The Challenge:

The project involved building a new school campus in Fort William in the Scottish Western Highlands, an area known for its heavy rainfall and abundance of snow and frost during the winter months.

Careful planning was considered for designing the façades of the new school to withstand the area's high levels of rainfall, creating a campus sympathetic to its rural surroundings and finding a way to mitigate the shortage of bricklayers in the area.

The Solution:

Bricks had originally been specified for the design, but, after a review, the design team concluded that various other materials would offer a more robust, cost effective solution to suit the local environmental conditions. In response, the team suggested they value manage the entire external façade to comprise different elements, agreeing on a zinc solution for the top floor and rendered block for the ground floor. This also mitigated the possibility of potential weather issues, both during construction and its lifespan and the issue of a shortage of bricklayers in Fort William.

The Impact:

The design has given the school campus an aesthetic more sympathetic to its rural surroundings in the local village of Caol and the range of materials used better reflects the challenging environmental conditions.

In November 2018, Caol Joint Campus was awarded the prestigious 'Best Pupil/Student Experience Award' at the Education Buildings Scotland Awards.

" Pre construction was good and the site team was outstanding and worked well together "
Iain Robertson The Highland Council

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