Walnut Tree Walk

Project Details

New School Reception and Kitchen Extension

Value – £433,000

Walnut Tree Walk Primary School is typical of many of the designs produced by the London Schools Board insofar as it has multiple entrances making the school difficult to secure and difficult for visitors to find the correct entrance.

Past improvements had reduced the kitchen to a “heat & serve” facility and this was no longer acceptable. Playle & Partners LLP brief was to install a prime cook kitchen and provide a new school reception and school office. This was achieved by “parking” a single storey modern extension along side the existing dining room and extending this beyond the front of the main block to provide a new school office, reception and a more obvious entrance.

The materials chosen, Siberian Larch cladding and powder coated metal roofing, were selected to contrast with the schools solidity and robust brick detailing.

Playle & Partners were approached to produce three feasibility proposals to provide a new kitchen and ground floor reception to Walnut Tree Walk Primary School. The schools head and governors were consulted continuously during the design period and planning permission was applied for on their preferred option in May and granted in June. Due to lack of funding the scheme then lay dormant for 18 months until funding to the value of £400,000.00 could be raised.

In December the following year Playle & Partners were approached to produce a building regulations application and tender package, with a view to putting the scheme out to tender to 4 contractors in February.

Following Playle & Partners tender review and report the contract (JCT IFC) was awarded to EPCO Building Ltd with a contract sum of £401,000.00. Works started in July at the start of the school summer holidays. However, the school was occupied from September and arrangements were made for hot school meals to be brought to the school daily for the duration of the works. While on site the school added in additional works which included a new fire and security alarm installation to the whole school and some repair works to old redundant and leaking water tanks in the roof space. The additional works were valued at £32,000.00 and included for a 6 week extension of time. Completion of the works took place in March and a Final Account of £433,000.00 was agreed shortly after.

During construction a concealed lift shaft containing a dumb waiter, which was originally used to pull coal from the basement store up to the classrooms, was found. It was identified as containing asbestos materials which had to be safely removed and managed. Asbestos was also found and removed from the heating floor ducts along with a family of scorpions who we believe may have arrived at the school in a food delivery to the old school kitchen. The scorpions were caught and delivered to a local RSPCA centre where they were found new homes.

The new extension and associated works comprise of a simple single storey highly insulated block work shell which was over clad in a bespoke detailed timber boarded envelope designed by Playle & Partners. The timer used was Siberian Larch, cured and fire proofed and then coated front and back with 4 coats of linseed oil to retain the natural colour and grain of the timber. All timber used was responsibly sourced from sustainable forest developments.

The roof structure consisted of an aluminium standing seam composite roof made from 75% recycled aluminium and an acoustic/thermal insulated panel. The roof was supported on curved powder coated castellated beams.

Internally the extension was fitted out with a new commercial kitchen capable of providing 300 meals a day. All fittings were sourced within the U.K. to ensure a low carbon footprint for the scheme. To ensure that no waste or grease extract was discharged into the existing combined drainage system an environmentally friendly enzyme douser was fitted to the kitchen to ensure all grease and waste was broken down before being discharged. All new lighting was energy efficient and new heating was provided using a wet under floor heating system.

All new floor finishes were linseed based hygienic and 100% recyclable.

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