A specialist education facility providing 230 school places to children and home to two schools dedicated to delivering an enriching and engaging programme for children with Special Education Needs (SEN) or who require an Alternative Provision (AP) setting.Orchard Hill Free Schools
- Client: Department for Education, Orchard Hill College and Academy Trust
- Sector: Education, Science and Research
- Status: Completed
A standardised solution to deliver certainty
Key to the construction of Orchard Hill was the team’s previous experience in the education sector, following over a decade of work on schools across the UK, where our UK team has delivered 54 new schools.
Our offsite manufacturing capabilities, along with research and development, has paved the way for innovative building methodologies, which in turn has allowed us to work within stringent criteria and develop a standardised ‘kit of parts’ schools solution that can be rolled out across similar projects.
This solution removed the need for methods found on traditional construction sites and instead channelled the power of experience of our Centre of Excellence for Modern Construction (CEMC).
Utilising the design and manufacturing expertise at CEMC meant that all precast elements were made in a controlled environment and to a high quality that are hard to match with in-situ construction. These elements were then delivered to site and assembled by our project delivery team. The deliveries were made to a robust programme, delivering programme certainty for the Department for Education and Orchard Hill College and Academy Trust.
The implementation of DfMA and offsite manufacturing helped to improve safety and wellbeing onsite by removing the need for traditional construction methods such as concrete pouring, the installation of individual MEP components on site, and working at height which can be easily delayed due to the weather.
The power of in-house expertise
Programme certainty was strengthened by harnessing the experience of our in-house specialist businesses. Expanded enlisted their structures team in the early stages to complete the structural frame, whilst Crown House Manufacturing delivered a packaged plantroom off site, at their Oldbury facility which was then delivered to site and installed.
Previously, projects like Orchard Hill will have taken 18 months to complete. However, with the added benefits of modern methods of construction and the adaptability of the Laing O’Rourke expertise gathered over a decade of school delivery, we now believe it is possible to deliver a school in less than a year.