The Challenge:

Ebbsfleet Garden City was announced as part of the Government’s Garden City initiative in 2014. The vision is to create a modern development of 15,000 homes over seven main areas, capitalising on good transport links to London, Kent and Europe. The Ebbsfleet Green area, built on the site of a former national grid substation, would be a mixed-use development of 950 residential dwellings, a village centre, primary school, pub, hotel, community centre, sports grounds and green public space.

Through the Scape procurement route, our project team reviewed different construction techniques for the proposed primary school at early inception stage. Due to the tight project timeline requirements a modular construction solution was selected.

The school’s entrance was sited to create a focal point by using the relationship with the adjacent green and soon to be built community centre to give a village feel to the area. Sustainability and social value would be key focus areas and the scheme would need to include a complex drainage system.

The Solution:

Kier engaged with supply chain partner Integra before planning was submitted for the project, to ensure that design intent, delivery, quality and value for money could be achieved with the modular construction solution. The team worked closely with Redrow Homes to facilitate statuary services to the site and to ensure that the logistical routes for the large modular units could be accommodated. 98 modular units were installed over four one-week phases and were lifted in using a 300 tonne mobile crane.

This scheme has a complex drainage system in order to fit in with the wider development. The site naturally falls from North to South towards a surface water sewer. A pond was constructed at the top of the site and was lined to ensure 50% of the water remained in the pond for teaching purposes and 50% was used as storage for rainfall. The MUGA was constructed with storage to hold some rainwater and there were tanks associated with the car parks.

The Impact:

The new school offers a wide variety of learning spaces including nursery, reception, infant and junior classrooms, plus food technology, science and design technology areas. It also offers special education needs facilities including a resource base plus therapy and medical inspection room. The new building also includes a hall, staff and administration areas, and storage areas.

In line with the project’s sustainability focus the new building’s form was designed to maximise natural light and natural ventilation and has achieved a BREEAM very good rating. The team ensured items such as timber for the construction was brought from a responsible source and enhancements to the site’s ecology and long term biodiversity were designed and implemented.

To achieve the ‘landmark/keynote’ building design requirement the building incorporated a distinctive saw tooth roof feature. Community engagement was exceptional throughout this project, students’ artwork were displayed on the hoarding and Kier’s mascot Kieran wrote a regular blog with site photos and information to keep the students up to date with progress on site.

" The building is a fantastic asset to the development, both in its aesthetics but also the facilities it will provide. Lee and Matt have excelled in both delivering the project on site and keeping Kent County Council informed on all commercial matters throughout the life of the project. We look forward to working with Kier on the next project. "
Emily Stapley Senior Project Manager (Education) Infrastructure Division, Strategic and Corporate Services, Kent County Council

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