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Case Study - Churcher's College - Science Block Extension

Innovative extension overcomes space restrictions at Churcher's College

For many schools and colleges space is a premium and any extension of classroom facilities can have serious implications for sports pitches, traffic flows and access.

An innovative construction solution at Churcher's College, an independant school in Petersfield, has involved extending the science building upwards, adding a new floor over the roof of the existing building to provide additional laboratories and teaching areas, without changing the building's footprint.

The new floor completely spans the existing building and utilises girder trusses sitting on supporting columns, effectively floating over the existing science block, which was not initially designed to take the weight of a second storey.

The team had to be very careful not to disturb the existing structure, especially during piling work for the eight supporting columns and millimetre accuracy was required as the main girder trusses, each spanning over 25 metres, were assembled and manoevered into place during a complex crane operation.

Challenges & Solutions

Working at the heart of the college required proactive coordination with the school day to minimise disruption and to ensure safety for students and staff.

Strong collaboration with architects and structural engineers enabled the team to meet strict construction timeframes, fitting works to holiday periods to further reduce disruption.

"We chose Beard for this complex job beacause they were able to demonstrate a flexible approach to the challenges of the project together with the sound experience of educational working environments and the challenges that they present.”
David Robbins, Bursar, Churcher's College

Customer - The Governing Body - Churcher's College

Architect - Lewis & Hickey

Contract value - £1.0 million

Contract duration - 29 weeks

Procurement - Competitive Tender