The Challenge:

Awarded as part of the Scape Minor Works Framework following success of Barnhurst Primary School, the scheme involved the construction of a new primary school provision at the existing Stowlawn Primary School. Designed and constructed in two phases, each phase ran concurrently ensuring the new two-storey extension was completed in time for the next academic year. Meeting the demand for the additional form entry, the project included the construction of eight new classrooms, administration centre and a feature reception and entrance.  The challenging programme was delivered in the ‘live school’ which caters for over 270 pupils.

Unique to this project included the building’s existing Passivhaus principals and bespoke brickwork façade. Originally designed by the pupils of the school, our specialist bricklayer seamlessly integrated the ‘old’ and the ‘new’, through careful detailing, patterning and colour matching. The thermal air, heating and lifecycle costs were designed to align with Passivhaus standards and included high insulation value, sound absorbing values, low energy and high renewables. 

The Solution:

Building a collaborative relationship with the School, the City of Wolverhampton Council, other key stakeholders and the project team proved vital to project success and overcoming logistical challenges. For example, to retain emergency access to the school playground, we installed an innovative, two-way, secure gated access system. Regulated by the school, this gated system maintained the safe emergency route and featured safety signage designed by the school pupils as part of our school engagement.

Further segregation and management of the school operations included:

  • Maximising working hours during the half term period to relocate the single plant room
  • Installation of a separate boiler for the special educational needs (SEN) unit’s hydro-therapy pool to maintain its use and temperature
  • Additional car park constructed ensured adequate parking was maintained for parents and staff.

Delivered simultaneously with sister project, Spring Vale Primary School, we utilised a shared ‘tried and tested’ local supply chain to improve quality control and programme efficiency, whilst ensuring the local pound remained within Wolverhampton.  Over 86% of the project spend was procured within 50 miles of the site.

The Impact:

Best value was achieved through a comprehensive and collaborative innovation and value engineering exercise with the client and design team. This resulted in over £100k of added value returned to the client. Innovations included raised seam roofing in lieu of sedum roofing and utilising alternative renewables.

The project was recognised as ‘outstanding’ by the Considerate Constructors Scheme scoring 42.

The school scored Kier 10/10 customer satisfaction in all 15 categories including service, collaboration and innovation.

Watch our video case study of this project:

" We have a very positive relationship with everyone at Kier. They have a very good understanding of our needs and priorities and have worked hard to minimise disruption to our school. "
Susan Vaughan Head Teacher (Retired) Stowlawn Primary School

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