entails, uses non-standard details, specifically designed and manufactured by EOS – from SFS overhang and structural bracing hidden in the SFS zone, to large openings requiring wind posts and SFS open face columns and beams needing intricate bracketry.
Beaulieu Park School is a time critical element in a major local infrastructure project. The all-through school has been built in rapid time to an outstanding quality, with excellent fire, acoustic and thermal properties through a custom offsite-manufactured steel framing system complete with superior insulation and sheathing.