St Hilda’s C of E High School is one of the best performing schools in Liverpool. However, the original building was dilapidated. Its acoustic and thermal performance levels were poor, and it was uneconomical to upgrade. After extensive consultations we designed a new 8000m2, four-storey school building and a separate 765m2 sports block. The site is in a conservation area with listed buildings all around and next to a Grade I listed park. This meant the design had to be of a high standard to satisfy planning and English Heritage, which was challenging given the limited budget.
We maintained a simple shape to create a very efficient structural frame. This allowed us to spend more on finishes, including high quality brickwork. We also included full height glazed screens between each classroom and a large four-storey atrium that is naturally lit by rooflights.
We used Level 2 Building Information Modelling (BIM) for all aspects of the project, including: a fully detailed and coordinated BIM model containing architectural, structural, building services and landscape designs, outline specifications and project strategies. Our cost management team also built our cost plan into the BIM model, allowing rapid and effective quantification of the developing design and simple assessment of the cost of design changes or alternative design proposals.
The main building opened in October 2015 and we completed the sports hall and landscaping works in May 2016. Stakeholders including the school, the planning department, English Heritage and the local community are delighted with the completed scheme.
Restoring an iconic building, taking part in feasibility studies to decide the best use of the building, working on the project to turn it into a seven-screen cinema with restaurants, coffee shop and retail units, winning multiple industry awards and creating something of huge importance to local people.