Extending opportunities for students at a village school with a global outlook
The Willink School in Burghfield, West Berkshire, takes pride in being a village school with a global outlook. Providing a range of opportunities for its students, the school is committed to helping pupils develop into global citizens.
In 2019, the Willink was ranked in the top ten non-selective schools in Berkshire and at its last official Ofsted Inspection was considered a ‘good school with outstanding features’. The school is home to over 1,000 students aged between 11 and 18 years old and needed to expand and update some of their facilities.
In June 2020, main contractor Morris & Blunt Ltd were awarded the contract for a £2.6m extension and refurbishment scheme at the school, made up of several different phases of works including a new-build two storey extension comprised of 8 classrooms and a single storey extension, in addition to internal modifications and external works.
Choosing experienced installers
We were initially referred to Morris & Blunt through a cladding board manufacturer contact some time ago and have subsequently worked together on many projects. At Eden Facades we take pride in building and retaining strong relationships, and were delighted to be chosen by Morris & Blunt again as one of the specialist sub-contractors for the project at the school.
Commenting on why our experience made us a perfect fit for the job, Steve Mountford, Eden Facades Site Manager, explains, “Our scope was to install all the insulation and brick tie prep works, install firebreaks and carry out all the external timber works using the Nvelope NV6 System.
“Having recently installed larch cladding at the Forest Bridge school in Maidenhead using the NV6 system, we were able to bring the same team straight over to Willink school, ensuring we had the most experienced people on the job and that we were working as efficiently as possible.”
Our phase of works began in winter 2021, as some of the children were starting to return to school after the third Covid-19 lockdown. The students were able to attend lessons in the existing portion of the school, and so were not impacted by the ongoing building works taking place. Our team installed all the insulation using two layers of 80mm Kingspan K15 Kooltherm, a very durable, environmentally friendly product that will ultimately help to lower the cost of heating and cooling the school.
Once the insulation and brick ties were in place, the bricklayers were able to complete the brickwork sections, ahead of us returning to site to install the battens and external cedar cladding using the Nvelope NV6 system. As a concealed fix system that we have used on projects many times before, we know we can install the NV6 system quickly and efficiently.
The specification of works detailed that fire treated cedar was to be used for the external works, a natural and sustainable cladding option, that in addition to durability has the advantage of reducing the overall carbon footprint of a building. Needing very little maintenance, cedar cladding often looks best when left to fade naturally and will continue to add a striking aesthetic to a building long after installation.
Industry-wide disruption caused by materials shortages
The general disruption within the industry created as a result of the pandemic and the UK leaving the EU had an impact on some of the timings for this project, resulting in unavoidable delivery delays for certain supplies.
“Due to the production and logistical issues going on within the industry at the moment, some of the materials we procured for the project were subject to delay,” explains Derek Terry, Morris & Blunt Site Manager, “but we were really impressed with how organised the Eden Facades team were in helping us work around it. When we needed staff, they got staff to site. They were very accommodating and helped us to work through any potential disruption to the project.”
As experienced specialist sub-contractors, we are committed to working proactively with our clients to keep their projects moving throughout what it undoubtedly a volatile time in the sector.
Now the project and handover are complete, Derek comments, “Our client is very happy with the finish, and we look forward to working with Steve and the team at Eden Facades again very soon.”
To find out more about this project, or to discuss a future timber cladding project with us, contact us on 01268 744199, or email email@example.com