• 19 November 2019

Two new schools at the heart of Glasgow’s community

The ambitious £19.6m double-construction project saw two new state-of-the-art teaching facilities constructed on Blairdardie Drive and Liberton Street in Glasgow.

Situated 10 miles apart, Blairdardie and Carntyne Primary Schools were designed by Holmes Miller Architects and delivered through BAM Construction via hub West Scotland, a private sector development partnership, working with Glasgow City Council.

During full operation

Located directly adjacent to the existing building, Carntyne Primary School was designed within the existing site boundary at Liberton Street as a new two-storey development with the capacity to accommodate up to 231 pupils within nine classrooms, flexible breakout areas, drama room, cycle shelter, outdoor teaching space and multi-use games area (MUGA).

Incorporating a phased demolition meant the school remained in operation throughout construction, keeping students within one wing whilst the second was demolished. Students and teachers were then transitioned into the newly constructed development, allowing the remaining half to be removed and rebuilt. The transformation was officially completed in October 2018.

Our team in Scotland were appointed to carry out structural, civil and geotechnical engineering services, including environmental & ecological, flood risk & drainage impact and transport assessments, landscape, habitat management plan and a BREEAM strategy pre-assessment.

From the outset, our multidisciplinary team considered the need to design within agreed cost metrices with all elements of the design, considering the life span and maintenance for the buildings. The primary structure comprises a combination of braced steel frame construction and where bracing is unavailable over large open spaces, such as the MUGA, portal frames were used. The upper floors are constructed of composite steel decking and concrete construction which reduces the floor depth, maximising the available services void within the floor zone.

Carefully considered design

After opening its doors in February 2019, the new Blairdardie Primary School accommodates up to 462 pupils and provides a flexible learning environment with 16 classrooms, drama room, four-court sports hall and changing room facilities across three storeys.

Situated in the existing school’s playing fields, the building remained in use throughout construction before being demolished later in the year.

Although the exterior has fibre cement cladding to fit in with the surrounding residential area, the façade has been recessed to highlight the primary entrance and points of interest around the perimeter of the building as well as providing shelter for the playground.

Vivid accents of colour features throughout the interior to inject bursts of life and character. Our team worked closely with the architect to carefully design the communal areas such as the combined triple-height canteen and sports hall which was cleverly configurated to maximise light and visibility into the building’s interior. A feature staircase/viewing gallery was designed to optimise the use of space with additional seating for students.

We were appointed to provide structural, civil and geotechnical engineering services along with environmental, ecological, flood, drainage and transportation advice. Works included the provision of a transport statement to access pedestrian, public transport and vehicular transport implications of the proposed school, a coal mining risk assessment, habitat management plan further to flood risk & drainage impact and BREEAM land use & ecology assessments.

Our environmental team were also commissioned to perform a preliminary ecological appraisal to establish any issues likely to arise on the project, preparing for the relevant survey requirements.

Reaching the local community

Each site has been fitted with additional sporting and community facilities, including a full-size synthetic football pitch which is also accessible to local residents as a flexible learning hub and activity space.

Alun Rae, Director of Waterman Structures, commented; “We are delighted to have successfully completed Blairdardie and Carntyne Primary Schools and that we were able to offer such a wide range of services. Both new schools bring much needed state-of-the-art facilities to deprived areas of Glasgow, replacing tired and outdated buildings which were no longer fit for purpose.”

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