The Challenge:

Developed through the PSBP, the new Don Valley Academy replaces the old school which was no longer fit for purpose. The new building was positioned on the school’s live site, carefully located to prevent the building overshadowing nearby residents. The team also ensured that the existing school did not experience disruptions in its schedule and avoided loud works during construction periods.

The team undertook close collaboration with stakeholders to ensure that all involved were aware of progress and issues to be addressed, and that complex planning was clear to sub-contractors. Collaborative planning also ensured that the Kier team could create a design which best met the Academy’s needs.

The Solution:

The building was designed in Building Information Modelling. This enhanced asset management and allowed for the delivery of design savings, improved design coordination and change management.

The school’s teaching accommodation is located in two three-storey finger blocks, offset around the school’s entrance, with the new sports block in a separate building. The school was predominantly clad in brick, interspersed with a metal-clad zone and curtain walling to stair cores. The existing City Learning Centre was refurbished to provide accommodation for sixth-form students. The school’s northern side has a formal, civic frontage, with a public zone to the north of the main block; a private, secure area for staff and students is located to the south.

On completion of the works, the existing school was demolished, with landscaping of the site undertaken.

The Impact:

The school has a much more effective use of space and is far more energy efficient. The ventilation for air supply and thermal comfort is provided by an in-room Natural Ventilation with Heat Recycling (NVHR) unit. The building’s orientation maximises the north-south aspect to teaching space; this utilises environmentally sustainable design.

Energy modelling of the new school demonstrated that there was a 13% reduction in carbon emissions against the required reduction of 10%. The project also provided work experience placements for learners from local colleges in joinery, mechanical and electrical engineering, dry lining, and plastering. Local primary school Castle Hill Primary also benefited from several site visits.

" Good relationships have been developed with the Kier team; they are focussed on achieving the best possible outcome for Don Valley Academy "
Karen Squire Principal Don Valley Academy

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